I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. – Maya Angelou
If there’s one thing that 2020 has definitely called for, its resilience. We’re living in turbulent times and COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of American life – from health to work to childcare to education and even exercise. Add to that a fragile economy, a smattering of natural disasters, and widespread political and racial unrest, and you’ve got all of the ingredients needed to keep most people in a state of near-constant stress. The concerns and events of 2020 have been even more profound for essential workers, especially those in healthcare settings.

According to Psychology Today, resilience is the quality that allows some people to be knocked down by these stressors and come back at least as strong as they were before. “Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure to overcome them drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.”

The good news is, resiliency can be learned, and you can come back from obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats. While some people are far better than others at dealing with adversity, George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University’s Teachers College contends that, “all of us possess the same fundamental stress-response system, which has evolved over millions of years and the vast majority of people are pretty good at using that system to deal with stress.” 

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Author: Rand O'LearyRand O’Leary, FACHE most recently served as the PeaceHealth Chief Executive for the Oregon Network. Rand joined PeaceHealth in 2014 and had oversight for operations in Oregon at Sacred Heart Medical Center, RiverBend in Springfield, University District Medical Center in Eugene, Cottage Grove Community Medical Center in Cottage Grove and Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence. Rand is an experienced healthcare executive and leader, seasoned by over 20 years of leadership in Surgical Services, Neurosciences, Cardiovascular, Ambulatory and Physician Practice Operations during tenures at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a 425-bed tertiary referral and teaching hospital and member of Ascension Health and the 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor Michigan, the flagship hospital of the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and a member of Trinity Health.