Staying resilient during this time of uncertainty is getting more difficult everyday. Uncertainty creates a lot of stress in our lives and boy do we ever have a lot of it going on right now. Social media can certainly help us during a quarantine but it can’t replace human interaction.
On top of that, if we are confined in a small area perhaps and a small apartment or we’re isolated from the rest of the family during the quarantine situation then the stress is increased. Then we add the worries about finances, job loss, family members being infected and what the future holds and whoa, this is a lot to deal with. This is a recipe for real psychological distress and can lead to bizarre stress effects in your body.
The key here is not about what is happening outside but how we are responding to it on the inside. How we respond will preserve our psychological well-being. The following approaches can help to staying resilient:
1. Accept Negative Emotions
The same goes for feeling sad about what you are missing out on or how different your life currently is, it’s ok to feel this way. Accept that you are stressing about lack of toilet paper that you used to be able to find just like that or about the kids getting cabin fever.
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The reason why you should accept these emotions is because research has shown that when you avoid them they will only get stronger and longer-lasting. So notice the negative emotions that you are having and the physical sensations as they occur and look at them with curiosity. Observe them with thoughts such as “I’m really anxious about how to keep the kids busy all day tomorrow”. Notice those thoughts and then let them go. They are what they are and you don’t need to judge them. They are neither negative or positive they just are so let them be is key to staying resilient.
2. Focus on What You Can Control
We often spend way too much time focusing on things that are out of our control. We live in a chaotic time right now and we need to focus to not get freaked out. . For those of us interested in maximizing focus and productivity, this means employing new measures to ensure that we stay focused on what matters most.
Try to find a balance between being informed enough to make decisions about your life, but not so overloaded with information that it becomes stressful. Turn off the news and just check the highlights once a day. You do not need all those details that you can’t control.
It may be helpful to re-frame the coronavirus outbreak or any crisis by focusing your attention on a longer timescale. For example, imagine how you might look back on these events in a year, or even a few years from now, re-frame how you are looking at it. Focus on what you can control, what you can do everyday to stay healthy and strong.
3. Create New Routines for Yourself
Now is not the time to cling to the old but to start with the new. Studies have shown that planning and starting new routines in times of crisis are the best recipe for good mental health. Now the routine should be good for you not necessarily binging on Netflix while eating ice cream. So establish structure and predictability in your daily life. It’s good for adults and it’s really crucial for children to stick to the regular bedtimes, regular wake up times, regular meal time and so on.
When you wake up in the morning have a shower and get dressed like you were going to work. where and how everyone is going to work from home or play from home should also be established with a regular routine. Although it should be planned it also needs to be flexible and adaptable.
After work is done, use your spare time to enhance your life, learn a new instrument and read that book that you’ve been wanting to read. There’s tons of stuff online for the kids to do as well and they can keep learning even while at home. Use the time to teach your children all of the skills that we don’t typically have the time to teach them such as cooking and family finances.
4. Self Care Will Help You Stay Resilient
Now is the time for self-care. Self-care is not just about bubble baths but it’s also about taking care of yourself physically and emotionally. In difficult moments, it’s essential to practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself to maintain your self-confidence.
It’s OK to take some time to release your disappointment or take a break from your routine. This may mean different things for different people. So find out how you need to be recharged. For some this will be exercise for others being out in nature form some learning something new. Staying fit and healthy should come naturally.
These are still things that you can do. Whatever it is that you choose to do it will have a positive psychological effect on you. In order to find out what it is that you need, try sitting down, closing your eyes and just thinking about what would feel good right now. Once you come up with it, then find a way to do it, everyday. Work it into your routine.
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5. Nurture Relationships
Even during social-distancing, you can deepen your relationships with people. Start a family book or movie club, play games, do a puzzle together, go hiking. For those that are afar, Facetime and video chat on a regular basis. Stay in touch with others via text and email or phone calls. Have meaningful conversations with others and even when we are past this, those relationships will remain strong.
6. Be Grateful
Be mindful that even experiencing stress and negative thoughts can bring positive consequences. Most people, after going through a difficult or traumatic experience, end up being psychologically stronger on the other end. More resilient with a new appreciation for life. Start a gratitude journal and find at least 5 things to be grateful for everyday, even if it’s the fact that the sun is shining.
Read More: The Power of Gratitude
In the spirit of staying resilient, today I am grateful for:
- My cozy bed
- Morning coffee
- Walks with my doggo
- The color blue
- Knowing I am loved
- The internet
- My newly cleaned closet
- A hot shower
- Board games
- Being able to order things on Amazon
- Staying in touch with co-workers online
- A yummy home cooked meal
And you, yes you, thank you for reading this! I appreciate you 🙂 We got this.