I would define resilience by the ability to adapt and stay grounded in the face of change or difficulty.
In the wake of the COVID crisis, we have all had a shock to just how vulnerable we all are as spiritual creatures trapped inside a limited, decaying body. It has shown us all, just how important it is, to develop a way of thinking and a resilience to change so that we can live just a little more gracefully.
Change and crisis might be inevitable, but your mind and spirit are equally malleable and able to handle it. Here are some ways that we can be more resilient to change…
Accept What You Can’t Control
If you can’t do anything about it then why waste your energy on it?
It might sound so simple that it’s almost trivial, but, it is so easy to unintentionally get caught up thinking about and obsessing over things that are completely out of your control.
The COVID crisis, for example, is almost completely out of our control. We can watch the numbers and statistics all day but it won’t change anything.
To accept what we can’t control, we first need to know exactly what it is that we can’t control. This is called discernment. Once we have discerned what it is that we can’t control, we can slowly accept it and let it go by knowing that no matter how hard we try, the result will be the same. We can accept the fact, that to accept it, is the only productive way forward.
Embrace It and Control What You Can
Being resilient to change and crisis isn’t all about acceptance. As humans, we need to feel as if we are the captain of our little ship of life. And although there are things beyond our little ship that we can’t control, like the weather and the ocean, we can still manage what’s going on in our little, valiant vessel.
You might not be able to control the COVID situation or the way someone talked to you or even how you feel sometimes, but, you always have a choice in how you react and what you focus on.
If you wake up and feel anxious for no apparent reason, for example, often your mind won’t help you. You to start to worry about why you feel anxious and then you worry about worrying about why you feel anxious. Your little boat has been caught in a whirling storm of negative thoughts and it can be hard to steer out of it.
To steer out of it, you need to focus on what you can control in your boat and not on the storm. If you focus on the storm, you can drown in it.
To put this into perspective, I always make my bed in the morning and I try to do this no matter how I’m feeling. This simple act makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and gives me a boost of encouragement. Then, little-by-little, I can start tackling the things that are in my control and that I need to do in the day. It has a ripple effect.
- Make a daily schedule and stick to it. Make it simple and realistic.
- Do something when you wake up that makes you feel in control. Make your bed, clean your room.
- Do exercise and get your body moving. It will make you feel more energized and in control of your emotional state (which you are).
- Don’t watch too much news or consume too much media. These things are out of your control. Stay informed not consumed.
- Try not to check your phone in the morning, you can’t control that crazy little thing (I know it’s dangerously tempting).
Responsibility might sound like a strange thing to include in this list but I think it is a very important one.
Basically, I see taking responsibility as accepting the fact that you matter…a lot and because you matter, everything you do matters.
That means that it is seriously important that you look after yourself. Not just for your own sake but because it influences the people around you, the people that you love and care about.
It’s not noble to not to take care of yourself. The noble and ideal thing to do in a difficult situation where you have no control, is to lift yourself up so that you can lift others up. Strive towards that ideal. Use it as motivation.
It can take some time to steer your boat in the right direction and adjust its sails to the winds. So take it easy on yourself.
Even though it’s absolutely possible to be more resilient to change and possibly even help others around you, in times of crisis. We all stumble and have hard times and that’s okay. No one expects you to be perfectly fine in a difficult time.
The important thing to remember is that although the situation may be difficult, and although, there are many things you can’t control. There are always things that you can control and a way of thinking that can work with the changing tide not against it. So that perhaps, in times of crisis, we can all live with just a little more grace and resilience.
If you are having a difficult time due to COVID-19 here are a few more articles that may help you;
- How to Feel Less Lonely: 3 Step Guide
- Staying in Peru During COVID-19, What I’ve Learned
- What I Learned From Running 13 Hours Up A Volcano
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”― Elizabeth Edwards