Ahh, summer break was filled with hot sunny days, lots of Netflix, and for many of my clients the opportunity to travel for the first time in over a year! Although coronavirus changed what education looked like for many students, it also taught these students adaptability, tenacity, and resilience, which are all qualities I help clients foster as they heal from traumatic experiences. Let’s take a closer look at these qualities and how they will be helpful for going back to school.
SKILLS FOR SCHOOL
Adaptability requires flexibility, which does not come naturally or easily to everyone. It is a skill that takes practice and patience like any other. Adaptations familiar to many students last year involved a hybrid of online and in-person interactions, changing plans on a moment’s notice based on updated information and guidelines, and of course wearing masks to keep everyone safer.
Making new friends is a skill many students struggle with and feel more out of practice now than ever before. How might adaptability help you foster new friendships this year? Will you join a new club or intentionally sit in a part of class you have not sat in before? Will you find out what virtual events are being held by your campus or community? Feel free to read our recent blog on healthy friendships to learn more.
Tenacity requires sticking to something even in the face of adversity. When students continued to study and work on their assignments in the midst of the stress and uncertainty the Covid-19 pandemic brought forth, they exemplified tenacity. Students were tenacious and committed to their studies and goals regardless of the challenges they faced.
BE YOUR OWN FRIEND
Sometimes the greatest challenge to overcome is the voice inside our heads that harshly reminds us to “do better.” Even though this voice or feeling is trying to help us improve our circumstances, unfortunately it tends to make us feel more stuck, hopeless, unmotivated, overwhelmed, et cetera. It’s like an overly helpful or toxic friend as opposed to a nurturing and supportive friend. See if you can speak to yourself the way you might speak to a friend in need. What would you say to them? What ways would you offer to help? If a supportive friend sincerely offered to help, what would you need from them right now? Even though it can be hard to accept, see what it is like to offer yourself kindness and support.
Finally, resilience is the product of bouncing back from difficult situations. If you have endured any challenge in your life, merely surviving it made you more resilient. (Shout out to all the students of all levels in 2020) Resilience has the potential to make future challenges more approachable, because you know you can likely get through it. It does not necessarily mean those challenges will be any easier for you. However there is more to focus on than solely the payoff or relief you anticipate will follow that challenge.
FINDING YOUR VALUES
What makes you feel like you are a good person? Like you are living a valuable life? What do you want to do more of to access that feeling more? Focusing on one’s values, which all of these questions are aiming at, often helps clients feel like they can enjoy their life journey despite setbacks and long before they reach their goals. What we do today, and every day, is far more within our control than what our future might entail. This focus on what is important and within our control at any given moment can help us face challenges, enjoy pleasant moments, and ultimately take action to enrich our lives.
Sounds too good to be true? Want to find out if this could be a reality for your life as well? Coping with trauma and not sure where to turn next? Good news! I am one of the clinicians at Heartland Therapy Connection and would love to have a FREE consultation with you so you can find out how you may benefit from our services. Contact us today by phone at 816-287-0252, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by our office at 616 E 63rd Street, Suite 104, KCMO 64110. We believe we are all #betterconnected and look forward to meeting you!