11 Ways to Become More Resilient

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Living with the constant barrage of news about the growing pandemic is really stressful.

It’s impossible to ignore the news as it has changed so many aspects of our lives. Kids are home from school. Millions are now unemployed. Normal events like Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, which was supposed to be yesterday, aren’t happening. Grocery stores are bare. The economy is teetering. Friends or family are on the front lines at hospitals. Or have fallen ill.

It’s ok to admit that it’s a lot to take.

Resilience is what helps us recover from significant periods of stress, and as we are all in for a long haul of tough times, it seemed like a good time to see what experts recommend we can do to build our resilience.

Here’s how we build resilience:

🔹Recognize that no one is born resilient. It is a skill you can improve, and the only way to do that is to face challenges.

🔹Accept that your emotions are what they are. Learn to be more tolerant of having uncomfortable feelings. Negative feelings are normal.

🔹Recognize that while you may not be able to change a stressful situation in the short-term, you can always change how you respond to it.

🔹Find compassionate people who validate your feelings. It’s important to stay connected with people who care about you.

🔹Recognize that stress is not just emotional but takes a physical toll as well. Take care of your body. This could mean sleeping more, drinking more water and eating healthier foods, or getting more exercise.

🔹In times of crisis, we may have to improvise. Be flexible and get creative.

🔹We can’t talk ourselves out of negative thoughts. Instead, we need to take a “behavior break.” Decide now what you can do that occupies both your mind and body (take an exercise class via video; make a call to a friend; play a board game) the next time your brain gets caught in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts.

🔹Find ways to help others. It’ll give you a sense of purpose, build your self-worth, and build connections with other people.

🔹Relish in the small wins, whatever they may be. Take the time to note what they are, perhaps by writing them down. Then the next time you find yourself feeling that the challenges are too great, remind yourself that you’ve accomplished wins before. And you can do it again.

🔹It can help to imagine a future quite some time away from now. What do you think you’ll be doing 5 years from now? If this is difficult to do, look backwards at a challenging time and note that life has been better in the interim.

🔹Look for the silver linings. Build the ability to find positivity even amidst strong negative thoughts. Ask yourself, are you grateful for any part of the situation?

Take care, my friends. 

More reading

Building your resilience
Resilience 101: How to Be a More Resilient Person

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3 replies

  1. Thank you for this. I’ve been struggling for weeks. Buoying between feeling like I could handle things one day then the next I wonder how I, or any of us, can possibly make it through this. We’ve been dealing with extraordinary stress for years now. The whole country. Filled with anxiety, uncertainty, hopelessness & near panic because we see everything we believe we’ve fought for & accomplished being overturned. Liberty. Individual rights. The rule of law. And just when we feel all is hopeless & things can’t get any worse we’re hit with a new virus. A virus that rampantly runs across the world like a wild fire. Literally leaving thousands dead, thousands more with scarred lungs. And those to whom we look toward for leadership & guidance failing us. Worse, they purposely & selfishly undermined the very agencies put in charge of mitigating the disaster, directing the response & guiding us through to reach the end with as few casualties & as little damage to our society as possible. Agencies disbanded, experts fired, society left vulnerable & flailing. What gets me through? I realize America will survive. Nothing will be the same but we WILL survive. Society will come out the other end of this. What will the new world look like? I have no idea but there’s a glimmer of hope within me that sees a future where the previously complacent will rise & overtake those who had sought to tear us down. Does good always win over evil? No. In reality there is no evil. There is resilience, the will to survive & the desire to help those among us who are weaker than ourselves. And once we switch our focus from our own survival to helping others we become stronger. And stronger together ensures our survival.

    When I started writing this it was meant to be a short thank you but as I continued the words kept tumbling out & I uncovered the hope within myself previously buried. Apologies & feel free to delete this if you feel it’s inappropriate or overly wordy or anything else. Composing it was therapeutic for me.

    • On the contrary, I loved this reply. Having this site allows me to do the same thing and as you no doubt have seen over the last few years, sometimes I step away from the inner workings of government and politics to let my feelings out. It can be therapeutic and I encourage it. I’m glad it allowed you to see that you are holding on to hope. Remember that, nurture that, as we’ll need to hold fast to that in the months to come. Thanks so much for reading this post, and for sharing your thoughts with me!

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