How To Face Adversity In The Face Of The Pandemic?

How to face adversity in the face of the pandemic

We are all exposed to the same situation of confinement, and we endure approximately the same stressors: fear of contagion of the disease, uncertainty regarding the next phases, limitation of freedom in our movements, combining teleworking with domestic tasks… and, If there are children, the work multiplies.

Likewise, there are people who have lost their jobs, and others are currently facing one of the hardest moments of their lives, losing a loved one during this period, without being able to accompany them or say goodbye.

Even though we are all suffering, more or less, from the same situation, There are people who “coexist” better with this time of adversity. and they have a greater capacity to adapt, which means they suffer less emotionally.

Other people find it more difficult to deal with the uncertainty of possible contagion, they have more negative thoughts related to not being able to go out, pessimism about having to adapt to another way of working or not seeing their loved ones. Thus, They will settle into obsessive thinking loops and reactively experience more intense negative emotions. and they will even somatize, developing important physical responses to these emotions (insomnia, headache, muscle contractures, knot in the stomach, chest pressure, desire to cry, decrease or increase in appetite, etc.).

And what depends on whether some of us handle it better and others worse? Well, our resilience.

The foundations of resilience: facing adversity

What, exactly, is resilience? In psychology, resilience is the ability to face a complicated situation and emerge stronger from it. That is, accept the situation, face it, learn something from it and “take away” something positive.

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Given the above, it seems advisable to maintain a resilient attitude in general, and at this moment in our lives, it seems essential. The problem, as we said, is that not all of us have this capacity.

Studies show that resilience is a capacity that comes “as standard” in some people, and comes naturally to them, due to the education received, the role models they have experienced in their childhood, etc. Instead, Other people have more difficulty facing adversity, showing more pessimism and frustrationgetting carried away by events, do not take responsibility for their self-care and emotional well-being, and settle into complaining, hoping that the problem will be solved by others.

The good news is that resilience is a “trainable” capacityand perhaps this is a good time (if not the best) to learn how to do it.

How to train resilience?

To be resilient, it is important to keep the following guidelines in mind.

1. Focus on the present

First of all, it is better to focus on the present. If we start thinking about the past, that is, about what we did before confinement (if I shook hands with someone, if I used public transport, etc.) or if we start to anticipate the future (and if I get infected , and what the economic crisis will be like)… the only thing we will achieve is to become more distressed, since we do not control either the past or the future.

The only thing we can do is focus on the present, paying special attention to the positive things. that is around us: something has gone well at work, I have shared a nice moment with my children, I have managed to resolve an argument with my partner well, today it is sunny and I can go out to the balcony or window for a bit, enjoy a good dinner, etc.

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2. Accept the limits of our control of the situation

It is also important accept that there are variables that we do not control, that do not depend on us. Resilience involves knowing how to identify what part of control we have and taking responsibility for it. For example, I control not watching the news at night, and that way I go to sleep more peacefully and don’t have nightmares, or I control putting safety measures into practice when I go shopping.

3. Enhance communication skills

Likewise, it is demonstrated that The most resilient people are those who have learned to communicate with others assertivelyexpressing what they think, but also sharing their most intimate emotions, to be able to vent with people they trust.

Knowing how to manage conflicts, both with the people we live with and with the people we communicate with online, is a good prognostic factor for being resilient, and coping with this situation with fewer open fronts.

4. Do not anchor yourself in pessimism and resentment

On the other hand, something that works in our favor to be resilient is not to settle into complaints. If we spend all day complaining about this situation, this being a single issue, the only thing we achieve is to increase our level of “emotional bad vibes”. That is, we provoke more negative emotions.

Letting off steam, as I said before, yes; settle into constant complaint, no. Venting relieves me, complaining increases emotional discomfort.

5. Modify our habits

And finally, to be more resilient and adapt better to everyday life, we must transform our habits. To do this we must promote our creativity. We have invented spaces where we can work at home, with the family, “snacks” with friends, each from home through a screen, new crafts for our children, games on social networks, etc.

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In short, by creating new ways of functioning on a daily basis, we will be adapting more quickly to this new way of living (however long it lasts) and we will be more resistant, more resilient.

Conclusion

Although this is a very complicated situation for everyone, being more resilient will allow us to better handle the difficulties that arise, manage our emotions, have more “emotional battery” and cope with this situation with more energy.