How to build resilience in a world with Covid-19
Posted on 19th July 2021 at 07:58
We all have resilience to some degree. Resilience being an ability to cope with normal stresses in life as well as being able to bounce back from crises. If we didn't, we'd never get out of bed in the morning!
However, when we are exposed to high levels of stress for a long period of time, this can take a toll on our resilience. Just take the global pandemic as an example. Even though the ‘panic phase’ is over, we still know that life won’t be exactly the same for quite a while and it can be tough to keep our chins up.
So the question is then, how do we build resilience in a world with Covid-19? Here are 12 science-backed strategies that will help.
Take care of yourself!
It goes without saying that, in order to perform at your best every day, you need to take care of yourself first. This means:
Exercising daily - get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes/day and avoid becoming sedentary.
Eating well - make sure that you're eating foods rich in Omega 3s, B vitamins, Vitamin C and protein every day.
Practising self-care - meditate, do yoga or go for a walk. Do what you need to in order to de-stress and calm your mind.
Get enough sleep - the US Centers for Disease Control recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night but the optimal amount varies from person to person. It's important that we listen to our bodies when it comes to this one because rest is so essential for our mental health and resilience.
Change the narrative
Our minds are powerful tools but, when left unchecked, they can become weapons. A lot of people are more resilient than they realise, they just have to change the narrative that is preventing them from getting back up. Here are some ways to do that:
Try to think differently – some people can easily accept that change is a part of living and they can look past the current crises to how future circumstance maybe a little better. For them, that’s enough, but for others, it’s more difficult. If you’re the latter, be more aware of what you’re thinking and feeling, and if it’s negative, try to reframe it. No problem is insurmountable, even if it might feel like it now.
Try expressive writing – when something bad happens, we tend to relive this event over and over in our heads, sometimes making the story even worse. To change this negative narrative, why not try to write about it for 20 minutes? You’ll find that you’ll discover deeper thoughts and feelings, and you may even find a new perspective that you can nurture.
Take decisive action – at a time where you feel like you have no control, take control of something, anything in your life. Set yourself new personal or work goals and work towards these. You’ll find those small accomplishments will give you a new sense of purpose. When faced with an adverse situation, try to act on it as much as you can. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Lean on your support network
Last but not least is your support team. We all need help at some stage in our lives and it feels good to support others, so use this natural phenomenon to become more resilient!
Focus on strengthening your relationships or make new connections – relationships provide help, support, love, strength, and hope. All of which are essential for resilience! If you feel yourself withdrawing, always reach out to a family member or friend. If someone else needs help, be that someone that they can lean on. Support is a powerful thing (and humour and laughter is the best medicine!).
Practice self-compassion – we all have that negative inner voice that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in our minds, some more than others. If you want to build resilience, then you will need to focus on nurturing a positive view of yourself. For example, don’t judge yourself too harshly, be mindful of your situation, and be kind to yourself. If you do this, you will build more confidence in your ability to solve problems and you’ll trust your instincts. Both of which are essential for getting back up when you’ve been knocked down.
Tagged as: Resiliance
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