Building resilience during a pandemic
Building resilience during a pandemic
Resilience is a key ingredient in helping us overcome and get through difficult times. Resilience isn’t something you’re born with. It’s developed over time through the interactions between our individual genetic makeup and the experiences we have. This is why everyone responds to stress and adversity differently to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resilience is like a balance or seesaw. Negative experiences tip the scale towards negative outcomes while positive experiences tip it in favor of good outcomes. The “fulcrum” is the point at which the scale balances. If it’s more towards one side, it can make it difficult or easier to tip it toward the positive. Every person’s “fulcrum” is unique, which is why we all have different ways of counterbalancing hardships. You can move the fulcrum by acquiring a set of skills that you can use to adapt to new situations and find solutions.
How to build your resilience during the pandemic
Building your resilience takes time and dedication, just like building muscle. It might stop working if you don’t do the work. People have been taught to believe that resilience is a personality trait. You can be more resilient no matter what age you are if you practice and have the intention to do so.
To build resilience, there is no one strategy. It involves making connections, dealing with stress, changing your thinking process and encouraging physical well-being.
Connect with Others
All people need support throughout their lives, not just during a crisis. In times of crisis, it is easier to feel less alone when you have a support network that is compassionate and empathetic. Different age groups might try different approaches.
Many older adults are more comfortable with technology. Many churches, synagogues and other religious buildings of worship are now livestreaming services and creating groups through platforms like Zoom. Zoom and other online platforms allow book groups, social clubs, and other types of group to move to Zoom. These connections can be made through video chats with family and friends. Phone calls and letters are important for older adults who aren’t comfortable using technology.
Adults must balance work from home, finances, parenting, and online learning. This makes it difficult for adults to connect with others. This is especially true for emergency workers who work long hours to address this crisis. To “see” others, make time for video chats and join virtual meetups whenever you can. Although stress can make you think that you are best to isolate yourself, it is important to feel supported by friends during this time.
Children and teens. While balance is important, it is also important to allow more digital connections for children to maintain friendships. While parental supervision is still necessary, all age groups can benefit by connecting with their friends, family, classmates, and others they haven’t seen in person in a while.
To be able to deal with the emotional shifts that are likely to occur, we all need to improve our coping skills. These strategies work for all ages.
Deep breathing is a great way to calm your nervous system, regardless of whether you are experiencing panic attacks or other symptoms. Meditation and visualization There are many apps that can help you get into the habit of clearing your head of stress and visualize positive outcomes, including Calm for teens and adults, and Stop, Breathe, Think Kids.
Change your thought process
When the future seems uncertain, it can be difficult to keep an optimistic outlook. But positive thinking will help you stay focused on the positive and see better times ahead. If you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts, take them on board. They lose power when you speak your thoughts loudly and then talk them through.
Identify your negative thoughts, then think about the source and give three positive alternatives. This is something that anyone can do, from very young children to older adults.
The importance of physical wellness
Stress can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness. This can lead to a decline in your emotional well-being. Your physical health is an important part of building resilience. You can take a holistic approach to self-care and care for your body as well as your mind.
Prioritise sleep: According the National Sleep Foundation, different people have different sleeping needs at different ages. However, sleep is affected by stress regardless of age. Older adults may require a nap during the day, but they tend to sleep less at night (7 to 8 hours). Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep, teens need 8-10 hours, and children need 9-11 hours. You should ensure that you have a consistent sleeping schedule throughout this period.
You are not the only one who craves sweet or salty foods when under stress. Comfort food is a common desire in times of stress. However, balanced and healthy eating is better for your health. You can plan ahead to ensure a steady supply of healthy meals.
In addition to your daily exercise, engage in fun and mentally stimulating activities that will enrich your mind. You can play an online game with a family member or friend, solve a puzzle, garden, or engage in another hobby.
Hydration is key. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. It is possible to take small steps every day to increase your resilience, which will help you get through any crisis and future challenges.
Take control of your energy
Be mindful not to over- or under-work your energy. You don’t have to stick to a routine. However, you can move with more ease than normal. You don’t have to fill every minute with activities. You can show patience to yourself and your family members, and allow them to practice self-compassion.
You can think effectively
It is easy to let our minds wander when we are feeling anxious or worried. We can then think the worst. Recognise your feelings and then challenge them. Instead of dwelling on these feelings, talk to others or keep a journal.
Remember the challenges and transitions you have experienced in the past. If you are experiencing negative thoughts or anxiety, ask yourself “How is this serving my purpose?” You can also use a mantra or phrase to help you feel centered. Find positive things you see in others and yourself. Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things that you are grateful for each day, before bed or in the morning.
Concentrate on the Priorities and the Purpose
People who are resilient see change as an opportunity for alignment of priorities and purpose. We don’t seem to have much time for leisure. Make the most of any time you have and take some time to reflect. What is your ideal way to spend your time? What is most important to you? To help you, use the acronym W-I–N which stands for What’s Important Now. This strategy will help you refocus your attention on what you really want. You can create a list with specific objectives that you will be focusing on each day so that you feel accomplished or fulfilled at the end.
Resilience refers to the speed and strength with which you respond to adversity. It is how quickly you recover and how well you bounce back. Although we can’t control all of our circumstances, we have some control over how we view and process them.