Visiting Angels, Barrington Blog

The Joy of Resilience

Plants are eternal optimists. They are amazing in their resilience. Even if they have been gnawed beyond recognition by insects, stomped on by careless feet or devoured by rabbits or deer, plants will use whatever is intact to surge back into good health. The same thing that makes weeds difficult to contain, makes plant life marvelous to behold. Plants can foster growth from even the most perilous conditions.

Resilience is the instinct to re-balance and to thrive, even under challenging circumstances. It’s a drive, a commitment, to make things work even when the conditions are not ideal. Illinois’ Native son, Ernest Hemingway, famously remarked “Courage is grace under pressure.” Courage, grace, grit, and resilience are needed and welcome qualities, especially during difficult times like those we are experiencing now in 2020.

There’s a deep sense of joy in resilience because it is an earned pay off. Here’s what you need to know about cultivating and sharing it.

Grit Adult daughter assisting senior mother

What is grit, and how does it help us during hard times? Stacy Colino, writing for US News and World Report explains: “grit is a unique blend of strengths that give you stamina or staying power in your effort, focus and direction as you pursue your long-term goals.”

This is a challenging time in our country. It can feel hard to keep an emotional grasp on all that is happening with the pandemic, the economy, racial unrest and an upcoming election that can feel heavy and polarized.

Many people are especially worried about seniors because older adults are physically in a high-risk category when it comes to the pandemic. People may wrongly assume that seniors are fragile, but seniors tend to have an emotional strength that their younger counterparts have not yet amassed. Seniors have seen issues and problems similar to the ones our country now faces. As a result, they tend to have an inherent grit, a deep wisdom.

Seniors have known hard times. They have led the way through difficult times. Colino points to data that demonstrates that older adults have more grit when compared with younger people. Seniors have the perspective to know and assure others that this time of difficulty will pass. Seniors are far from fragile when it comes to their emotional resilience.

Counting blessing

A key to being resilient is to keep calculating all that is going right, and to take routine count of all that we have. Yes, life is challenging now. But there is so much for which to be remain thankful such as having wonderful families, friends and your Visiting Angels Caregivers.

Whenever we get worried, sad, or stressed, it’s important to take stock and acknowledge what we appreciate. It reframes our worries and reminds us that life is good. Life can be stressful and great countries can face trying times. For each moment of concern, though, we must look at what is working or we’re simply not seeing the complete picture. That is a disservice to ourselves and our situation. Counting our blessings makes us happier and more resilient.

Emotional strength

While your younger family members and friends and may be physically strong, active and thriving, many of them are struggling in this reality now. They can’t see how we will get through this time. They have not experienced anything like the times we are experiencing now. They don’t have the perspective and the emotional strength that many seniors have.

Share that strength with those in your life who are struggling. It’s precious and it’s needed. It’s an important way that older adults can help us get through the difficult time that our country is facing. Talk about what you observed during past challenges our country faced and how we got through those. Seniors have such important perspective to offer.

Sharing it

The younger people in your life are experiencing a level of stress and worry that feels very new and alarming for them. They feel like our country is in uncharted waters and they are heavy with worry. Assure them that you have seen similar anxiety, pain and struggle but that we got through it and our country healed. Hearing this from you stands to bring hope and calm to younger people who don’t have the experience to put this into perspective.

Share the joy that you’re uniquely positioned to understand - the joy of resilience.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.