In this time of change, it’s important to have Hope and draw on our Resilience (our strength).
If you have been stressed at times during these coronavirus days, this is totally normal. This is an unusual and very difficult time, with our regular life challenges potentially increased by the coronavirus impacts. The world and how we live has changed dramatically, and we have to deal with health risks, physical isolation and restrictions on our usual lives. Almost everything we have been accustomed to has changed. Many things have been impacted – schools, sports groups, restaurants and cinemas.
The good news is that we have some control in how we react & cope and we can decrease our stress. We can build our hope and resilience, and use the strength and coping strategies we have likely used in the past. Resilience is what helps us cope with hard times, and we can build this to make ourselves even stronger than we might think we are. It’s important to find ways to build our Hope and Resilience. Here are some ways to do this:
FOCUS ON TODAY
Start by taking things one moment at a time. You can do this. Be in the present and focus on your day, one moment at a time. There is a big buzz about mindfulness and meditation at the moment, and that’s really what those strategies do, bring your mind in the present. Here are some tips on How to Meditate and some apps you can check out.
TALK TO OTHERS
Remember, you are not alone. There are others out there experiencing this coronavirus challenge, some experiencing it more than others. There are lots of people ready to support you, whether it’s a family member or friend or professional counselling service. Here is a link to free phone support lines for various concerns you may have.
MANAGE MEDIA EXPOSURE
Choose your media, so you can maintain a more positive mindset. Although it may be sometimes gloomy on social media or TV, scientists, medical professionals & governments all over the world are working hard to find a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Check out those stories instead.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
You may not be able to control the global impacts of the virus, but you can control your own self and own actions. Your actions at this time can make a huge difference to yourself & others around you. You can actually keep yourself and those around you safe with your health precautions. You can also choose to be kind to yourself and others.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Whether it’s the garden, the park, beach or bush, or looking at nature pictures. Nature is healing and can give us positive feelings & motivate us.
FIND SOMETHING POSITIVE
In every day. It can be the sunrise or a winter flower. Keep it simple! Focus on whatever you can find to give you a feeling of relief and have an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. You may want to write a gratitude list! Just like the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’ regarding food and physical health, so it is with your thoughts when it comes to mental health. Feed your mind healthy positive food. One of our staff messages with her sibling one thing they are grateful for each day. Another person I know shares nature photos with their colleagues.
PRACTICE HOPE, NOT FEAR
When you have fear or worry about things you are meditating on negative thoughts, which will only produce anxiety and stress. However if you choose to focus and meditate on positive thoughts and things, this will produce more Hope.
PARTICIPATE IN A FAVOURITE HOBBY OR ACTIVITY
GET HELP TO COPE
Talk to someone and have a yarn or a chat to build your coping skills & get stronger. Talk to people who respect, nurture and support you. Talk to your family member, friend, neighbour, or professional service online or phone chat. Ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to do it alone.
It is important to remember that if someone is harming or hurting you in any way physically, mentally or emotionally, that this is not acceptable. Or if you have serious mental health or other risk of harm concerns, please seek help. Ask for help and if you feel in immediate danger, please get help from the Emergency line 000.
Here is a link to free phone support lines.
KEEP WORKING ON YOUR GOALS
Use your spare time to create a plan and set achievable goals, to plan something for now or for later on in the year. Try to maintain a routine and having goals can create a structure for this. Remember your dreams & take any small steps towards them.
HELP AND ENCOURAGE SOMEONE ELSE
This can get your mind off your own problems for a while and build your resilience, and you can gain a sense of satisfaction, confidence and positive feelings. You are not only making a big difference in someone else’s life, you can also gain a sense of control. As well as helping people you know, the government has set up coronavirus volunteering program where you can also learn new skills. This is here.
The reality is that to build hope and resilience takes effort and commitment. It is like a professional soccer player- if they want to improve their skills, they have to put in the effort in training. By practicing regularly the ideas above, like a soccer player, you can empower yourself with the skills & knowledge to have hope and resilience.
We hope you have found some ideas that you can use in this blog. 2Connect hopes you stay healthy and well in the days ahead.
This blog was written by Paul, Project Officer – Education & Health Team