If you, like me are glued at night to the Olympics, it is a proud and inspiring week for Australians.
Our Olympians are breaking records in the most extenuating circumstances and winning lots of medals and while this is boosting Aussie spirits at home during COVID lockdown it is their resilience and bravery that stands out to me the most.
As they simultaneously go through some of the biggest hardships they have endured, away from loved ones and supporters, isolated from crowds, so many of them have reached the pinnacle of their sporting journey after traversing the peaks and the lows in their careers.
More so than most, these sports people understand the importance of resilience and the desire to fight-back when times are tough.
It isn’t just the medal winners that provide this inspiration.
There are athletes who have trained so hard for the past four years to perform on the world stage and then are disqualified for breaking at the start of an athletic race or clipping a hurdle while leading the field.
To pick yourself up after this takes real grit. An inspiration and a lesson for everyone when facing acute personal challenges and disappointments. Many way out of our own control.
While this pandemic seems harder than the last for a variety of reasons, these lessons buoy us, at the same time we are being asked to pull together to get on top of COVID-19.
A study undertaken at Harvard University suggests we think of resilience as a seesaw or balance scale, where negative experiences tip the scale toward bad outcomes and positive experiences tip it toward good outcomes.
Importantly, we need to be aware of what we can and can’t control. Feelings of uncertainty can make us stressed and anxious. This is a time to learn to problem solve and stay connected with friends and family.
Seeking additional support isn’t something to be embarrassed about and here in Australia we have a wealth of mental health organisations that are just a phone call away. So, while we still don’t know an end date for COVID 19 lockdowns it’s a great time to take inspiration from our Olympians.
Note that after the Tokyo Games our Olympians need to go into quarantine for two weeks and we need to repay their efforts with lots of good wishes as they come down from the highs of their magical moments at the Olympics. From Taurus, we are thinking of you and your families and hope you are setting the gold medal standard in looking after your mental health.
Meanwhile, I suggest, we need to develop a toolkit of skills to adapt and find solutions in these times.
We have a choice. Define the crisis or let it define us.
I am choosing to be optimistic about today and tomorrow and well into the future.
It will be OK.