Resilience and staying motivated through winter

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Since the pandemic began, anxiety and uncertainty about the future has been high. Our old world (pre-pandemic) thrived on efficiency and normality. And so too does human nature; quite simply we love routines and predictability.

In our complex ‘new normal’ world, however, plans rarely go to plan and let’s face it, that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Trying to eliminate uncertainty over the coming months will be near on impossible, and as such, we will all need to make sure we adapt and adjust constantly. This is why building up our resilience stores will be so important.

Resilience will encourage us all to embrace change, rather than focus our energy on restraining it. It will allow us all to be more aware of situations, and our own emotional reactions. One thing we can all be sure of is that life (especially lockdown life) will be full of challenges. Resilience will help us to understand how to be open, flexible, and willing to adapt to change as required.

Here are some great ways to build greater resilience, so you can be ready for the challenges that life throws at you.

Search for a sense of purpose in your life. Finding a sense of purpose can play a huge role helping people get over difficult times. This might mean becoming involved in your community, cultivating your spirituality, or participating in activities that are meaningful to you. Joining groups online can be a great way to find like-minded people to come together during lockdown and help those who feel isolated to reconnect.

Set goals and move towards them. Try to develop some realistic small goals and then aim to work towards them. Feeling a sense of accomplishment is really important, hence why it is great to set smaller achievable goals and then work from there. Ask yourself, “What is the one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”. Then set to it. Small steps like this can really add up.

Have confidence in yourself. Having confidence in your own ability to cope with the stresses of life can play an important part in resilience. Likewise, being more confident in your own abilities, including your ability to respond to and deal with a difficult situation, is a great way to build resilience for the future too. Listen for negative comments in your head. When you hear them, practice immediately replacing them with positive ones. Or try saying “stop” straight after having a negative thought. How you talk to yourself can greatly affect how you think, feel and behave, and help to put things into perspective.

Know your strengths and use them. Resilient people tend to – not only to be aware of the strengths they have – but also use them wisely to build more resilience too. Think about what makes you different and draw upon it. It may be your personality, your work ethic, your commitment to a hobby or a sport. Whatever it is, acknowledge it, celebrate it and draw up on it when times are hard.

Find a hobby. Having a hobby can help to provide a structure to your week. Not only will it give you something to look forward to, it will also keep your mind active. Having a hobby can be anything from playing an instrument, drawing, knitting, baking or even practising mindfulness or meditation.

Stay connected. Even if you can’t see people for a catch up right now, try your best to stay connected and communicate with others as much as possible. It’s ever so important to have people you can confide in and who you can call upon if things are feeling overwhelming. While talking about a situation with a friend or loved one won’t make your troubles go away, it will allow you to share the load a little, get support, and also explore a range of possible solutions to your problems.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone on your journey. While you may not be able to control all of the circumstances around you, and sometimes it may all feel overwhelming, you can grow by focusing on what these challenges can teach us. Leverage the support of loved ones, trusted professionals and of course, your own positive mindset. You’ve got this!

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