Things are tough for many people at the moment. The uncertainty that has come with the virus spreading around the world has caused many people to wonder if they will be able to cope if things get very stressful and when everything seems to be going wrong. And sometimes things will go wrong, particularly given everything going on. It can all become very frightening, and many people are feeling this way at the moment. The thought that you won’t be able to cope is a powerful one, but not one that is impossible to shake off. This post will look at how you can cope with anything, and how you can build resilience and inner strength to deal with the tough times.
A Changing, and Stressful, World
The Coronavirus has rapidly changed the way we go about our days. The entire world has been affected by it and the responses to it. The uncertainty that has come with these changes have been stressful for many people. In the UK, many people are furloughed or at risk of losing their jobs altogether. Our key workers put themselves at risk daily to ensure the continuation of important services. Medical workers on the front line worry they might catch the virus or, perhaps worse, pass it on to a loved one at home.
We have all watched the news, perhaps more than we might usually, and seen the reports on what is happening to our world and the country we inhabit. Things are difficult for us all. And what is now happening only serves to compound what already happens in our everyday lives: the death of loved ones, car breakdowns, high bills, redundancy, and even disappointment at results from a test. Many things happen to us in life which can be difficult to deal with. The Coronavirus is another, and quite large, problem for us to deal with.
As individuals, it is important to learn how to deal with these issues and overcome them. We don’t want to feel constantly overwhelmed, and so we must learn to be resilient and to increase our inner strength. The knowledge that we have survived all of the difficulties life has thrown at us so far should be a reassurance to you, and one you can nurture from reassurance to a cornerstone of your strength.
The perpetuating loop of worry that can be caused by many of lives events can be slowed and stopped by realising that you can deal with the problem in front of you. Luckily for us all, resilience is something that can be developed and grown. It might not make you invincible to all of the problems in the world, and you will not hurt less when tragedy strikes. What it will do, however, is help you to adapt and overcome the circumstances you find yourself in, without losing yourself in the process.
Six Ways to Increase Inner Strength and Boost Resilience
Let’s take a look at six ways you can develop your resilience and increase your inner strength.
- Reclaim control of what you can – When dealing with any difficult situation, it is important to identify the things you can control and the things you cannot. Those aspects you cannot control can seem daunting and, perhaps, even scary. You can use up a lot of mental energy worrying about those aspects, leaving you even more frustrated and upset. Instead of this, try to work out the areas that you do have some control over, no matter how small they seem, and use your energy to exert influence over these areas instead. Take action here to reclaim some control over the situation.
- Emotions are not your enemy – Some people take the attitude that what you are feeling should be pushed aside to focus on the problem. This can make matters worse for yourself, as failure to recognise your feelings can leave you unprepared for the next difficult situation. You will not feel less distressed by pretending the situation isn’t scary or upsetting. Permit yourself to feel your emotions. Respect your emotions and they can offer a way forward. Make sure to show yourself the compassion that you would a friend in a similar situation.
- Leave your comfort zone – To help build your coping capabilities, step outside your comfort zone and try something new, exciting, and maybe a little scary. By doing something that might be difficult, unknown, or challenging, you’re building resilience. Show yourself what you are capable of by regularly stepping outside your comfort zone. Sometimes it might not work out and that’s life. But the experience of trying shows you that you can make the attempt, and it perhaps wasn’t as scary as you thought it might be. All of these attempts build a bank of experiences that demonstrate your ability and your inner strength.
- Build strong relationships – Your friends and family can be rocks to ground you in difficult times. Surround yourself with strong rocks so that when things go wrong, you have people around to support you. This support is worth the world in some situations and will remind you that you aren’t alone. Not all rocks are created equal, and some might be more feathery than rocky. I wrote about making sure you stay around positive people in my post on making sure you stay positive during troubling times. Just remember, you need to reciprocate that rockiness when your friends are in challenging places as well.
- Practice mindfulness – I have extolled the virtues of mindfulness many times. And in difficult situations, it can come in handy. Being able to properly focus and not be consumed by negative emotions is a powerful tool to have. Resilient people, even if they don’t realise it, have some measure of mindfulness. Start practicing mindfulness today and your resilience will benefit, as will so many other areas of your life.
- Take care of yourself – Perhaps the most important tip I can give to you is to make sure that you always take care of yourself. Self-care makes you mentally and emotionally strong, and able to cope better when hardships come your way. Make sure you get a solid sleep each day, eat well, and don’t worry so much about the things unsaid or that you didn’t do. Spend time outdoors and doing things that you love. Everyone is different, so just do whatever you enjoy, whether it be yoga or hitting the nightclub with your friends. Life can be difficult and it’s important to remember that you aren’t a machine. You are here to enjoy and experience life, so don’t forget to do that, even when things get tough.
Ensure You Reach Out
There is a myth that fully independent people are stronger people. That they can deal with any hardship. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Resilient people know that they should reach out for support from those around them. It is okay to be vulnerable and seek help from friends and family. This doesn’t make you weak, it makes you resilient.
Even with the current climate of social distancing, we can still reach out to others. Technology has brought us all closer together. Make use of it, and also remember to reach out to your friends occasionally to make sure they are still doing well.
Together, you can have the strength to go through any challenge and come out the other side even stronger. You’ll be in a great position to deal with the hardships that come your way.
I hope you’ve found this post informative and can use it to help build your resilience. Resilience counts for a lot in the difficult times we find ourselves in. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below and we can all learn from your experience!
If you are struggling with your mental health during this unprecedented time, please know that resources and help are available to you. Please visit the Mental Health Foundation for assistance.