Column: How to weather the storm 


Commentary by Lorene Burkhart 

As I was growing up in southern Indiana, my mother would say that “someone had weathered the storm” instead of saying that they were resilient. She would remind us to “keep our chin up” if the going got tough. “Carry on” is another good resilient replacement.

Whatever the wording used, we all know what is meant. A definition that I recently read for resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, to bounce back and adapt. But how do we accomplish this goal?

A term being used abundantly is “mindfulness,” meaning a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts. One of our Stratford residents, a former doctor, made us aware of its effectiveness when he explained how it is being used for pain management, instead of pills and other invasive techniques. 

We’re considering having meditation as a group to help us “weather the storm” of loneliness and isolation. It seems easier to stay with a new routine if it’s a group effort. We can’t expect the vaccine to affect our mental state until enough of the population is vaccinated and we can resume parts of our “normal” life. Frankly, it’s difficult to remember what that is!

Acknowledging that we need help is the first step in our new mental attitude program, then deciding how to organize and implement our strategy is the key to success. Try to surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook and share your concerns about the situations that bother you. Being willing to change a mindset will help you achieve your goal of feeling resilient and in charge of your life.  It’s worth the effort to know that when we are “liberated” from our restrictions we will be ready to move forward knowing that we have “weathered the storm.”