Post-Pandemic Growth

We have some days of this year left so it´s not too early to reflect on what we would have done differently to avoid some situations in which the pandemic has had the most impact on our lives. After some self-reflection let`s take note so that we won't be in the same predicament again.

There is no denying, the year has been tough. We have all been affected by the pandemic in various ways. As the year is coming to an end we all feel the ripple effect of the pandemic. It has changed our perception of the world and our part in it.

This ripple effect will influence our lives for years to come in various ways depending on how the pandemic has affected our personal lives. This is why it can be empowering to take note of what we can learn from the ordeal so that we are never in the same situation again in the future.

Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun invented the term ‘post-traumatic growth’ in the mid-90s at the University of Carolina. According to them, people who undergo post-traumatic growth flourish in life with a greater appreciation and become more resilient.

We as humans have evolved because of our ability to learn from the past so that we do not repeat it. Now is the best time to put that into practice by reflecting on all areas of our lives that we feel could use some positive upgrade. But first, let´s get clear on what post-traumatic growth is and how we can harness It to our benefit as the pandemic is still ongoing.

Self-reflection as a tool for post-traumatic growth

Post-traumatic growth can be described as a positive psychological transformation that follows a highly stressful event. It is a way of finding purpose in difficult times and looking beyond the struggle.

When we are going through an intense time in our life it can feel bizarre to even contemplate what good can be found in all of it. It is only after the emotional charge has simmered down that we can look at our situation with a "bird's view". In this way, self-reflection can act as an important tool to reassess what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

The way to start the process is to ask ourselves open-ended questions which will invigorate our minds and result in empowering answers.

Questions to ask yourself to inspire post-pandemic growth:

  • What took me off guard when the pandemic started?

  • How has it changed my attitude about my country, people´s behavior, life, work, relationships, health?

  • What has been the most difficult part of the pandemic for me?

  • Has it changed my lifestyle considerably?

  • What would I do differently in the future in case of a similar situation?

  • How to get financially more secure for the future?

  • Has my relationship with my family, partner, friends become stronger?

  • Have I been able to support my friends, family, my partner during this time?

  • What psychological qualities should I strengthen to become mentally resilient in the future?

  • Was I psychologically triggered by past issues?

  • How did I handle self-isolation?

  • Did I feel alone? If yes, then what can I do to ease that feeling?

  • Who surprised me by supporting me during this tough time?

  • Did I become closer with someone because of the pandemic?

  • What can I learn from this year?

  • What do I want to change in my life?

  • How did I use my previous life experiences during the pandemic?

The list can be as long as you need it to be. Just keep asking yourself questions and you might even surprise yourself with the answers that come up from within. Keep writing them down and then read them to yourself out loud.

When you hear yourself saying things out loud you are bringing it all into your conscious mind while tapping into creative solutions.

Post-pandemic growth = Empowering the "future self"

Empowering healing happens every time we bravely face our own weaknesses and take action to facilitate the change that we feel we need in our lives. We do it by asking ourselves empowering questions. If it feels unpleasant (which it might), remind yourself that you are doing this for the future self.

Empowering questions bring empowering answers. This is how we can influence our lives for the better. Growth happens when we choose to use adversity as a tool to empower ourselves with a curious approach to life.

If before when faced with tough times we asked ourselves "why me?", now we ask "what can I learn from this?" and "what do I need to change in myself and in my life so that I won't make the same choices again",


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