How to stay resilient during these tough times
Or in other words let’s talk about keeping it together when the “ish” hits the fan.
As South Africans I think we are already quite a resilient nation. I mean we always seem to have just that little bit extra to deal with.
Not only do we need to cope with Covid-19 but we have load shedding as well. Don’t you just want to reach for a glass of wine each time you see a notification about Eskom?
We seem to be in a constant state of managing some type of crisis.
Whether it’s political or personal.
Sometimes it feels like our lives are spinning out of control.
It can be so hard to settle that dizzy feeling you get during tough times.You want to get things done and to move forward, but you can’t. You feel unsteady, not being able to do anything physically or emotionally. Sometimes both.
Experiencing tough times is not only frustrating, there are days where you may feel like you’ve actually lost a piece of the person you used to be, like you just can’t catch a break. If it’s not one thing going wrong, it’s another.
Usually when it comes to a setback you have two options: you can give up or you can push through.
What will you decide to do?
It’s in the tough moments that your emotions tend to get the best of you.
Mastering your emotions is about being mindful and it’s realizing that certain emotions are often misplaced.
You have to dig a little deeper and ask yourself: “what is it that I’m really feeling?”
The moment you learn to properly recognize those misplaced emotions, you gain clarity and become more aware. You also begin to build your resilience.
How to master your emotions
One of the easiest ways to master and identify your emotions is by journaling. You don’t have to write a masterpiece, you don’t even know how to write properly, all you need to do is “brain dump”.
And it means just that; dump it all out. Every single thought that is in your mind in the present moment, put on paper. Journaling is a great tool that can help you have open communication with yourself. And it also prevents you from taking your frustration out on those closest to you.
When things don’t go according to plan
It’s easy to start feeling anxious about the future. However, the future is something we can’t control. This is why it’s so important to stay in the present moment.
Easier said than done.
Yes, I know.
How do we stay in the present moment?
The simplest approach is to take it one breath at a time. Focus solely on your breath. Take a deep breath in, hold, and a deep breath out. Clear your mind and then ask yourself, “how/what am I doing right now, right at this moment?”
If you still feel like you’re scattered all over the place try this technique: acknowledge 5 things you see around you, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
This will help you stay calm and grounded in the present moment.
Take a break
When things get really hectic and you start feeling like you’re going to lose control over everything, take a day off.
Turn off your phone, put the laptop away and focus on taking care of yourself. Some of the things you could do are connect with a friend, cook a delicious meal or read a good book.
It’s not about feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes all you need is a short break in order to see things from a different perspective.
If you can’t find time for yourself, schedule it in.
When you feel like you can’t hold on any longer, pause and remember that rest doesn’t equal failure.
You’re not giving up, you’re just slowing down for a bit.
If you have to hide in a quiet spot for an hour to escape the noise, so be it.
It’s good to remember that it’s okay to not be okay.
Keep up with your routine.
This is both one of the most important and hardest things to do when you go through tough times.
It’s important because it’s one of the few things you can control when something unexpected happens to you, yet it’s difficult because your focus is naturally on other things.
Keep it simple.
Make your bed in the morning, go for a quick walk and get some fresh air. Meditate for 5 minutes, write down things you are grateful for and practice self-compassion.
In other words be kind and gentle with yourself. Adjust your routine if you have to but strive to keep it going.
Forget about defense and get in to offensive mode
This is no time to be sitting and worrying about what’s going to happen next. Get your pen and paper out and make a plan.
Whatever it is you might be going through, whether it be related to your finances, your job, your family or your health, you need to create a plan on how to tackle the problem.
The key is to take small steps.
Make a plan that will not only help you get through the day but one that will help you find a solution for the long run.
Keep in mind that you cannot solve your problems with the same mindset that created them.
You have to do things differently.
Flip your thinking, run it by a friend and get a different viewpoint.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to resilience is the big picture. Will you let the things you are going through right now stop you from getting you where you want to be?
As we learn to live with Covid-19 and deal with the long term financial and emotional stresses, it’s our resilience that will help see us through. It’s what will propel us during these tough times to pick ourselves up, time and time again.
It’s not easy but as always, I’m here, rooting for you.
If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment and if you have a friend who may need to hear this, please share with them.
Lisa is a storyteller, educator, advertiser, travel guru and your wellbeing bestie.