In a recent article on resilience written for the National Institute of Education’s journal, Dr Imelda Santos Caleon unpacks the complex concept of resilience and provides an overview of the more than five decades of research on this concept. Drawing on the rich resilience literature and the growing body of work focusing on positive psychology, she outlines key strategies to guide individuals to effectively manage the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, she emphasised the use of stories showcasing how others were able to overcome adverse situations. She pointed out how resilience can be taught vicariously through authentic stories shared by people on how they bounced back from stressful situations, such as during the pandemic. Second, she encourages individuals troubled by the negativities brought about by the pandemic to use gratitude-based activities, such sending letters of appreciation and journaling, to cultivate resilience and boost their well-being. Third, she underscores the need to connect with people optimally, particularly during the time when being in proximity with people goes against safety protocols. Lastly, she points out that developing resilience is not about doing extraordinary activities or engaging in extraordinary processes; it is about doing ordinary practices that draw on one’s inner strengths and direct one’s thoughts, attention and energy towards positivity.
Dr. Caleon’s research on how to teach children resilience was also featured on the Straits Times.
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