HealthConnections: Finding Resilience in Troubling Times

Oct 6, 2020

The pandemic, political chaos, disruptions to old norms of social contact, economic worries, concerns about the present and future -- the events of 2020 are enough to get anyone down. Unsurprisingly, more Americans have reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially younger adults, people of color and people in the health care field.

But there are ways to find silver linings through the clouds. The University of Tennessee's Dr. Patricia Roberson studies relationships, and she says maintaining and strengthening your bonds with other people can be a key way to keep your head above water.

"When people say 'social distancing,' what they actually they mean is being physically apart," Dr. Roberson says. "But just because we're physically distant doesn't mean we also need to be emotionally, socially distant from one another."

Go outside for chats with friends, Roberson says, or give them a phone or video call. Reconnect with the people in your own home in different ways. And adjust your expectations to match the times.

"We're not looking for bliss...at this moment. Happy enough is really, really good," she says.

In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Roberson shares tips on building resilience with Dr. Carole Myers.