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Resilience in Continuing Lockdown

Alain de Botton is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’

Why could we consider Resilience in continuing lockdown?


● We can learn from challenges

● We can grow and develop - becoming even stronger

● We can overcome adversity and move on

What is Resilience about?

Resilience is about having an ability to ‘bounce’, be flexible, be responsive, be able to adapt and overcome adversity - responding to situations and circumstances in ways that assist you and those around you to move on. Resilience might be summarised as navigating life’s stresses and bouncing forwards … being an overcomer and getting over obstacles and hurdles.

No-one ever said that life would be a level playing field – and it is not. My guess is that you have experienced challenges, hurdles and obstacles in your life – and you are resilient. How do I know this? Well, you are reading this article – so you have survived and overcome challenges. Resilience is a strategy for survival – but not just at it’s most basic level. It is possible to continuously learn, grow and develop through adversity, taking on board tips for moving forward - what you have learned from your own experiences and from the experiences of others.

If a pill was invented to flatten the playing field of life, so that there were no highs and no lows – just a level field every day, all day, every year – would you take it?

There is a quality of ‘lessons learned’ as we journey through life. Getting over challenges and incorporating the new learning – continuously taking things forward to create the ongoing story of your life. Through all the ups and downs of life, being able to move on, wiser and more equipped for the best of times and the toughest of times.

Resilience in continuing lockdown is about ‘bringing the best of you to the toughest of times’.

Resilience questions to ask yourself in lockdown:

1. What current challenges am I facing now in lockdown?

2. What good bits am I noticing about my life in lockdown?

3. What will I emerge with after lockdown that I would like to keep?

Resilience - What it is:

● A skill that can be learned

● A skill that develops over time and experience

● Useful for moving forward

Resilience - What it is not:

● A personality trait

How can we develop more resilience if we need to?

Resilience might play out differently for different people. There are common elements of resilience, but each of us display our own individual ways of putting resilience into practise.

What are some core elements of Resilience?

Research* into resilience has identified six core aspects of resilience

vision and purpose, composure, reasoning, tenacity, collaboration and health.

Tips for building your resilience:

1. Vision and purpose

This is really important - identify the core things you want to achieve and your purpose for being resilient. This will help you to prioritise your actions, to stay focussed and maintain perspective.

- Brainstorm a few ideas about what you want to achieve in the next few weeks – family, work, projects, activities, volunteering…

2. Composure

This is about regulating your emotions and not just being driven by your feelings.

- Open your mind to new solutions and hidden opportunities – what else would you like to try?

3. Reasoning

This is about using your skills of thinking ahead, anticipating and planning. Taking situations in-hand and being pro-active.

- Anticipate what you could do about situations that might arise to minimise their negative impact on you. Then plan to enjoy each day.

4. Tenacity

Being persistent and not giving up. Being able to ‘stay with the problem’ for long enough to find varied solutions.

- Give yourself permission to be mentally tough, sticking to your plans AND kind and compassionate to yourself – if something didn’t work out today, it will tomorrow.

- Adopt ‘Design Thinking’** mindsets:

1. Be curious

2. Try stuff

3. Reframe things

3. Self-awareness and awareness of others

4. Collaboration

- Make up your own helpful mindsets that work for you or adopt some useful mindsets, such as ‘This too shall pass’.

5. Collaboration

Solutions to obstacles and adversity are often found by working with others. Resilience often involves taking action that involve you and others around you – in your household, your local area, your community and in the world.

- Involve yourself and others around you to find joint ways forward. Make sure you have the right social supports for you – using all platforms for social contact. A problem shared is a problem halved.

6. Health

This is the foundation for building resilience – it involves a holistic approach to how you are caring for yourself - mentally, physically and emotionally. A whole-body self-care regime.

- Eat light for energy

- Sleep – arrange to have 8 or 9 hours sleep – sleep deprivation causes symptoms the next day that are similar to excess alcohol-intake. Turn all devices off an hour before you need to go to bed - blue light from screens can keep you awake. Eat a banana before going to sleep! Try it!

- Stay hydrated – keep drinking water in your sight – you are more likely to drink it if you can see it. For a change – add cinnamon or turmeric to your water.

- Boost your immune system- exercise, get outdoors – even just sitting outdoors is good for your mood; get the right kit (cheap options on e-bay maybe?) to sit, walk, run or cycle outdoors and explore all the different weathers.

- How else could you practise self-care?

**In their book, Designing Your Life Bill Burnet and Dave Evans advocate 5 useful mindsets.

1. Be curious

2. Try stuff

3. Reframe things

3. Self-awareness and awareness of others

4. Collaboration

Benefits of Resilience:

In continuing lockdown, it is useful to further increase your resilience so that you experience some or all of these benefits:

● Fewer depressive or anxious symptoms

● Greater overall wellbeing

● Feel great about your achievements and strength

● Satisfaction from taking action

What if you could get resilient in continuing lockdown?

Here’s a thought for the day:

This latin phrase means 'Seize the Day'

Make the most of each day

What if you could live one day at a time, being fully present in the moment today…

And then fully present in the moment that will be tomorrow?

Read more:

* Resilience expert and researcher, Jurie Rossouw

6 key domains of resilience

** Designing your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, 2016

Don't delay - get even more resilient!

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