‘BOUNCING BACK’ IS WHAT WE’RE HEARING ABOUT THE ECONOMY, OUR HEALTH, OUR COMMUNITIES. TRUE – THAT’S OUR HOPE, BUT WITHIN EACH OF US IS THE CAPACITY TO DO SO MENTALLY.
During this imposed physical distancing with a majority of our workforce working remotely or, perhaps, not at all, there are times when we can doubt our own personal resilience.
Think about a month ago. We were living in a time when people felt lonelier and more disconnected than ever before. Then along comes COVID-19, challenging the world and, while physically distancing, brings us together. We can amplify the good by focusing on that connection. Connecting heart to heart. Connecting across boundaries. Connecting around the globe as one humanity trying to be healthier and more vibrant. Spreading caring — and showing that love is more contagious than any virus.
We also need to love ourselves. When we mix Fear with Uncertainty, the result is Anxiety. Whether diagnosable or not, we are all experiencing some level of Anxiety. The antidote is creating Resilience to reduce it.
HERE ARE SOME BASIC TIPS TO BUILD YOUR RESILIENCY AND REFRAME YOUR CURRENT SITUATION:
- IT WON’T LAST FOREVER. Remember your present situation is only temporary.
- KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET. When you can’t change circumstances, you must change your mindset. When we ‘catastrophize’ even the smallest things in our lives, we weaken our Resiliency.
- REACH OUT TO FRIENDS and FAMILY! Lean on supportive friends for assistance—especially positive, impactful people. Stay away from negative folks as much as possible—and that includes the media. Stop scrolling through social media; create news-free hours (yes, hours!) in your day.
- KEEP IN MIND TOUGH TIMES YOU’VE GOTTEN THROUGH BEFORE. Death of a parent? Divorce? A job loss? Remember times in your past when you’ve gotten through difficulties and that you’ll get through this, too! Use some of the skills from those times now. Put yourself in an “I can do it’ frame of mind.
PLAN A DOABLE PROJECT.
Planning is important. Is there a project around the house you’ve been putting off that you have the time for now? A project would give you something to look forward to now, and offer a sense of accomplishment later when the pandemic is over. “I built that raised garden bed I have always wanted!”
What makes you laugh? Don’t be afraid to binge watch some favorite TV shows (or movies) that really leave you laughing. Sometimes humor is the best medicine. There is even a podcast/website called, “The Humorous World of Depression” which gets us thinking about how to rebuild and reframe our thoughts (https:// www.hilariousworld.org/).
EMBRACE YOUR SPIRITUAL SIDE.
Regardless of your religion, denomination, etc., embracing faith and hope has gotten many a person through a rough patch in life. Talk to a counselor, pastor, and/or take advantage of this time to really look within. Our world is filled with so many self-help websites and books. Personally, I believe the science-based website/app called Headspace is a great gift to yourself (https:// www.headspace.com/). It is set up knowing you are sitting at your desk in a chair (or at your dining room table) and you gift yourself five minutes each workday to reset your Resilience. It costs nothing and, let’s face it, you need to take a break for lunch even if you are still working from home. This could be an element of your self-care you can take out of this pandemic and make it part of your daily life.
Be a better you! This pandemic has allowed us to find new strengths, to awaken skills we have used in the past and create a brighter you.
Bonnie Black is the director of Employee Assistance Services at Behavioral Health Services North (BHSN).