As the spread of COVID-19 pandemic begins to slow down, individuals continue to have concerns regarding their health and safety. According to Sharp Health Plan, psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health issues, financial stressors and even the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Building resilience provides a sense of empowerment in difficult or uncertain times, and lets people know they are not helpless. Michelle Myking-Scheufler, a Sharp Health Plan therapist offers strategies for building resiliency and adapting to change.
Foster connections with others
- It is important to know you are not alone when you are experiencing difficulties. Talk with someone you trust about how you feel and what you are going through. Connect with compassionate and trustworthy people who care about you.
- Along with individual relationships, think about joining a support group such as a church group, meditation group, charity organization, civic organization or self-help group to cultivate new relationships.
Prioritize physical and mental wellness
- Take care of your body by fueling it with healthy food and balanced meals, good sleep hygiene, and regular exercise. This will help greatly when dealing with stress and mood.
- Develop a mindfulness routine by meditating, praying, journaling or practicing yoga. Mindfulness helps with an overall sense of well-being and centeredness.
- Examine your thoughts. By developing more realistic and heathier ways of thinking, we can help ourselves a great deal in stressful times. Increase your awareness of how you interpret events so you can challenge and alter counterproductive thoughts and develop a more adaptive thinking style.
Build resilience to help manage adversity
- While we cannot avoid adversity altogether, resiliency protects us when adversity arises, allowing us to bounce back knowing we will and can get through most things.
- Be clear on what you can and cannot control. Worry often centers on things that are outside of your control. Make a list of the things that are within your control and refer to that list when you are feeling worried.
- Most of life, including the pandemic, is outside our control. We only have control over ourselves. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.