The importance of resilience in the pandemic
The pandemic demands a lot from us. Fear of losing our jobs, financial insecurity, and fear of illness or losing loved ones accompany us. The uncertainty of what the future holds unsettles us. And yet, we must continue to do our job and deliver the desired performance. Especially now, when another wave of infections is rolling in, we have to persevere. These circumstances bring one skill to the fore - resilience. Resilience is the ability to quickly recover from or overcome difficulties. Resilience is also called the immune system of our soul. The term resilience originally comes from materials science: flexible materials that return to their original shape after being subjected to external influences are referred to as resilient (source). The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us that this ability is extremely important: it challenges us, on a personal, family and professional level.
In principle, people with high resilience are better equipped to cope with the psychological stresses of the current pandemic than people with low resilience. (source).
So, unfortunately, this stress is amplified for those who are already not as resilient in general or who are already suffering from mental illness. The people who can adapt more easily to their changing circumstances do so by actively trying to reduce sources of stress and seeking ways to better manage their personal, work, and family lives. For example, they develop habits that support healthier and positive thinking patterns, such as taking up new hobbies and practicing gratitude and mindfulness. A positive thinking style leads people to reflect, even in a crisis, on what positive things they might be able to take away from the situation. Reflection on life can also bring new insights and changes, and create clarity about what one does not want at all.
Resilience can be trained. The first step is to be mindful and learn acceptance. An accepting attitude promotes a life-affirming and confident attitude, and thus optimism (source). The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us that this ability is extremely important: it challenges us, on a personal, family and professional level. At the same time, one should be allowed to acknowledge one's strengths, so one can focus on one's abilities in times of crisis. Through training, one becomes more resilient and can deal with one's own psychological resources in a more sustainable way. Crises also offer opportunities to grow and learn. This creates new strength and self-confidence, which strengthens one's own resilience.