This has been a long year. For many, it has been a very dark period with unbearable stress and hardship. Others, however, have seemed to get through things relatively easily. Why is that?

I think there are two main reasons why some people seem to be handing the Coronavirus better than others. First, for some, the lifestyle changes and slower pace of being at home are preferable for some people. For many introverts, those with anxiety or PTSD, or others who may have felt overwhelmed with the constant hustle and bustle of their previous daily schedule, they have noticed some positive changes. Spending more time at home, having a good reason not to go out and socialize, eliminating long commutes, and being able to be home the majority of the time have been surprisingly welcome for many. I have heard from many working parents and older Veterans who have enjoyed the slower pace and have appreciated the forced change in lifestyle.

The other reason many are handling things well is likely due to resiliency. Resilience is being able to adapt when faced with adversity, trauma, or other significant stressors. It is often described as being able to “bounce back” but also learn and grow from hardships. Resiliency includes being flexible, adaptable, and learning from experiences. While some people tend to be more resilient than others, resiliency is an ability that can be increased. Focusing on relationships, taking care of your physical and mental health, taking purposeful actions towards your own well-being or the needs of others, and using healthy patterns of thinking can all increase one’s resiliency.  

Being resilient does not mean that people do not experience or suffer from stress or trauma, and it can be a process, so even the most resilient person can have a bad day or two before moving into a positive direction after especially difficult news or events.

Everyone is experiencing this pandemic and quarantine differently. An apt description I’ve heard is that we are all in the same storm, but we are in different types of boats. Those whose lives have been affected little (work and financial situation have been relatively stable) are in a far different position than those whose careers or stability has been threatened. I think many people will get through this pandemic just fine, due to both resilience and life circumstance. While the vaccines are slowly becoming available to adults, we still have a long road ahead of us, and many who seem to have it together may be struggling and need help.  

If you are having significant difficulty coping, you should seek professional help; therapy can be incredibly helpful and help foster resiliency. You don’t have to do it alone.