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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Adaptation is Key

Oct 31, 2022 09:31AM ● By Joan Marie Lartin
Clients, friends, colleagues, family members and neighbors have all been stretched thin by some aspects of the COVID pandemic. We are understandably on edge, anxious, upset and irritable because the world around us seems less stable and reliable than it has been in decades. Services such as medical care, banking, dining and home repairs are spotty. Grocery bills are up 5 to 8 percent. Hospitals are filling up with patients that had to delay care and screening for more than two years. The international situation is precarious and our political system is a mess. Bad news dominates the airwaves and internet.


But staying in bed all day with a cup of tea is not an option for most of us. Here are some ideas from biology and systems theory that may help us retain a degree of stability and calm. One hallmark of species that have survived over the millennia is the ability to adapt to changing conditions. Accepting or even anticipating that things may not go as smoothly as they once did will keep our blood pressure down. Other ways to adapt include shifting to a more plant-based diet when meat prices soar, driving more slowly to conserve gas and resuming dinners at home with friends rather than dining out.


A second principle is that systems (humans, families, societies) that have more variety in them adapt better to changing environments. Variety also increases adaptability because there are more options to choose from. An example of variety in a system is our network of friends. If most are plumbers, stay-at-home moms or accountants, our resources are limited. Having a wide range of people to support and help one another is invaluable in our neighborhood, family, work setting or friendship circle. Bartering is also an innovative way to get and receive help. Reaching out isn’t always easy, but most people are more than happy to share their unique knowledge, information or resources. Realizing that we are not in Kansas anymore, that things have changed, and finding ways to adapt to these changes is a way to stay balanced and less stressed.


Joan-Marie Lartin, Ph.D., RN, is a psychotherapist in Carlisle and Gettysburg who provides clients with access to neurotransmitter testing and amino acid therapy, as well as therapy and neurofeedback training. For more information, call 717-961-0088 or visit