Try, try again: Building resilience during the pandemic

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There’s no resilience gene to help us deal with adversity. Experts say it’s a skill to foster, a muscle to pump up.Six months into the twin calamities of a pandemic and a tough economy, this may be a good time for a resilience workout.Resilience is the ability to withstand, bounce back and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands. “For a long time, people believed resilience was kind of a trait, something you have or you don’t,” said Vanessa Downing, a psychologist in Wilmington, Delaware. “Now we know it really is much more a set of skills that can be taught and learned.”Downing, who worked for many years to help heart patients and caregivers become more resilient, now directs the ChristianaCare Center for WorkLife Wellbeing, part of Delaware’s largest health care system. As colleagues have struggled to cope with COVID-19, she said, “We have really doubled down on the importance of understanding what resilience really means, and what it takes to create lasting resilience. It’s a huge issue, especially at a time when there’s so much facing people, whether they work in health care or not.”Dr. Abby Rosenberg, …

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