How do you Cope in Times of Historic Crisis?

Leadership  |  June 5, 2020

A huddled group of people placing there hands on each other

By: Debra Westeen, Vice President of Human Resources at CLC-Cappella

If time travel were my superpower, I would jettison 20 years from now to see how history records this time. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic took hundreds of thousands of lives. On Black Tuesday, in October of 1929, the stock market collapse drove financial ruin for both business and workers as businesses went under and unemployment soared. In 1968, civil unrest took the country by firestorm. Never in history have we suffered, at one time, all these crises as we are today. How do we cope? How do we manage? What can we do to have any impact at all?

In the words of Fred Rogers mom, “Look for the helpers.” I see helpers who are paying it forward in the Starbucks car line. I see helpers bringing groceries to their vulnerable neighbors. I see helpers providing much-needed donations to foodbanks across America. I see helpers rescuing animals from shelters. I see helpers when I look at our team members and the loving care they show residents. Like our Life Enrichment Teams organizing hallway bingo and keeping residents engaged and stimulated with art and indoor gardening projects. Team members with Duet Hospitality are creating special dining treats and taking extra time to chat when delivering meals. These are just a few examples of that special touch during this time.

What can we do? We can understand each person handles stress in his or her own unique way. Each of us has the power to demonstrate tolerance, love and kindness in all our interactions. We can be empathetic to the fears and challenges faced by those we meet, even if we do not know what their fears or challenges are. Take the time when you encounter a difficult situation or interaction to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and lead with compassion, which is true to our values. We! Care about residents, colleagues, and about the quality of service we provide.

Debra Westeen is Vice President of Human Resources at CLC-Cappella. Find out why Christian Living Communities is a great place to work, and how we give back to our community.

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