By Catherine Florio Pipas, Chief Wellness Officer, CaseNetwork(for other blogs by Dr. Pipas, please visit her website at https://www.catherinefloriopipas.com/blog)
Change is difficult; the unknown even more so.
Challenges persist for months.
Nothing is as expected.
Plans are made, alternative arrangements required, another revision follows… Back to work; stay at home; school is on; school is off.
We go live; we go virtual, the conference is delayed… indefinitely, the conference is cancelled. Flights scheduled, flights rescheduled, travel prohibited, vacation at home.
Expectations are lowered
Faces, smiles and hugs replaced with masks, masks, and more masks Comforts and routines vanish
Flexibility is key to thriving amidst change and unknown; it comes in many forms:
Flexibility of the mind is the capacity to reframe distorted and catastrophic thinking. Catching ourselves when we say- “this will never end,” “my life is ruined”, “nothing works”, “everything is broken”. Reframing is uncovering a perspective that allows us to focus on what IS working and what IS good. Doing so provides space for appreciation of safety, family, and health.
Flexibility of the body is likewise the ability to bend and not break. This physical mobility that comes from stretching and exercise has enormous benefits, one of which is letting go of stress. Strong bodies helps us to support strong minds and vice versa.
Flexibility of spirit is equally powerful and occurs when we prioritize purpose and service to others. Recognizing that everyone around us is also experiencing high levels of disappointment, frustrations, and loss, we can grow empathy and compassion both vital to belonging to a community
Grounding ourselves in positive thoughts, caring for ourselves and reaching out to others won’t remove challenges but will build resilience in troubled times. Flexibility perpetuates flexibility. Although the external world continues to swirl, flexibility teaches us to focus internally and preserves the capacity of our mind, body and spirit to stay the course- even when uncharted.
Catherine Florio Pipas