As a society we are now facing a challenge none of us have ever encountered before.
I don’t want to discount the early and mid-1900s when the world faced two great wars and millions died; those were terrible times. There certainly are major differences between events then and now, and I cannot do justice to that type of historical perspective. One distinction I’d like to highlight here, however, is that the World Wars were a time of political battles between nation states, while we are currently facing a pandemic from an invisible invader/killer.
One of the most vicious attributes of this pandemic is its uncertainty and cruelty. This uncertainty and lack of predictability, along with misinformation, has created a great deal of stress over which we often feel we have no control.
As we search for information, we are bombarded by continuous news cycles reporting the impending disaster we and our loved ones might face. With the rapidly changing information it seems many of our questions about reducing risk go unanswered. While our government is taking action, these actions also seem to lack decisiveness at times. This may result in disconcerting feelings and can provoke additional stress.
GRACE and Resilience
In my first book,You’re Old, I provide observations about guidelines to assist others in pursuing long and healthy lives. As I began speaking to individuals, groups, and professionals it became clear to me that those I saw aging successfully all had traits of resilience. The traits of resilience are similar to those I observed when I came upon the concept of GRACE, or Goals, Roots, Attitude (of Gratitude), Companionship, and Environment.
Discipline is another trait important to resilience. This is also woven into my concept of GRACE. We now must remain very disciplined to avoid becoming ill. As a very brief commentary of what I see, I believe American society currently lacks discipline. Now more than ever, self-discipline will be lifesaving.
Later this month, I will also blog about the risks of stress. This will include my recommendations regarding what each of us can do to avoid consequences of stressful times. Be sure to visit us on our site stay informed.
To a Long and Healthy Life,
David Bernstein MD