Started making resolutions for the New Year?
Well, it’s time to pause and ponder.
For me, the year 2020 began like any other year; I created my list of resolutions. “Travel to Europe” was on top of the list. Thanks to the pandemic, even travel within my own city became difficult.
For some, this has been the year of learning survival skills and more. But for the less fortunate, this has been the year of withdrawing into a shell caused by the multiple restrictions that came with the corona crisis. Counseling demands have been higher than ever since the lockdown began—many people reported a great onset of loneliness and depression. The pandemic has caused many to face severe financial and emotional strain with which they are still struggling.
It is thus time we started looking inward.
Are we resilient? Do we have it in us to bounce back from the after-effects of the present pandemic, or, heaven forbid, from a new pandemic?
Resilient people are known to be optimistic, have higher life satisfaction, and are productive. Resilience is a skill that can be inculcated with practice and requires one to be open to new experiences and thought processes.
It will help us thrive and sail through life’s transitions with a positive outlook. Hence, instead of writing down resolutions for the year 2021, it would help if we build resilience instead.
Here are some tips for doing so:
1. Review your inner dialogue.
Let us listen to the conversations we have with ourselves. If the thoughts are negative or serve no purpose, question them—attempt to reframe them. For instance, if one thinks, “I will never get any work,” challenge it by asking, “Is this thinking useful? What are my options?”
Change the thought to “let me list out my possible options” or “let me work on developing my skills and update my resume.” Taking a problem-solving stance toward such self-defeating thoughts can help us become adept at changing the negative emotional patterns.
2. Stress reduction strategies.
Learning mindfulness meditations or other relaxation exercises can reduce our stress and regulate our emotions.
3. Increase your “positivity quotient.”
Let us make a conscious effort to generate positive thoughts. Be on a quest to find a silver lining in difficult situations. Try to notice each little positive experience that occurs and practice gratitude toward them.
4. Learn to accept.
Let us be open to change and accept the circumstances that cannot be changed. Being adaptable when faced with uncertainties is a crucial life skill.
5. Invest in relationships.
Building connections with family, friends, community, nature, and a higher consciousness can buffer against negative emotions. People with strong connections are more resistant to stress—more optimistic.
6. Enhance self-confidence.
Setting small, realistic goals and mastering them enables us to stay confident and motivated.
7. Care for yourself.
Let us strive to engage in mindful eating, adequate exercise, and good sleep. Physical resilience makes it easier to master emotional resilience.
8. Embrace new skills.
This helps in discovering oneself and, in the process, builds inner strength.
So for this New Year, let resilience be our buzzword!
Consistency and commitment are keys to building resilience. If we practice these resilience-building skills every day and make them a habit, we will be able to cope better when life throws another boomerang at us.
“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” ~ Mizuta Masahide