How Well Are We Adapting?
By: Lee Sook Huey
Amidst the busyness of surviving and coping with life, let us take a moment to contemplate this question: “How well have I been adapting to this versatile world?”
Situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic can be a wake-up call that shakes us out of the illusion of invulnerability and awakens our humility. Nonetheless, there is still a space for us to choose our attitudes and actions. We can decide on our responses to these situational changes as individuals and a community.
We can choose to avoid discomfort and be overwhelmed, stop engaging in activities, and escape the reality of our situation. This may include reactions like oversleeping and overeating, escaping into the virtual world, obsessing with news and worrying thoughts, or abusing drugs or other substances. These are likely to drift us further away from who we want to be.
We can also choose to respond with resilience and continue to engage in meaningful activities in accordance with our values and long-term goals. For instance, we have observed individuals who continue to bounce back, connect, learn, and grow in tough situations. We have seen “care-mongering” groups flourishing in communities in response to needs.
As such, here’s an invitation to reflect on the different aspects of your life with the Bull’s-Eye Values activity below (it may include other aspects such as family, parenting and spirituality). You may mark on how well you are adapting and engaging in what is important at this moment in life for each aspect.
*Adapted from Bull’s-Eye value exercise developed by Tobias Lundgren (Swedish ACT therapist)
Which aspects of your values are you making the most progress towards and which might you benefit from growing further towards? Think about a small step you can take in your daily life that brings you nearer to who you want to be as a person…
Overall, regardless of our current roles or situations,
“When we accept changes with openness, we become more flexible.”
“When we are willing to adapt new ideas during challenging situations, we become more resilient.”
“When we take time to reflect on how our actions are moving towards or away from our values and commit to doing it better with courage, we thrive.”
There are many choice points in life where we can decide to respond wisely or imprudently. May we experience growth and continue to flourish in this time of uncertainty!
Kashdan, T.B., & Rottenberg, J. (2010). Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 865-878.
Lundgren, Tobias & Louma, Jason & Dahl, Joanne & Strohsal, Kirk & Melin, Lennart. (2012). The Bull’s-Eye Values Survey: A Psychometric Evaluation. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 19. 10.1016/j.cbpra.2012.01.004.
About the Author
Sook Huey is a clinical psychologist who works with individuals with mental health illnesses. Read more about her here.
Want to know more about your own strengths and some tips for coping strategies?
PsychTests has launched the “Pandemic Resilience Test”, which aims to assess one’s psychological preparedness and identify the traits which are helpful for adaptation. Some practical coping tips are offered in the report after taking this test. It is totally free and you can get the report right after completion of the test! Click here to take the test.