Did you realize that we are going through the largest experiments in human history? This experiment is called “what happens to each of us during and after lock-down stress”.
The definition of “lock-down stress” can be different for each of us: from not being able to enjoy things that we love - like travel, or a nice meal - to taking care of our kids while working from home or helping your sick family member. But no matter how you define it - it is there and it affects each of us.
I do not believe anyone knows or can predict how humanity will change after this lock-down experiment. But we have a choice right now - on how to deal with it - day by day, task by task.
How to build Stress Resilience during lock-down times
One of my favourite quotes is from the philosopher Albert Camus. He said
“Life is a sum of all your choices. So, what are you doing today?”
I am a strong believer that life is the sum of our choices and we can make the choice to tap into our inherent resilient nature… And we can be resilient.
So, how can you do that? How can you start building your “lock-down stress resilience”?
Well, the first step, as Albert might say, is making the choice to do something about it, today.
What are 3 ways to build resilience?
Here are 3 proven Stress Resilience strategies that work for me and that I train my corporate clients and teams on.
1. Stay in touch with yourself
It may feel like we lost a lot of “freedom” during the various stages of lockdown and social distancing orders. But we also gained a lot of time to look deeper into how we feel and what our body needs.
So, instead of getting distracted by your phone, stimulated emotionally (both positively and negatively)by the news and social media - we can sit back and check-in with ourselves and our family. Here are simple questions that you can ask yourself.
How am I doing now?
What do I need most at this very moment?
How can I take better care of myself (and my loved ones)?
Once you are clear on the answers - you should take responsibility for each of them and act on them - simple steps that make a difference.
For example, you might notice that you are thirsty and feeling a little dehydrated and make a cup of herbal tea or fill a bottle of water for yourself. You might notice that you are tired and need fresh air - and take a walk outside even just for 10 minutes. You might notice that you have not slept well last night - and a take a nap or make a plan to get to bed earlier that night.
2. Make meaning out of it
We need to have our own ‘why’ and motivation to wake up every morning and keep going.
We need to make meaning out of every event that happens to us - otherwise, our nervous system starts shutting down and cannot close the loop of “stimulation - outcome”.
You can find an infinite source of energy and resilience within you if you ask yourself:
What is my motivation to keep going these days?
Why do I want to or need to pass this “lock-down test”?
How can I explain to myself, my kids, my grandkids - why we needed this experiment?
What am I learning from it? (How will you tell that story in the future?)
The answers may not come immediately - but you need them to close the loop of stimulation “why this is happening” and make your own conclusions/outcomes from it. There is no right or wrong way of interpreting today’s events. It is your own way of making meaning from events that makes sense to you. I recommend taking the time to reflect on it and get to know yourself better.
3. Keep going! You are already doing it!
We are inherently resilient. Our ancestors passed on to us their ability to survive and we have loads of life experience that has made us all stronger.
We need to remind ourselves what worked best in the past and include it in our “resilience toolbox”.
So, take a step back and ask yourself:
When was the last time I had to overcome something?
What was the strategy or idea that helped me get through it?
What support network - my family, team, friends - were there for me?
How can I tap into that resource again?
Take a moment to recognize it and notice how it makes you feel- grateful, empowered, and knowing that you have always managed. So, remind yourself about your own “well” of resources.
To sum up...
We are going through this global “stress resilience” experiment and have a choice of how to “live” through it.
This choice will unavoidably affect our future - think about the stories we will tell to our children and the future generations about these times. Think about how we will explain this new post-lock-down world to them. So, I hope we will all make the right choice.
About our Pep Partner
Iryna Ivanova is the founder and leader of "IBY: People Matter".
Her mission is to help people like yourself and teams like yours with their well-being, starting from deepening focus to managing daily stress, improving sleep.
Iryna work's with companies and teams to support them with well-being programs, workshops, health days, townhalls. You can learn more about me and IBY: People Matter here: www.irynabusinessyoga.com