It never crosses your mind that something like this Pandemic would ever happen within our lifetime.
This is now reality, take a minute to think about all the other situations this Pandemic brings in life… being made redundant, losing someone you love, losing your business, becoming ill, relationships becoming increasingly difficult etc.
Life at the minute is scary and this is a fact we can’t change. What we can change, though, is how we react to each of the negative situations which arise, and perhaps even more importantly, how we bounce back. So, why is resilience even more important now and what does it take to be resilient?
A definition of resilience is ‘the ability to recover from setbacks and still complete what you set out to achieve’. Hopefully, this is a skill that every one of us can develop.
Being resilient is crucial to maintaining good mental health. While it’s ‘okay to not be okay’ we don’t want to feel sad forever so we need to be able to ‘bounce back’ and try and rebuild our life and emotions which in turn, can enable us to grow and strengthen us for the future.
There are many qualities that resilient people have compared to those people who aren’t and it’s true that between 1 and 5 working age adults will become depressed, anxious or will experience stress related problems at some time during their life.
We have an emotional reaction to many things and our stress response is activated when we feel threatened or scared such as times like now. Developing resilience is the ability to effectively manage our emotions and responses in any given situation.
Let us look at some tips to help us to stay resilient…
Don’t isolate yourself…
We are all in isolation which in itself is draining. We are social animals and we need our friends and families more than ever at the minute as they allow us to feel nurtured and safe. However, due to the restrictions put in place for us all, it’s not that easy, we all need that hug and that reassurance. We must try and stay connected to our friends and families through social networking and facetime/skype etc as we are all feeling the same and that one conversation will help to lift our mood.
Be kind to yourself…
Some people are more resilient than others and being less resilient doesn’t make you a lesser person. Nurture yourself while you find the time to heal and bounce back. Once you have bounced back from a tragedy, it’s normal and inevitable to revisit the event and the feelings associated with it but don’t beat yourself up for having a bad day, for crying, or for being anxious. Allow yourself to feel. Holding in emotions doesn’t do anyone any good. Always show yourself some love and never compare yourself to anyone else.
Ask for help…
Reaching out for support in these difficult times can make a significant difference in life. You are never alone and your support network will always be there for you, never feel like a burden to anyone and remember that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.
Be flexible… Everything happens for a reason, but if you’re the sort of person who likes to have everything planned out in detail, you are going to have a hard time coming to terms with the change. You must tell yourself that life has created a new path for you and you’re going to have to deal with it the best you can, learn to be a little flexible.
We should always be looking after ourselves, but we definitely need to turn this up a little at the present time. Do some different activities to see which makes you feel better both mentally and physically. Go for a run, a walk, a bike ride (while social distancing of course). All exercise can help release your emotions but be mindful not to overdo it.
Next time you’re feeling a low try and keep some of these tips in mind. Even following just one of them can help you bounce back. Soon enough, you’ll be feeling like yourself again, and you’ll be stronger and ready for the next thing life throws at you when normality returns.