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Being resilient during a pandemic is needed for survival. If you break down and panic, you won’t be able to think clearly and you won’t be able to think of ways to keep you and your family safe.
An individual who is resilient can cope during a crisis. Resiliency is developed through behavior, attitude, thought patterns and actions.
It’s perfectly normal to be afraid. Pandemics are frightening, after all. However, there are steps you can take to help you prepare and cope to weather the storm.
Face your fears
You will fear less if you fight the battle with your eyes open. This means that you should know the facts-know what you’re facing.
1. Gain knowledge by finding out everything you need to know about the pandemic.
Where did it start? How did it start? How is it transmitted? What are the symptoms? What do you need to do to protect yourself from it?
2. Stay updated about the status in your area.
Where’s the hot spot of the virus? How many cases are there? How many persons are being tested or monitored? How many have recovered and how many didn’t survive?
3. Follow the guidelines and don’t go out during a lockdown. Furthermore:
- Boost your immune system
- Practice hand-washing several times a day and avoid touching your face
- Stock up on essentials (non-perishable foods, medicine, water, medication, diapers)
Being resilient by thinking ahead
This is the scary part: you should anticipate what could happen and be prepared.
Think of these scenarios:
- What if you get sick or one of your family members gets sick?
- Is there a spare room you can use for isolation?
- Do you have masks, gloves, or goggles to protect yourself when you care for a sick family member?
- What’s the nearest hospital from your place?
- Do you have enough medicine?
Have a preparedness checklist for your family members to follow.
Being resilient means checking your mental health
Before you care for others, go check on yourself first. It is normal to feel anxiety during a pandemic, but what is “normal”?
- Observe if you’re having difficulty sleeping and concentrating
- Notice heart palpitations or difficulty in breathing
- Reframe your thoughts into positive: think that you can get through this by staying informed, healthy, and prepared
- Focus on the things that you can control and boost your confidence-you can do this!
- Practice mindfulness: scientifically, this lessens stress and anxiety and trains your mind to focus on the here and now instead of “catastrophizing”
- See the world for what it is but believe in your capabilities
- Do something you enjoy. You could read books, paint, dance, sing, exercise. Anything that is fun and healthy.
Here are more tips in building resilience
- Sisterhood builds resilience
- No matter how terrifying the situation is, always have an optimistic outlook
Build your sisterhood tribe and practice gratitude. It will help you focus on the things you should be grateful for instead of the things that worry you and what you cannot control.
Think of this pandemic as a season that will pass.
- Stay calm and poised.
Your family gets strength from you. If you feel anxious, so will they.
- Stick to your plans and move towards your goal, one step at a time.
Planning could mean keeping your mind busy to be less anxious or stocking up on supplies to make sure you don’t have to go out.
- As mentioned above, control your emotions by doing mindfulness exercises.
Make sure you are mentally and emotionally prepared to face any situation. This keeps the stress at bay, as well.
- Look back.
Recall a time when you were able to survive a difficult situation. Harness strength and confidence from that experience.
- Exercise and eat healthy food.
Not only do you need to be mentally and emotionally prepared, but you also have to be physically fit. Daily exercise will boost your immune system. By being active, you’ll be more prepared to face situations that require you to be resilient.
- Ask for help when you need it.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is rather a sign of courage.
If your anxiety is getting hard to handle, it is preventing you from being efficient in your job and from protecting yourself and your family. You can seek help from a professional such as calling Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.