As we intake copious amounts of information on COVID – 19 every day, how do we get better at dealing with it and arising more stronger from this unprecedented situation? My answer is true resilience.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back stronger than before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.

For any person to be truly resilient in the face of any adversity, they need to have the following 3 Key Qualities.

Qualities For True Resilience

1. Accepting the Situation with a reality check.

As COVID 19 stares you in the face, what do you think? Will you survive it or not? Because it is definitely our reality. In difficult situation, optimism helps. But seeing the world from rose colored lenses could also distort your perspective and you may be slipping into denial.

On the other hand, a sober more down to earth view of the situation is most beneficial. It helps you face reality and prepare for it. Because facing reality is grueling work. It can be very emotionally wrenching. But once you see things what they really are – you can start devising a viable plan to combat it.

The fact is, when we truly stare down at reality, we prepare ourselves to act in ways that allow us to endure and survive extraordinary hardship. We train ourselves how to survive before the fact.

How Resilience Works by Diane L. Coutu

So with all the vast amounts of information we have floating around us, make informed decisions. Identify the magnitude of the problem, accept if any changes need to be made, devise a viable plan, and act on it. We are all dealing with this unusual situation in our own way. Identify your approach – Too Optimistic, too Pessimistic, or Realistic?

2. Having a belief or value system which gives meaning to your life.

In his PERMA model of well being, Dr. Martin Seligman describes ‘Meaning’ as an essential aspect. Finding meaning in your life makes life worth living. Have you considered what gives your life meaning? A sense of purpose and fulfillment? And if you do, then that’s what you will need as an affirmation in tough times.

In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor E Frankl, an Austrian Auschwitz survivor, and Austrian psychiatrist put “we must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed.”

Frankl founded ‘meaning therapy’ while in Auschwitz. He narrates on how realised he needed a purpose to get through this horrific time and did so by imagining himself giving a lecture after the war on the psychology of the concentration camp, to help outsiders what he had been through. Although he wasn’t sure if he would survive, Frankl created some concrete goals for himself which helped him rise above the sufferings of the moment.

Thus now is a great time to either find, identify, or define your purpose in life. Along with it think deeply about your value systems and beliefs too. If you already have a strong one developed, rely on it to redefine your mindset of the current situation.

Use these deeply ingrained values to shape your interpretations and decide a future course of action and how you see yourself pulling through this tough time. It could be deep faith in a higher power, belief in goodness, and humanity or realizing the potential of this unprecedented situation and becoming a lockdown success story. So what is your narrative of COVID-19?

3. Improvising the situation with the resources at hand.

The third element of resilience is the ability to make do with whatever is at hand. To improvise. To bounce back. In other words, a skill called bricolage.

Bricolage literally means bouncing back. In the modern sense, bricolage is the kind of inventiveness, creativity, or out of the box thinking to improvise on the solution of a problem without the proper tools or materials. It is where the proverb comes true – ‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’.

Bulb with wings

More often than not, a truly inspiring story of overcoming obstacles is filled with ingenuity and out of the box thinking. True heroes use an amalgamation of their knowledge, skill, and experience to bring up enterprising solutions to substantial impediments.

To conclude, once you have accepted the current situation for what it is and your beliefs and values are guiding you, the final step is to take action which seizes any opportunities and uses the situation to your advantage with whatever resources are at hand.

Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can

Arthur Ashe

A complementing quality is also to be grateful. To know more about this read the article – COVID 19: Habits for Happiness.

Finding gratitude and appreciation is the key to resilience. People who take the time to list things they are grateful for are happier and healthier.

Hoping for you a stronger and happier tomorrow!

Prachi Bansal

Hi, I am Prachi Bansal. This blog is an endeavor to increase emotional intelligence and facilitate collaboration and communication amongst parents and children, friends, family, and co-workers. Thanks for stopping by:)

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