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.
Brilliant piece as always. Sound and sensible advice that I am sure will help many people throughout all of this x
Love this! We also need to build resilience in our children, not just because of Covid-19, but for life in general. I’m not a fan of everyone always getting something for nothing (trophies for all). You won’t always win, and you need to be prepared to accept defeat gracefully. You don’t learn without making mistakes. Being resilient and able to pick yourself back up after a setback or change in plans is an important trait.
Thank you Tracy I firmly agree!
I really like your views on what it means to be resilient, it’s so true that even strong people can feel vulnerable at times, especially during a pandemic. It’s interesting to hear from other what they are missing most. I definitely need a haircut but I don’t feel sad that I can’t get a tattoo.
I got a bootleg haircut last night. I feel like a million bucks!
Another great piece Scott, delivered in a timely manner when people need to see this type of advice the most. I think that the scary part that is getting to most people is the huge scope of the unknown here. While this current situation makes us uncomfortable to varying degrees, we have to accept that most of this is out of our control. The thing we do have control of is how we consciously decide to respond and regulate ourselves – hopefully to ensure we come out of this stronger than we went into it. Your advice and tips here really are helpful to that end.
I hope we come out stronger as well!
Great tips, I especially like ‘ask for help’ and ‘take care of yourself’. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we need some assistance, but it is very important and as you mentioned, it can bring people together and create a sense of community.
We can always use some help!
In times of crisis watch out for the nutsos. They are yelling at the top of the lungs. 😀 Personally I try to have some empathy for those that are truly in need. I believe in asking for help when it is your last resort. Amazing post as always Scott. Preaching the good stuff.
Great tips to keep yourself together. For me identifying what I can control and what I no longer can helps a lot, I just let go of what I can not change and work extra on what I can. Attitude is what matters most.
My biggest issue I’ve faced is having to change plans. I’m totally flexible as long as everything goes the way I’ve planned it already. Remember those memes? Totally me. Having to change plans on the fly, or being ok with a Meltdown Monday, or just being patient with myself has been my challenge. Life hasn’t changed a lot for me. Nathan still goes to work, which has probably kept both of us still alive. We just don’t see many fiends along the way. But the good news is that businesses are starting to open up with restrictions today. Overall, I feel like I’ve done pretty well handling the whole thing. Can’t say I want to do it again in the near future, and I hope we don’t have to.
I’m not going to lie, I am definitely a little jealous of those who can still get a tattoo! lol I would LOVE some new ink to help get me through this all. That being said, you’re right – we can’t control the situation but we can control how we think about it and react to it. I usually live a pretty crazy, high-energy lifestyle and I’ve been using this as an opportunity to just slow down for a while. Spending evenings and weekends relaxing outside in our back yard with my husband and our dogs has been the best gift that this time has given us.
Great thoughts and so true. Like the suggestions to tackle difficult situations. Just to narrate an incident which happened day before night. We had a devastating cyclone which passed through parts of India and ravaged our city. When it was at it’s peak I heard someone saying there is a fire in our building. Everyone panicked and before I went down the stairs I maintaining my cool took all important documents, credit cards, property documents. Quickly put them in a bag and kept it handy. Luckily the fire as it turned out was not in our building but on a electric post just opposite. Resilience and keeping a cool head is so very important.