As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, it’s important to build resilience to help you adapt in the face of adversity. One of the key ways to bounce back from challenges is to focus on self-care.
Here are some tips from Shepell to take care of yourself and help build your resilience.
- Pay attention to your physical self-care
Make exercise a priority. This is especially important during difficult times. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise that makes you breathe harder on all or most days of the week, whether it’s walking, swimming, biking, working out along with an exercise video, or even doing vigorous chores at home.
Follow a healthy diet and try new recipes. To avoid junk food and fast food, try cooking new recipes at home to control your portions and ingredients. Limit how much alcohol you drink, as it can deplete your energy and resilience over time.
Follow good sleep practices. Establish a bedtime routine and try to stick to it. It can be as simple as listening to soft music, drinking a cup of herbal tea, turning off your electronic devices about an hour before you go to bed, or taking a bath and then turning out the lights at the same time every night. Try not to watch programs or shows that are disturbing or too stimulating, as it may be difficult to turn off your brain. Try to unload what’s on your mind before you go to bed.
- Reframe how you view problems and challenges
Reframe a difficult experience. Reframing means changing the way you think or “talk” to yourself about a stressful event. Instead of saying, “I will never get through this,” you might try a more positive and realistic thought. Such as, “I will get through this by using the techniques that have helped when I’ve had difficult experiences in the past, including asking others for help and finding strength in my community.”
Remember that stressful events usually provide opportunities to learn and grow. Try to identify these, so that they can help you in the future. For example, if you are dealing with significant financial concerns, try to understand the things that contributed to your situation and what you can do in the future to avoid repeating the same mistakes (i.e. fewer credit cards, not carrying a balance, budgeting, etc.).
- Build your emotional resilience
Learn from others who are role models of resilience. Think about other people you know and admire who are resilient, whether they are public figures or people you may know in your personal or work life. Ask them for some strategies they use to stay strong through adversity. Think about how you can adapt and use some of those strategies in your own life.
“This, too, shall pass.” Try to see your situation as temporary, no matter how difficult. Life tends to ebb and flow in ways that are impossible to predict. This view can help you gain perspective and maintain momentum to work through current circumstances.
Try to avoid catastrophic thinking. During times of uncertainty, we often try to fill in the blanks. We may wonder, “what if this happens” and imagine worst-case scenarios. While it is good to prepare, worst-case scenarios rarely come true.
- Give yourself a break from media
Avoid over-exposure to media during troubling times. This is especially important when a national or world event dominates the news, and makes you feel ineffective, anxious, or unable to control your life. Many media-worthy events tend to be exaggerated to attract attention. Unplug for part of each day from all your sources of media and news.
- Keep your life simple
Simplify your routines and set limits to protect your time. Plan simple meals. Resist signing up for too many activities or over-committing yourself. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
Make time for simple pleasures. This can include various activities, such as watching the sunset, playing with your pet, or simply sitting and drinking a good cup of tea.
- Practice relaxation techniques
Don’t forget to relax. Deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are four widely used relaxation techniques to improve mental and physical well-being.
Adopting tips like these and taking care of yourself will help you build your resilience.
*This information is provided by Shepell, the largest Canadian-based Employee and Family Assistance provider in the country and the provider of CDSPI’s Members’ Assistance Program (MAP). In addition to their health and wellness services, Shepell offers many helpful articles for small business owners at workhealthlife.com. We encourage you to visit the website for more information. Available services vary by region. The use of MAP services is completely confidential within the limits of the law.