The last 22 months of living through a pandemic have pushed most of us to the limit at least once or twice. It has called for a huge amount of adaptation and resilience. Perhaps there are many aspects of this "new" way of living and working that you have embraced and enjoyed, and many of the "old ways" that you’ve missed.
A sense of autonomy is absolutely crucial for humans to flourish and thrive. So if you feel you’ve lost some level of autonomy to make decisions about how you live your life, it’s quite possible it’s impacted your overall sense of happiness and wellbeing to some degree. As we continue to navigate through uncertainty and change, building a stronger sense of resilience is more crucial than ever – and in doing so, you might actually regain a new level of that all important autonomy. There might still be rules and restrictions that you're asked to follow but no one can tell you how to feel. You always have choice when it comes to how you feel, react and view things.
So how can you become your most resilient self?
For a start it’s important to realise that resilience is not about pushing yourself to the limit and taking granted that you’ll always bounce back. Instead it's about equipping yourself with everything you need to feel strong, physically and mentally. This is why regular exercise, quality sleep and a nourishing diet can help so much. Add in the power of positive psychology and you’ll soon start to build the ultimate resilience tool kit.
Recognising your achievements and how your personal strengths and attributes allowed you to accomplish these outcomes is a great first step. It’s possible these strengths and attributes will help you with new challenges – ask yourself how to best apply them moving forward.
Practising gratitude is another great tool to help create positive emotions, a greater sense of purpose and to shift your mindset from negative to a more positive and constructive one. Reflecting at the end of a busy day on what you’re most grateful for is a lovely way to relax and switch off “fight and flight” and activate “rest and digest” to help you get quality sleep.
Goal setting is also a powerful tool to build a hopeful and optimistic view of the future which helps you to feel resilient because you have the ability to impact the future. Add in utilisation of your strengths to achieve your goals (and a step by step, measurable action plan) and you’ll be well on your way to being your most resilient self!