Colorado Springs

The ability to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. 

That’s the definition of resilience, and that inner strength is something every single one of us has had to access during the pandemic. Some of us have seen jobs disappear; others are struggling to recover from COVID and its ongoing symptoms. Business owners are seeing their profit margins narrow — and many are wondering if they can keep their businesses running as the pandemic drags on month after month. 

We miss all the things we took for granted in pre-pandemic times: going to the movies or a play, going out to dinner, listening to live music, hugging our families, shaking a friend’s hand. 

No one is immune from the pandemic’s psychological effects and it’s starting to show. According to a survey by the Colorado Health Foundation, 53 percent of Coloradans are feeling depressed, stressed, anxious — all due to the pandemic. 

And now there’s something we can all do about the stress and feelings of helplessness. Shortly before the pandemic, UCCS stood up its National Institute on Resiliency. From that program, we get GRIT.

GRIT stands for Greater Resilience Information Toolkit, and it’s a way business leaders can take charge and take back the control stolen by the pandemic. The free online module, which takes five hours, creates community coaches for organizations and individuals — from business and nonprofit leaders to first responders, from educators to regular folks. It teaches us how to help ourselves and each other gain more resiliency through tools that are easy to learn and easy to use. It creates coaches who can then go out and create other coaches, and uplift the entire community through the program. 

Since March, more than 1,058 people have gone through GRIT training in 37 states and five countries. More than half of those are right here in El Paso County.  

Face it, we all know a business owner who’s struggling — or has given up. We all know someone who’s dealing with family issues from COVID, trying to work, run a business and a household, while also trying to give kids a chance at a semi-normal school year. It can seem impossible.

We all have that inner reservoir of strength. We’re all resilient enough to get through the tough times — we just have to work at getting to it. Back in March (remember March?) we all thought we would be through this by summer. It was just a few weeks of uncertainty, just a few days of shutdown. Months later, COVID cases are growing again, along with our fear and uncertainty.

You’ll find the self-paced program at letstalkgrit.com, and though it’s long, just take it an hour at a time.

We’re going to be using it here at the CSBJ, and if you decide to get some GRIT, let us know what you think. 

Remember that we’re all in this together, and we can draw on the community’s strength to get through the tough times. Colorado Springs has so much promise that the virus has only delayed success, not quashed it completely. There are better days ahead — let’s all work together to get there.