Raise Your Resilience: Standing Strong through COVID-19

If you’re experiencing a difficult time with COVID-19, you’re not alone. Many people, including myself, are struggling with managing anxiety, stress, and isolation. Additionally, this time period can feel traumatic, especially if you’ve been touched at all by the pandemic. From financial worries to racial injustice, COVID-19 unearthed many uncomfortable aspects of modern day life. The situation also continues to change daily: 10.9 million global cases, 521,000 deaths. But as Psychology Today describes, resilience is going to be crucial to surviving this time period.

Resilience: The Basics

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is defined 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 problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

The organization also notes that resilience doesn’t mean that you’ll always be positive and upbeat. Even if you are a resilient person, you will still experience trauma, stress, and difficult circumstances throughout your life. However, being resilient means creating a framework through which you effectively and healthily deal with what life throws at you.

Since resilience is considered an element of personality, you can strengthen yours even if you feel like you don’t have a lot right now. This will help you build confidence, improve your physical and mental health, and reduce depression and anxiety.

The tips below come from Raise Your Resilience (RYR), a program made of 3 90-minute sessions. When tested with those living in senior housing communities, RYR helped seniors reduce stress and improve gratitude.

Tips to Remain Strong

First, create SMART goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based, that is! Setting short-term goals for yourself to achieve within a specific period of time will help you focus and work towards something. By creating and achieving these goals, you build your self-awareness during this time, but also improve your mental health. For example, if one of your goals is better communication, you can reach out to friends or read books on communication skills. If your goal is physical strength, you can start a gym regimen (at home) or begin training for a marathon.
Next, create healthy relaxation techniques. As tempting as it is to drink more wine tonight, find ways to relax your body and mind to reduce stress. This can include meditation, watching TV, running a bubble bath, listening to music, or playing a video game. The key is that it helps you disengage from daily stressors and instead focus on meaningful comfort.
Third, find purpose and incorporate meaningful, purposeful activities into your daily life. If getting involved in politics brings you purpose, start participating in online advocacy. If you enjoy service, see if there are any organizations offering experiences to help those in need. Whatever you see as your purpose, try and find ways in which you can engage in more activities each day.
Finally, stay positive. Clearly, this is easier said than done. However, there is something positive in each and every day. Make a journal and write a note of the best thing to happen that day, even if it is just, “Woke up today.” Enjoying your accomplishments, your life, your friends, or even your favorite TV show will bring more positivity into your life. Ultimately, this will help balance your mood when negative things occur too.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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