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.