Covid-19 pandemic as a wake-up call for bolstering psychological resilience

Rijeka, Croatia 2020.
reporting Dora Darabos, MSc Student of Psychology

The current pandemic of Covid-19 is definitely facing us with many challenges in various areas of life, such as economy and health which accounts for both mental and physical health. Mental health goes hand in hand with physical health, so no wonder that besides our medical immunity the current situation asks for the psychological immunity as well. The psychological immunity, also called the psychological resilience, is the ability to positively adapt and bounce back, rather than break, in the face of the adversity. What does it mean to positively adapt to the given unfortunate circumstances? Positive adaptation refers to keeping the adequate level of internal well-being, while maintaining relatively stable, healthy levels of social and developmental functioning. Although it sounds challenging, it is veritably possible as proven by multiple studies.

What is crucial to know is that resilience is not something that is ingrained in our personality, but it is a capacity that we can nurture and develop throughout our lives. When we are young, our resilience is affected by different factors such as the attachment to our caregivers and their mental health, while later on it is affected by individual attributes such as problem solving skills, sense of life as meaningful, hope, mastery motivation etc.

In these times of trouble it is important to remember our resources within ourselves and our families and community that could help us in prevention and overcoming the main potential psychological problems – anxiety and depression. In other words, this is the right time to work on our resilience in order to cope with this crisis in the most salutary way.

What can you do to address and promote your resilience?

  • Identify your personal strengths and write them down. This helps you elevate your self-esteem and strengthen your belief in your own abilities to deal with this situation.
  • Use humour. Humour is proven to serve as a stress buffer.
  • Bring your attention to the positive aspects of this situation. Some may jokingly say, You get to work on your resilience for starters. On a more serious note, now you have more time to further explore your interests by taking upon free online courses or simply to enjoy that long relaxing bath you have been longing for.
  • Openly communicate with your family and friends about your feelings. Distress in this type of crisis is normal and expected. Try to support each other and repair potential existing conflict.
  • Use mindfulness techniques such as meditation which can help with grounding. You can look the instructions for the techniques online or on plenty of apps available in app stores.
  • Get in contact with your therapist or schedule an appointment if you are new to the therapy. Psychotherapy is a great way to talk out your feelings and problems with a certified mental health care professional who could provide you not only with the relive of the acquired emotional distress, but also with knowledge and skills such as active coping in order to successfully combat life’s adversities.

Those are just a few of many ways to promote your resilience. Do not hesitate to try some of them and remember: “A good half of the art of living is resilience.” – Alain de Botton.

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