Resilience in the current crisis

Mar 27, 2020

In the current Covid 19 pandemic, instability and worry have become foremost in our thoughts. We are facing a situation unlike any we have encountered before, but how our mind adapts to the challenges ahead and how resilient we are, will determine the outcome for each of us.  

In times of crisis, our mind can become stuck and negative feelings of helplessness, and worry can be amplified. Negative thinking can take over, particularly if we are drawn into regular lengthy updates on news channels, showing each shocking bulletin as it unfolds. Once the mind becomes stuck, our perspective changes and it is harder to find a positive outcome or creative solutions. It also becomes more difficult to connect with others and this is so important to us as social beings.  

We can learn and develop resilience; it just takes a bit of practice. Lucy Hone, a resilience expert, advises three simple strategies to help boost our resilience:  
Accept the tough times – Unfortunately, we have all experienced the bad stuff. The key to moving past it is to accept it. We are all exposed to obstacles, but how we tackle them is what sets up apart. Life is a tapestry of good, bad, sad and happy events and the journey is different for all of us.
Focus the mind – the skill is to evaluate each situation closely and choose carefully and realistically. Ask yourself this key question – can I change this? Focus your attention only on things that you can change. Tune into the good e.g. the opportunity to work from home instead of needing to be in the office. Our minds tend to wander, but in times of crisis this is increases, so identifying the need to be selective and focus on one task can be helpful.
Question yourself – is this helping or harming me? By endlessly watching the news channels and feed on Twitter and social media, am I achieving anything worthwhile? Will the outcome change if I switch it off? These are difficult and challenging times so be kind to yourself and don’t overload the brain unnecessarily.   

In this time of social isolation when we cannot physically be with family and friends, we can still connect. Thankfully technology is available to most of us, so checking in with compassion to others who may be feeling anxious and worried is key to enhancing the wellbeing of our loved ones and our colleagues. Older people may be even more isolated so send a note or letter and be kind. Keeping these fragile connections going will be very important to us all. 

Hear Lorna Hone’s Ted talk >>>

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