ADAPTABILITY- THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER AND THE MOST ESSENTIAL (THE NEW COVID-19 WORLD)
The Covid-19 world. A world that is continuously changing, impacting lives with all the daily activities of humans being ‘cancelled’. The gates are closed, the windows are shut, the roads are empty, and the only voice that can be heard is the slow and fast voice of the wind. The wind of extraordinary change- Covid-19. And the only solution to this? Adaptability.
Adaptability is the ability to work with change and be flexible in the face of new situations. As Leinwand says that a person is adaptive when he learns to move with the tides, and not against it.
“I advise people to ride change like a wave. If you’re in a fall, a rise will follow.” – Laurie Leinwand, Professional Counsellor, Denville
This was an important skill even before the pandemic, as told by Associate Professor Patrick J. Rottinghaus of the University of Missouri. The very misfortunate idea put by us that everything would be okay in the future was wrong. The future was never really the most certain idea to begin with. Quoting and following Marcia Reynolds-
“Sure, the pandemic could be the apocalypse, or it could just be accelerating changes that were going to happen anyway- such as the shift to remote work.”
ADAPTABILITY- INCULCATION AND CULTIVATION
But how to adapt, inculcate and cultivate this within us? How to be flexible with change? Does it come naturally or can it be learned?
Sue L. Motulsky considers adaptability to be a personality trait and believes that adaptability is an acquired skill that can be learned and honed over time.
“People have adapted to Zoom meetings and online school. Whether we wanted to or not, that was the reality- we had to do it.”
Moving step by step that is, taking small bites out of big issues means differentiating and dividing between things we can control and the things we cannot, says Rottinghaus. Accepting that the world is changing and is uncertain, and being comfortable and approaching the uncertainty in positive light gives us the confidence to be more flexible. We should never forget and always must resist the urge to turn inwards too much, even though the pandemic has sent all of us home. Providing us hope, Reynolds says-
“Talk. Instil hope in each other. And create a sense of safety and calmness right now. That has to come first.”
ADAPTABILITY IN KIDS AND ITS CULTIVATION
Children just like adults have had their normal work routine turn upside down. Leinwand suggests parents to create new, flexible structures to add some order to the kid’s everyday routine- “Get up; have breakfast; do schoolwork; go for a walk.”, and repeat.
Parents now have to take in the role of teachers, and if it doesn’t work in the beginning, that is completely okay. According to Rottinghaus-
“Continuing to persist, being willing to be less than perfect”, is how we all learn and gain from our experiences.
MOVING FORWARD AND LOOKING AHEAD
It is essential and absolutely important for us to do what makes us feel good, like going for walks, painting, dreading, developing for hobbies- or as a matter of fact, just breathe. This is not a race for success, but this is survival.
Children, according to Leinwand are having a good time and benefiting, as their learning new things(cooking), spending more times with their parents and have time for themselves as well.
Leinwand – “They’re learning to be disappointed and still be okay.”
Even though this pandemic has made us go through acute levels of discomfort, Leinwand says “Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is what will get us through it.”