As England prepares itself to go into another lockdown you could be forgiven for feeling distressed with the way things are going.
It is ok to experience these feelings. In fact, it is totally normal and you are definitely not alone. In fact, in a recent study from The Mental Health Foundation 36% of the UK have admitted that they are struggling with the stress of the pandemic.
However, when these feeling persist or threaten to overwhelm you, they can become a problem.
That is where emotional resilience comes in. But what is it? The Oxford dictionary defines it as:
“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”
Notice it doesn’t say that you don’t experience negative feelings such as: fear, anxiety, sadness, anger etc. These are all normal, healthy responses to stress.
It is our resilience, our ability to “bounce back”, that is what keeps us strong and able to manage challenging situations.
So the big question is:
How do you build resilience in a lockdown?
Here we will look at 5 simple ways you can start to build your resilience during lockdown.
1. Change Perspective
You can’t change what is going on in the world, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking for the good news (it is out there I promise!) such as people helping others; happy nature stories; whatever brings you joy. Note any changes in your feelings when you do this (this is important. We often notice when we start to feel bad but rarely note when we start to feel better)
2. Accept that change is a part of living
You may not be able to do everything you used to do or want to do at the moment but remember this is temporary. At some point things will get easier. In the meantime, learn to accept what cannot be changed and focus on the things that you can change such as how you respond.
3. Make/Maintain strong connections
Although we might not be able to see our friends and family our connections to them have never been more important. Video calls are a brilliant way to stay in touch. If this is not possible then try old school voice calls or how about writing a letter? Everyone loves to receive them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Or, if you are ok, help others. Volunteering at local support networks can help those who feel isolated and the act of helping others can also benefit the helper.
4. Move towards your goals
Just because we are in lockdown doesn’t mean we need to stand still. Try to see this as an opportunity to develop some realistic goals or new skills i.e. couch-2-5k, creative hobbies or learning a new language. Work on them regularly. Break the steps down into small daily tasks. Taking small steps every day will give you an enormous sense of achievement, and you will be reaching your goals before you know it.
5. Nurture a positive view of yourself
A lack of confidence in our abilities really effects our resilience. If you think this applies to you, try positive affirmations in the mirror every morning. You will probably feel silly! (don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself), but keep doing it. You have many wonderful qualities, and it is so important you start acknowledging them.
Also reward your achievements. A bit of self-praise for the things you are doing is important. At the beginning of the day/week identify little treats that you will award yourself when you have acheived your daily goals or cleared things off your ‘to do’ list.
These are just a few possible ways to help yourself get through this lockdown. People use a wide range of coping strategies like going for a walk, spending time in green spaces, yoga, meditation, tapping and art. If you would like to find out more and join a community of people working to improve their resilience, why not sign up to our newsletter?
How do you feel about this latest lockdown? Do you have any more tips for building resilience and coping with the stress of this pandemic? Please get in in touch. We are always looking for new ideas and connections from around the world!
By working together, we can all stay safe and well.