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Resilience in the face of uncertainty

3 key traits and advice on how to tackle uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has led to widespread anxiety and fears over uncertainty, yet I was brought up to expect uncertainty and look for the opportunities in life. This solution oriented perspective shaped my growth and development and led me to have a high stress tolerance which often surprises even myself sometimes.

As a first generation American, my family fled their country without warning, left all their belongings and started again as immigrants to North America. My parents never took anything for granted and adapted as circumstances changed. In the face of the current pandemic, having to move out of our home, and face layoffs, I have watched my mom rise to the occasion and mirror my own unflappable mentality.

Throughout all of this, I have contemplated why some people can rise above uncertainty and others struggle. I have been blessed by a resilient community of friends so it has been easy to analyze the the key traits that seem to be helping people get through this incredibly challenging time in our world:

1) Persistence: People who don’t give up when they are knocked down have fared better during this quarantine period of social distancing, because they are constantly looking for different approaches to tackle the problem at hand. When you are persistent and look for solutions, you have the confidence to tackle whatever uncertainty may appear in your life. The next time you are faced with a failure or something that doesn’t go as planned, take a step back and find another way to approach it so that your persistence can override your fear of uncertainty.

2) Optimism: When you look at the world through a positive lens, the challenges transform into opportunities to grow, pivot, and improve to tackle the next obstacle that may appear. At first sign of troublesome uncertainty, remind yourself of what you can count on such as your family, pet, and yourself.

3) Perspective: Many of my friends have faced adversity which has kept them grounded regardless of the current COVID-19 uncertainty. When you have lost a child, an organ, a parent, sibling, or spouse, everything else seems to be possible to overcome. If you have been fortunate to avoid these difficult experiences, I suggest you start with writing a list of everything you are grateful for when you find yourself being drawn into anxiety over the uncertainty.

Please note that none of this advice is to minimize the fact that clinical anxiety and depression can be crippling disorder which often needs physician support.

If this is your first time tacking uncertainty and the anxiety that comes with it, while we are all separated from each other during quarantine, my wish for you is that you will work on developing these key traits so that you can strengthen your own resiliency and take on new challenges with ease in the future.

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