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Strengthen Mental Resilience During a Crisis

24 August 2020

Do you bounce back easily from life’s trials and tribulations, or do they throw you for a serious loop? If the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on you, you’re not alone.

Have you ever wondered why some people stay calm during a crisis or challenge while others tend to unravel? Resilience is the quality that allows you to ‘survive’ and gain strength from hardship, or as a result of a changing world; resilient individuals dig deep to rebuild and reshape their lives when faced with adversity, trauma, tragedy or even significant stress.

Why Is This Trait Important?

We’re all facing the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s easy to allow yourself to be consumed by negative feelings. And for those who feel they lack resilience, it’s not so easy to bounce back from life’s challenges. When dealing with problems, they may feel victimised and blame others. Some people feel overwhelmed, helpless and isolated, while others get angry and lash out at those around them.

Emotional pain and sadness are common, which is why it’s important to cultivate resilience by examining your behaviour, thoughts and actions. Furthermore, resilience helps you to:

  • Gain traits, such as flexibility, self-confidence, optimism and confidence in your ability to control your situation
  • Believe you have the power to overcome your current circumstances for the better
  • Discourage overthinking and prevent your thoughts from spiralling into a negative overdrive

How to Build Your Resilience

If you struggle with resilience, fortunately it’s a characteristic that can be developed in anyone.

Resilience is a changing, dynamic quality that can really be put to the test during particularly difficult situations such as the coronavirus pandemic. Keep the following in mind while you adjust to your new normal:

  • Replace a negative with a positive. If you find yourself obsessing over the negative news and information surrounding COVID-19, make an effort to stop those thoughts in their tracks. For example, distract yourself with a pleasant activity such as talking to your loved ones or counteract the bad news by reading positive news such as stories about survivors and recovery rates.
  • Find a good distraction. Read a new book, watch a show you enjoy or get some air in your backyard to take your mind off what’s currently happening.
  • Sustain your support network. Your loved ones can help you cope with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19. Feel close to them with video calls or group chats while you’re in isolation.
  • Practise meditation. Relaxing activities allow you to detach from the negative clutter that may sometimes fill your mind, and help you gain perspective of a situation.
  • Get moving. Exercise releases tension and floods your body with feel-good hormones. Work out for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Laugh more. Laughter can have a wonderful impact on your peace of mind. Watch a comedy or exchange funny stories with your friends or family.
  • Cosy up with your pet. Your furry friend could help relieve any feelings of tension. If you don’t have a pet, try watching nature documentaries.

This article is published courtesy of CareWays.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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