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By Maria Camara

what have you learnedWhat have you learned from the pandemic? This was a question asked in a poll at the recent Hoffman Virtual Conference. The 52 participant answers reveal a great amount of silver linings in the midst of all the challenges that Covid-19 has brought about.

The answers and topics that came up included:

  • The importance of solitude, silence, and time to reflect
  • Spiritual foundation in life is vital
  • The need to be ready for the unknown
  • Nothing can be taken for granted; uncertainty and change are part of life
  • Emphasis on the need to connect to others and finding different ways to connect
  • Appreciating how precious life is
  • Family and love are a priority
  • Appreciate simplicity
  • Finding the strength within
  • Chance to be creative
  • Physical contact is paramount to human survival
  • The need to slow down
  • Focus on purpose – what is essential and what I can do without
  • The benefits of exercise, cooking, and eating healthily
  • Clarity on the interconnectedness of all living beings
  • Deep compassion and the evidence of goodness

Identifying the learnings of the pandemic can be a very useful practice in order to integrate them in our lives, even when the ‘normality’ comes back. It’s only in times of difficulties that we can put into practice our capacity to be resilient, and find out our weaknesses and our strengths. Therefore, the pandemic can be used as a strategy for introspection and adjusting to life during and after it.

Based on the poll answers, existing research, and my experience, these four tips may help you to be more resilient during the pandemic:

  1. Contemplate on the transitory nature of everything. By reflecting on change and how change is a constant in life, we are more able to be less attached to our habits and navigate uncertainty.
    Practice: Contemplate on change in the following areas: body, aging, belongings, relationship with loved ones, job position, likes and dislikes, beliefs.
  1. Rely on your spiritual life/self. Time in solitude, slowing down, meditation, and connecting to nature are things that will allow us to connect to our authenticity and therefore be more satisfied, no matter what.
    Practice: Spend time daily/weekly doing things that connect you to your spirituality, such as meditating, spending time in nature, etc.
  1. Focus on your purpose and live according to your values. Life is precious and using your time on what matters to you is what will help you live a meaningful life.
    Practice: Find your Ikigai (reason for being) by reflecting on: What you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, what the world needs.
  1. Cultivate love and care in your relationships. As social beings, we need to love and be loved; nurturing our relationships is vital.
    Practice: Identify three things you are grateful for in your relationships and express what you appreciate about the people in your life.

Maria Camara is a Hoffman teacher, co-director of Hoffman International, and has a PhD in Family and Health Psychology from the University of Deusto in Spain. She is a certified Gestalt psychotherapist and is trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Maria will led the experiential session, Finding Your Silver Lining within Change, during the recent Hoffman Virtual Conference.

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