How to Maintain Resilience in Difficult Times
Dr. Rick’s March 2020 Newsletter
Just over a week ago life was pretty normal. Now, a short week later, our world is springing into action to response to the Corona Virus…
It’s scary how much things can change, and how quickly.
It is completely legitimate to be afraid in the face of uncertainty, news reports, and a world that seems to be devolving rapidly into chaos…
It’s perfectly normal to be concerned about our health and safety during the first major pandemic in recent history. With cases of the new Coronavirus racing across the globe and increasing rapidly in the United States with schools closing events being canceled, people going into enforced or self-quarantine, and people suddenly out of a job, it can be hard not to stress over what comes next.
But if your concern snowballs into excessive worry or panic that prevents you from carrying out daily functions or interferes with relationships at home, work or elsewhere, then your state of mind may be worth paying attention to.
Determination, resilience, and persistence enable all of us to push past our most challenging times.
Points to consider during challenging times:
✓ The difficult times in life help us appreciate when things are going smoothly.
✓ Look for learning opportunities in every adverse situation.
✓ Decide whether you will allow your experience to make or break you. Depending upon how you choose to perceive it, it could go either way.
✓ Be prepared to accept this challenge rather than resist it. When you have prepared yourself mentally for the worst, it rarely ever happens, and when does, it seems less so because you are better equipped to handle it.
✓ Cultivate faith, courage and resilience. Arming yourself with these qualities helps to decrease the impact of the adversity.
✓ Let’s remind ourselves that adversity is part of life. When you accept adversity, you overcome it.
Overcoming obstacles is one of our main challenges in life. When we resolve to confront and overcome it, we become more confident at dealing with it and consequently succeeding over our struggles.
We need to bring balance to the fear, as I heard one person say “the fear can be more dangerous than the virus.”
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after a difficulty or tragedy. Become more resilient and draw on that resilience when you are met with difficult times. Whether you like it or not, adversity is part of life. Overcoming adversity with resilience is one of the biggest hurdles we face. Problems, large and small, present themselves to us throughout our entire lives. Regardless of how sharp, clever, or easy going you are, you will encounter struggle, challenges, and difficulties.
A very important and invaluable inner resource is faith in the Lord’s help. Faith that everything will work out; faith that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and faith that “this too shall pass.” Everything in life has its place and purpose.
Pain makes us either a softer person or a harder person. But we are never the same. For instance, if you do not have enough built-up resilience or experience in dealing with difficulties, adversity can overcome you. On the other hand, if you do have resilience, it will make you stronger and wiser.
God’s Promise to Provide
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:31-32
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Quiz: How Emotionally Resilient Are You?
Emotional resilience is the ability to successfully cope with change or misfortune. Even when afraid, resilient people respond to life’s challenges with courage and emotional stamina. While we can’t always control what life brings, we can use adversity as an opportunity for growth.
Respond True or False to the following statements to discover how well you cope with life’s many challenges.
1. When bad things happen, I think “why me?” I feel fear and self-pity; I want to find someone to blame.
2. When I feel overwhelmed by negative emotions,, I overeat or drink too much alcohol, or do other things I know aren’t good for me.
3. I don’t trust I can handle adversity by myself, nor do I have supportive people I can truly count on in a crisis.
4. Even when my life seems stable, I worry that some kind of misfortune is around the corner. I also have a tendency to create catastrophes out of the little things that happen.
5. I find it hard to feel faith when bad things happen to good people. I feel despairing, hopeless and unable to move forward. I feel God has let me down.
1. I handle everything better when I take good care of myself. Exercising raises my endorphins; eating right and sleeping well gives me more physical, mental and emotional stamina; and setting aside time for play and positive connections makes me feel more joyful and optimistic.
2. I have faith in my ability to handle life’s challenges. At the same time, I know the importance of having loving, supportive people to help me face difficulties, both large and small.
3. Even when faced with misfortune, I look for the “silver lining.” I believe that ultimately there’s a positive opportunity from which I can learn and grow.
4. I have a strong sense of meaning and purpose in my life that helps me move forward despite any obstacles.
5. I’m very persistent. Even when I get knocked down, I trust myself to eventually get back up.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to learn some effective ways to develop more emotional resilience.
You can strengthen your resilience by becoming more emotionally self-aware, improving your mood with exercise, good diet, play and laughter, building self-reliance and a strong support network, and by developing perseverance, purpose and a more positive attitude.
Please call if you’d like support in exploring this further.