It’s worth taking a moment to celebrate just how resilient we’ve been in the last year. This is a key quality at healthy aging and thriving in life, and we’ve all been tested by COVID-19.
As May is Older Americans Month, we’re spotlighting a couple of our staff members who have done a great job of demonstrating strength and resilience and what that means.
“For me, resilience means having inner confidence and a belief in myself,” said Laura Atkins, our METCC Community Connector. “It means being able to adapt to changing circumstances, knowing where to find resources and being willing to ask for help and offer help.”
There are plenty of ways we’ve seen that play out since the pandemic made us all shelter in place. The business community adapted by offering more take-out and delivery services, she noted. Some restaurants even offering drinks to go!
Getting on Zoom
All the participants in Community Living Campaign’s activities on Zoom also deserve applause. They embraced the often awkward and unfamiliar experience of trying a new way to be part of exercise classes, musical performances and art programs.
Indeed, that exercise is part of what Laura says has helped her feel strong through this period.
“Keeping to a healthy lifestyle as much as possible — eating well, exercising and spending time with friends and family — is a big part of how I continue to feel strong and resilient,” she said.
“I’ve also been pushing myself physically by walking up the hills and stairs of Bernal Hill and meeting with friends outside to swim at Aquatic Park. That helps support my mental strength as well and keeping a positive mindset.”
Laura also helps others stay connected to each other by co-hosting an ongoing program we named — appropriately — Community Tales!
Calling & Writing Cards
Beyond CLC, she helps support others to feel strong and resilient by calling and writing cards and then listening. We all need to feel heard.
A fun tradition she’s formed is having Zoom dinners with friends.
“One of my best friends and I turn on Zoom while cooking, talk and then sit down to share the same dinner we each made separately.”
Throughout it all, she’s actually been able to reconnect with some old friends and has seen those friendships get stronger.
“I’ve also been able to build connections with new friends, particularly in the CLC neighborhood,” Laura said. “My walking area has grown as well. I now walk (masked) with a new friend in the METCC neighborhood. Big hills and walking friends are found all over San Francisco.”
Read another profile of our Community Connector Nicky Trasvina.