Searching for your silver linings

By Crista Brady-Szabo & Kerri Schoonmaker | Community Support Office | April 16, 2020



One month ago, we spent most of our time rushing to meetings, missing important social events, working late hours and ordering take-out dinners multiple times a week. Now, we wake up to time. Time to sit, time to think, time to take a few extra minutes to slow down and soak in the world. We have been given the extra time to create deeper connections with our loved ones in our homes or by using newfound technologies. Whether we like it or not, COVID-19 has forced us to take a breath and examine our lives. We involuntarily had to find what makes us resilient. 

"Resilience to me is not simply the ability to bounce back, but the ability to push through and come out stronger on the other side,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lyn Lillington, 87th Medical Support Squadron master resilience trainer.

As we wait for this pandemic to subside, we must find the good. Celebrating good news with friends and family members strengthens relationships and builds trust. Strong relationships are key to resilience.  

"We will be faced with hard times and our resilience does not prevent those hard times from coming,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Derrick Alston, 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron master resilience trainer. “They help us see the silver lining quicker.” 

What makes a person resilient: turning to spirituality, learning a new skill, drawing strength from friends or family. Maybe dusting off your old set of paintbrushes to once again find your love for creativity. Perhaps cooking is your newfound passion or finally deciding to give that new at-home workout a try.  

"Resiliency is a journey to find your purpose. Look for the good and remember to take a moment to be aware of your surroundings... the world is a beautiful place,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Dowell, 305th Air Mobility Wing master resilience trainer.

Self-awareness, listening and hearing with a grateful heart is where true resiliency lies. 

"The most resilient quality I have is gratitude,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Seth Pearce, 87th Medical Support Squadron master resilience trainer. “I believe that gratitude could be viewed as a strength, skill, quality or virtue. Thinking about how others contribute is key for me; expressing gratitude helps both parties when gratitude is expressed to others.”

When we practice reframe, a concept of resilience, we learn to look at our thoughts and understand the difference between the physical and emotional reactions we have to them. The goal of reframe is to help you respond to challenges in a positive manner. By changing the way you think about them, reframe helps one improve performance, strengthen relationships and act upon values.

"If we think of this virus as only a negative, we lose focus on how much we have gained,” said Janis Doss, 87th Wing Staff Agencies violence prevention integrator. “Self-awareness is a foundation that has helped me become a resilient person.” 

Our thoughts about an event drive how we react. The actual events we face are not positive or negative, it is our thoughts about them that are. How you think about the event is how you feel and how you behave. 

"Our perspective is powerful and drives our feelings [and] actions. By showing our true capabilities in changing our perspectives and how we see things, we can see our challenges in a whole new light,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jewaun Victor, 87th Force Support Squadron master resilience trainer.

Our Master Resilience Trainers and Community Action Team invite you to embrace your version of resilience and find the silver lining in today and every day.