Resilience is a skill that will be key in the weeks to come. Whether homeschooling our children or dealing with the challenges of remote work, our ability to deal with obstacles will make a big difference in our everyday lives.
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress. It’s important to note that as much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these experiences, it can also involve deep personal growth.
In fact, challenging times offer learning opportunities, and over the next weeks our resilience will be put to the test. The following five strategies will help you as you develop this key life skill.
Stop Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts weaken you and wear you down. It’s perfectly acceptable, and even necessary to be realistic, but you must recognize when you get caught in a loop of negative thoughts. Stop negative thoughts in their tracks by realizing that dwelling on a difficulty doesn’t help you find a solution. When you are in the grip of negativity, focus on what you can do, or change your state of mind by taking a shower, going for a walk, or engaging in any other activity that has a calming effect on you.
Being at home doesn’t mean that you should stop having goals. On the contrary, setting goals is an effective way to avoid feeling stagnant. Any activity is an opportunity to set goals. If you read, try to read a little more every day. If you exercise, set a daily or weekly goal to maintain a sense of progression. Goals are useful to get out of your own head, just make sure they are reasonable and attainable.
While reflecting and planning is important, make a conscious effort to concentrate on the things you can do here and now. After all, that’s the extent of what you can control. If you focus too long on things out of your control, you run the risk of feeling helpless. If necessary, take up a hobby in order to avoid sitting around ruminating and weaving stories in your head.
Embrace a cautiously optimistic mindset. Optimism has more advantages than disadvantages as long as you balance it with a good dose of pragmatism. Whenever possible, expect the best and make sure you understand that while the source of your discomfort may be daunting, it’s only temporary. All this may appear easier said than done, but these strategies can have a dramatic positive impact on your state of mind.
Remember: You can’t always control external circumstances, but resiliency is a choice you can make consciously to lead a more balanced life.