Let’s face it. The last couple of years have been hard. Really hard. And just when things were looking up for 2022, Omicron (a highly transmissible variant of COVID-19), arrived on the scene.
It’s only been a few weeks since officials in South Africa identified the variant but since then there has been a surge in coronavirus cases linked to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Life with COVID-19 has become unpredictable and many of us have had to learn to adapt in ways we never imagined.
Becoming resilient is a lot like that.
Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” (or recover) from difficult life events. Struggling is a natural part of living. What matters is how we react to struggle. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through the hard times, but it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.
Want to become resilient? Here are six strategies to help you.
1. Build community. Having a support system in place builds resilience by providing structure and encouragement. Talking things out with caring and supportive individuals during times of crisis can improve your immune system, provide you with much-needed perspective, and even help you find a solution to a problem.
2. Strengthen your relationship with yourself. It’s hard to be resilient if you’re engaging in negative self-talk or beating yourself up. Instead, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. When negative thoughts pop-up in your head, immediately replace them with positive ones, such as, “I’m a good person,” “Everybody makes mistakes,” and “I’m worthy.”
3. Embrace change. Being flexible is an essential part of becoming resilient. The more adaptable you are, the better equipped you’ll be to respond to life’s hardships. Accept that some things are out of your control and let it go. Developing flexibility is key to long-lasting happiness.
4. Find a sense of purpose. After a crisis or tragedy, it can be difficult to move on. But finding a sense of purpose can play a crucial role in building resilience over time. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter or food pantry. Connect or reconnect with your spirituality. Participate in activities that are meaningful to you.
5. Nurture physical wellness. Practicing self-care helps build resilience because stress is just as much physical as it is emotional. Eating properly, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can strengthen your body to face life’s challenges.
6. Regulate your emotions. Developing this skill will lead to more resilience by allowing you to feel your emotions without letting them control your behavior. One way to regulate your emotions is taking a breath and pausing between trigger and response. Validating your emotions is another. Rather than beating yourself up for feeling angry or scared, recognize that your emotional reactions are valid.
Learning to build resilience can be difficult. If you find yourself needing help, please reach out to Turning Point Mental Health Center to make an appointment with a therapist.