There are several definitions of the life-skill of coping circulating these days. Some are simplistic, such as, face it and deal with it! Others expand on that approach to share that coping is being on even terms with challenges as they arise. I agree with both interpretations. The emergency department nurse in me resonates with, just deal with it but, the coach in me also wants to embrace the idea of coping as being on steady terms with the stuff life throws at us; so I choose faith over fear.

However, you deserve to be in a better place than just coping. Coping implies that you are hunkering down and enduring. Endurance entails toughing up in order to survive whatever is going on. You deserve to be resilient. We often mistake endurance for resilience. Resilience doesn’t require toughing up, it mandates that you stay soft and open to experiencing all that is going on.

Many of you have often heard me refer to Resilience as Optimal Coping. Resilience is accessing those life-skills that allow you to navigate the circumstances of the challenge successfully without leaving all your energy on the field and feeling drained. You may be physically tired from working the problems but, you are not emotionally or morally drained from it.

I want to offer two approaches to accessing your resilience during these toughest of times:

  1. Do all you can to stay connected to the meaning (the joy) of what you are doing. We are all professional caregivers. Some of us are skilled, some of us are clinical, and others are practicing in managerial and administrative ways. Regardless of how you manifest your professional caring; know that you are part of something much greater than yourself. What we accomplish as individuals is amazing. However, the synergistic effect of what we do together is nothing short of miraculous.
  2. Choose faith over fear. Faith is a testament to belief. Faith is renewing. Faith is empowering. Faith lives in the Light. Fear feeds on darkness and personal demons. Don’t hunker down. Staying connected to the meaning of your work and noticing all the talent and courage around you every day will fill your heart and offer no room for fear to take root and grow. Choose faith.

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