In 2016, I wrote an article about the importance of resilience. And it’s even more important today. Although many of us are working from home, and we’re grateful to have that opportunity, the pandemic has made life and work more stressful and exhausting.

Being resilient can help to make this challenging situation a little better. Resilience is the ability to deal with change. It’s the ability to recover from setbacks or disappointments, and move on. It’s the ability to cope.

In the 2016 article, I offered a few suggestions on how you can become more resilient, including one recommendation (taking a walk with your coworkers) that isn’t possible for most of us right now. So I thought it might be a good idea to present an updated list. After searching online, I found a recent article by psychologist Jennifer Guttman that I thought provided some good suggestions. To become more resilient, she recommends you take the following steps:

  • Be honest about yourself – Try to identify your strengths and weaknesses. What types of things are easy for you? What things are hard? Once you’ve done that, you should try to build on your strengths. For example, if you’re good at solving problems, try to enhance that skill even more. Or if you’re great at helping others, start volunteering to develop that skill further. Accomplishing these goals and building on your strengths will make you feel confident. And those strengths will help you to be better prepared when dealing with tough situations.
  • Work on your coping skills – If you find it hard to cope when negative things happen, you should do what you can to strengthen your existing coping skills and adopt new ones. Do some research on various coping skills (like exercising and meditating), and try to put them into practice. If you have an arsenal of coping skills that you know will work for you, you’ll feel more strong, secure, and prepared.
  • Try to be optimistic – This is much easier said than done! But try to focus on the positive, if possible. Optimistic people tend to be much better at dealing with challenges and overcoming hardship.
  • Try to stay calm – Panicking or getting angry does not improve your situation. It only makes it harder for you to clearly assess the problem and start working on a solution. Take deep breaths, and remind yourself that things will get better. You just need to take it one step at a time.
  • Reach out to others – Call your friends and family. Talk to them about what you’ve been experiencing. Don’t try to put on a brave face. Be honest with them. Allow them to comfort you, and try to comfort them in return. Helping other people can make you feel better, and enhance your feelings of confidence and resilience.

Guttman, J. (2020, October 15). Resilience: How it can improve your mental health. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sustainable-life-satisfaction/202010/resilience-how-it-can-help-improve-your-mental-health

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