Cultivating Resilience: Building Mental Strength For Life’s Toughest Challenges
Resilience is the skill of “bouncing back” (like elastic) and overcoming hurdles, whether they are illness, unforeseen circumstances, calamities, disasters, or catastrophes that initially seemed impossible. It is the ability to accept unfavourable circumstances and work towards finding a different solution to overcome them with a positive approach. Rather than dwelling on the causes and lamenting, it’s more productive to channelize time, effort, energy, and emotions towards finding solutions. Resilience can be considered as an attitude to face life’s challenges, that keep throwing themselves at us, one after another.
Stories of Transformation Amidst the Pandemic Uncovering the Resilience
The best teacher who taught us Resilience is the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all of us were confined to our homes during the Lockdown period in March 2020, other than the medical fraternity and essential service providers. It was a time for reflection and readjustment.
- Some individuals struggled to cope and received diagnoses of clinical depression, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks. Tragically, a few others took the extreme step of ending their lives.
- There were some, who found alternate meaning to life and chose to help others, and then some who chose the path of self-discovery and self-realisation.
- There were some, who found alternate vocations and then some who began working from home.
- Some corporations and institutions supplied food and rations to those in need, while others distributed vaccines and medicines to support the less fortunate.
- Some individuals took the initiative to feed stray animals, while others extended their care to address the medical needs of these animals.
- Some individuals facilitated transportation for workers to return to their villages, while others contributed by providing ration kits to travellers.
- Some individuals used social media to boost their egos, while others utilized it to seek assistance for those who were stranded, homeless, or hungry.
- There were some, who began stitching masks and then there were some who began selling sanitisers, gloves and masks.
- There were some, who selflessly volunteered in the hospitals without fearing for their safety and there were some who did not venture out for fear of contracting the virus.
- There were some, who became home cooks and provided homemade food to the patients and their families and then there were some who transported this food to those concerned.
- Some babysat their ill neighbour’s children, while others cared for their neighbour’s elderly parents.
- There were some, who finally got to spend time with their family and then there were all who became experts at carrying out household chores!
- Some taught children from their homes, while others managed the household of the family affected by COVID-19.
- There were some, who formed groups on social media to check on each other and provide assistance if required, while others helped in procuring permissions for the movement of vehicles in case of emergencies.
And many more contributed. Now, we have emerged past the pandemic as Versions 2.0.
Emerging Resilient: Navigating Life’s Challenges in the Post-Pandemic Era
Wherever you encounter discussions about resilience, you will discover that facing the challenges of the pandemic has made us somewhat resilient. After all, it guided us to accept the situation, think positively, explore alternate means of living, enhance our self-awareness, expand our social circle, instill a deeper value for life, cherish and love our family, friends, and relationships, acquire new skills, confront our fears, maintain calm in challenging situations, assist others, assist ourselves, foster positive thinking, express gratitude, pray, engage in self-care and mental wellness, express emotions, communicate effectively, analyze situations and overcome them. Most importantly, we have emerged from the battle, perhaps a bit tattered, a bit torn, but winners nonetheless. These are the main traits of a resilient person and what forms the essence of resilience. Keep the faith!
Empowering Lives Through Resilience
Resilience helps us cope better with life and become stronger emotionally and mentally. It gives us a sense of purpose and increases our potential by developing our strengths and contributing to overall growth. Unhealthy habits like substance abuse, alcohol consumption, and smoking decline, thereby increasing our lifespan. We deal better with our emotions and feelings emerging as better persons. It is another valuable life lesson learnt that will shape our future as we are now more equipped to face the upcoming challenges.
As Mary Angelou says “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
So keep the fighting spirit intact and as Nike says “Just do it” (i.e. face every challenge).
Author: Ms Rupal Sonpal
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