Engineer Inclusion

De-Hibernate and Build Networks for Resiliency

As we slowly re-emerge from isolation, we may find our personal, professional, and community networks look and feel differently. However, relationships across a balanced network are essential for our resiliency. This post offers tips and strategies for assessing and improving our relational sources of resilience. 

The endurance race we’ve shared since March of 2020 has transformed lives in countless ways and will leave lasting and immeasurable effects on so many. Though we are returning to some degrees of normalcy, it is inevitable that we will be adapting to a “new normal.” The pandemic has changed us, though. Perhaps a little or a lot, as we re-emerge, we are facing abundant new realities.

Back in April, the following cartoon made the rounds on social media. I remember when I first saw it and it has stuck with me. It perfectly captured much of what I was feeling and fearing at the time, and perhaps still! Watch the rotating gif or read it here.

visions of the post pandemic future by Emily Flake

I taught a workshop last month where participants learned that expanding our support networks is key to building resilience, essential for surviving the pandemic, and of course the post-pandemic future, too. However, when you feel like a toad, as depicted in the cartoon, the thought of expanding a support network can feel terrifying. The thought of even re-establishing the networks that succumbed to the extended isolation can also feel a bit overwhelming.

We can nurture and build our resilience through a wide variety of interactions with people in our personal and professional lives. According to Rob Cross, Karen Dillon, and Danna Greenberg, there are eight areas of relational sources of resilience. 

Take the following quick open poll and answer the question, "which relational sources of resiliency would you like to strengthen?"

If you don’t see the embedded poll, access it here. Check out the results here.

Strategies for assessing your relational support networks

Tips for improving your relational support networks

Are you ready to de-hibernate?

So, whether you are lingering or leaping from hibernation, I hope you are able to prioritize reinvigorating, reestablishing, or starting to build the relational support networks you need to aid you moving forward.  


  • How are you re-establishing support networks post isolation?
  • What are some ways that your life changed during the pandemic? How have you adjusted?
  • What are your visions of a post-pandemic future?
  • How can you help others build their relational sources of resiliency?
Headshot of Dr. Meagan Pollock

Meagan Pollock, PhD

Dr. Meagan Pollock envisions a world where personal and social circumstances are not obstacles to achieving potential, and where kindness, inclusivity, and conservation prevail.

An international speaker, teacher, engineer, and equity leader, her mission is to provide services, tools, and resources that inspire awareness and initiate action.

As an engineer turned educator, Meagan Pollock is focused on engineering equity into education and the workforce.

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We help people intentionally and systematically engineer equity and inclusion into their organizations: driving positive outcomes and effectively supporting employees and the community.

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