Building Resilience: How to get through difficult times

Resilience is the ability to bounce back during difficult times. There is no doubting that lock-down during the Covid-19 crisis is a difficult time.

Many people are worried for their welfare and for that of their family and friends and many more are struggling with the social isolation, not being able to see loved ones, not being able to go to the gym, shops, restaurants, holidays – all the things that have come to be our de-stressors.

So how do we cope and stay resilient in these unprecedented times?

  1. You are not alone: Maintain contact with the outside world; FaceTime, call, message, Skype, set up WhatsApp groups to keep in touch with loved ones and do it regularly. For those feeling particularly low and vulnerable there are plenty of free services that can support you including www.samaritans.org and https://www.mind.org.uk.
  2. It’s not all doom and gloom: I know it is difficult to see anything other than Covid-19 everywhere on news, social media, radio, TV, so try and follow positive news stories. There are plenty of positive news apps, websites and links you can follow including the ‘goodnews_movement’ (Instagram) and https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ amongst others.
  3. Have a routine: Routine can help us cope with change and reduce stress. If you would normally be working in an office then create a space in your home where you set up your laptop/pc and work from there. Take regular breaks and get some fresh air if you can, such as a walk around the garden. Try to ‘turn up to work’ in the same way you would if you were going to an office or work location (tempting as it may be to stay in your pyjamas) and crucially, once the working day is over, switch off and do the things you would normally do after work (albeit in line with the new government guidelines). Separating out the two worlds is even more important when working from home both for mental well-being and stress reduction.
  4. This too will pass: It is good to try and put things into perspective, whilst this current phase may seem never ending and difficult to get through, it is important to remind yourself it is just a phase. It is a change to our normal routine, but things will change again. It if helps, practice Mindfulness – a simple form of meditation to help reduce stress and build resilience. Apps such as Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm and Mental Workout are great for this as well as websites such as https://www.mindful.org/ and https://www.headspace.com/

The quote by Charles Darwin “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change” is easier said than done I know, but it is important to remember that change is on-going and inevitable. Whilst not many would have predicted the situation we find ourselves in, it is those that learn to adapt to and manage change that are able to build resilience and move forward with a positive mind-set.

Jas Dhesi – Client Director, INTOO UK and Ireland