Being resilient is being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, similar to the situation the world is now with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in lockdown with no sense of how this is all going to end. Will this virus disappear, mutate, or come back in the fall? Will we have a vaccine that works for everyone or will we all develop enough immunity that it won’t matter. There are so many unanswered questions as we all sit and wait while the economy around us crumbles and people continue to file for unemployment, small business loans, and mortgage relief.
Being a resilient person doesn’t mean that you don’t have your share of struggles. Resilient people still make mistakes and look for help when they need it. A resilient person keeps moving forward regardless of what is happening around them or the obstacles placed in their path.
Struggles are different for everyone. What one person considers a struggle might be a common day issue for someone else. Today living in this pandemic your struggles may be considerably different from your neighbors. For you having to juggle homeschooling and your job may be too much. Your neighbor may be a healthcare worker or other essential employee that is in harm’s way every minute they are out of the house. Two different struggles but equally as important to each person.
Whatever struggle you are facing being resilient will help you to gain control. Here are some strategies you can use to be resilient in times of crisis.
Check your situation and change your thinking
Do you always see the negative in a situation or do you look to the positive? Resilient people will always find a way to see the positive side of any situation while being honest with what is happening around them.
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been “stuck” inside for months only able to leave for necessities like food, prescriptions, or if you live in Georgia a haircut and tattoo. Some have found this to be the worst possible experience of their lives and are vocal about it constantly.
Resilient people look to the positives that have come out of this crisis. Many families are getting an opportunity to spend time together and enjoy the simple things like a family dinner or game/movie night. At our house, we’ve managed to watch every possible horror movie related to The Conjuring or Annabelle because our youngest is a big fan and it’s a way to bond and spend time with her. If you like these types of movies I highly recommend all of them.
We see resilient healthcare workers get up every day to go back to the front lines to save lives regardless of how they feel. You decide on how you handle the challenges you face in life. Resilient people show perseverance and continue regardless of the obstacles placed in front of them.
Identify what is out of your control
To be resilient you need to determine what is in your control and what isn’t. You can only worry and focus your attention on how to make your current situation better. You can not focus on what is out of your control because, well it’s out of your control.
Optimistic thinkers will always find ways to make their current situation better where pessimistic thinkers are more likely to bury their heads and take the “woe is me mentality”. Resilient optimists know the control they have and use it accordingly.
When you notice yourself getting stuck don’t focus on what you don’t have control over, focus on what you do!
Ask for help and support
Everybody needs help at times in life. Even the best professional athletes who are at the top of their game look to their coach for guidance, support, and help. No one person can do it all alone and you aren’t expected to do so. There are no special awards for being a resilient person able to achieve things on your own. Personal strength is important but those who seek help achieve more in life and adapt better to change.
Tough times cause people to band together. The COVID-19 pandemic and 9-11 tragedy are perfect examples. If the current pandemic has taught us anything it’s that together we can accomplish many things. Auto manufacturers converted their facilities to build ventilators. Engineers built hospitals in the most unlikely places (the middle of Central Park in NYC) in a matter of days. Essential workers became superheroes for doing their job and together as a town, state, country, and world we came together with one common cause, to flatten the curve.
In my home state, we asked for help. With the highest infection rates in the entire country, we were anticipating a need for ventilators and many other states stepped up and helped. Knowing you’re not alone and being able to ask for help builds trust and strengthens bonds when you need it most in times of crisis.
Face the fear and the challenge and don’t stop
Fear of failure is hard for most people to face. Most would rather let an opportunity slip by instead of challenging themselves. Resilient people think differently and use fear to drive and challenge them to be better. When you learn from your successes and failures you are bettering yourself.
Challenging yourself builds confidence. Don’t purposely try to make your life more difficult than it has to be but challenge yourself regularly. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Take care of yourself
If you want to be a more resilient person you need to first take care of yourself. This includes regular sleep and learning how to relax. You need to take a break now and then. Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Spend time doing what you enjoy but don’t use this time as an avoidance technique.
How well you deal with the pressures surrounding you and the difficulties life throws your way is what it means to show resilience. Be positive and learn how to handle stress in your life and you will be on the road to becoming more resilient.
Do you consider yourself a resilient person? Comment below.