Resiliency is the key

Youth, Resilience and the Pandemic

Resiliency is a character trait that allows us to push through tough times and pick ourselves up when we are knocked down. Youth, Resilience and the Pandemic.

Fourteen weeks ago, we just celebrated the holidays and were settling into January, when all of a sudden the word “Coronavirus” began to be heard daily in the news. Within just a few weeks, our lives were turned upside down and life stopped as we knew it. With a few strokes of the Governor’s pen, we were working from home, small and large businesses were closing and millions of students were attending school online. We were sheltered in place, restaurants, movie theatres and sporting events were closed. Untold numbers of workers were furloughed and suddenly filled with financial anxiety. The fear of paying mortgages, utilities and buying food was real. A myriad of tragedies and losses have occurred during this health crisis. Every person in this country has been negatively impacted. Our youth in particular have suffered during this time.

Coronavirus is a generational experience

Dr. Charleen Alderfer, LMFT, therapist and retired professor from The College of New Jersey remarked that this pandemic is a generational experience of loss and grief for our youth that were born post 9/11. This generation was born after the events of September 11, 2001 or  were young toddlers. This group had no experience with an event that shook the entire world and created enormous misery across all borders.This generation was suddenly sent home from school. Sadly, many children went home to family environments that are filled with pain and abuse. For some children, the only respite they receive from this pain is their time at school. All sporting, music and club activities were cancelled. School dances, plays and parties were not held. Seniors in High School, College, Graduate and Professional Schools will not have their graduations, nor attend proms, parties and award ceremonies to memorialize their transition into the next phase of their lives. All of these cancellations, missed events and ceremonies as well as the opportunity to say goodbye and thank you to friends, teachers, professors, coaches and mentors are losses for this young generation and need to be griefed in their own way.

Connections and Resilience

An opportunity exists for this generation to develop grit and resilience from this pandemic. Resiliency is a character trait that allows us to push through tough times and pick ourselves up when we are knocked down. Counselors and therapists often look to gauge the resiliency of their clients when addressing symptoms of depression, anxiety and traumatic experiences.  Resiliency is the key for individuals to move forward, learn and develop strength from their losses and disappointments. The difference for many clients between seeing a glorious sunrise or a stormy morning is their level of resiliency. Counselors will tell you that resilience is a quality that is innate but is also acquired through the modeling and sharing of experiences from others. This generation has suffered disappointment, hurt and loss because of this pandemic and for some they are grieving the death of friends and family members. I believe our painful experiences and disappointments can become our greatest asset. Our youth can make a decision to use these experiences to grow, become stronger and more resilient for when the next disappointment in life occurs. An opportunity exists now for family members, friends, coaches, neighbors and community leaders to share their experiences and discuss with our youth on how they moved past and grew from their own small and large disappointments in life. Encourage and model to the young on how to pick yourself up and be persistent with the challenges that are ahead in life. Equally important, it is a time we can be more connected with the sharing of our life experiences with each other. The more connected we are, the stronger we are. Every connection we make is a step towards hope and a bridge to the future. We are all in this together with the possibility and opportunity to grow and become more resilient from this crisis.

Robert Watts Counseling is located in Pennington NJ and offers safe in-office visit as well as online via Google Meet.

Youth, Resilience and the Pandemic Contents

Blog Categories
subscribe to receive notifications when new posts are published
Recommended Reading
Relationship Essentials: The Simple Tools and New Perspective You need to Improve Your Intimate Relationship. Meredith Keller, MA, LPC, ACS
Relationship Essentials, Meredith Keller

Relationship Essentials: The Simple Tools and New Perspective You need to Improve Your Intimate Relationship, by Meredith Keller, MA, LPC, ACS, is a must-read for couples struggling in their relationships.

paperback Comfortable with Uncertainty
Comfortable with Uncertainty

Comfortable with Uncertainty offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers a progressive program of spiritual study, leading the reader through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the Buddhist path.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

“Reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness.” —Oprah Winfrey

More Posts & Support…
What We Can Learn From Our Anxiety When We Try
3 Things We Can Learn From Our Anxiety

When we learn about how our anxiety is triggered, we can be more mindful and more empowered to not only overcome our anxiety, but learn how it can be a useful teacher.

reducing anxiety through breathing
Reducing anxiety through breathing

Breathing is a necessity of life that usually occurs without much thought or awareness that we are breathing. Being mindful of your breathing will help reduce anxiety.

Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety and Depression often go hand-in-hand. The first step in treating depression is for you to recognize the signs. And procrastination and avoidance are leading indicators for diagnosing anxiety.

Relationship Challenges

All couples and families have issues which impact their joy and create relational conflict. Very often one individual within the couple or family is viewed as being the problem in the relationship.  Bob helps couples and families to change their individualistic view of the challenges and create a more systemic understanding.

You Are Not Alone…

As a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and EAP provider, Bob has more than 20 years of experience in guiding individuals on their journey of recovery. He believes that all individuals, during their journey through life, encounter challenges that impact their relationships and quality of life.

Professional Consultation

The first step will be to understand where you are coming from, and where you want, or need, to go. Let’s gather your information so that Bob can review and set up a Courtesy Consultation. This will take just a few minutes of your time, and will help Bob with a clear understanding of what is currently going on with you.

Breath In This Moment and
Exhale With Gratitude