We’re in the middle of Mental Health Month. We’re also in the middle of our third month of social distancing and COVID-19. Most of us are feeling emotionally drained and stressed. For some, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are starting to take over.
As such, we want to find ways to build resiliency. This is the ability to manage emotional and mental health, despite hardships. Resilience doesn’t mean you avoid stress or negative emotions. But it’s learning to thrive during and after the stress. Resilience is behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can learn and develop.
Whether you’re naturally more or less resilient, there are always ways you can focus on your mental wellbeing. Mental health resilience is a mindset and a journey.
Techniques to Build Resilience
Advance Your Problem-Solving Skills
Being able to come up with a solution to a problem can help you feel more in control. It can also help you better cope with problems. When we’re feeling stressed, even the smallest problems can feel overwhelming.
The first step to problem solving is understanding the root cause. Then, an effective way to build your problem solving skills is to make a quick list of potential solutions.
For longer term problems, focus on the progress you’ve made and be proactive with the next steps.
Develop and Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is having an understanding and kindness towards ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is a skill that takes time to develop, especially when we’re used to negative self-talk. Yet, practicing self-compassion can help lower depression, anxiety, and stress.
A good starting place is thinking how would you treat a friend in the same situation? What would you say to them? How would you respond to your friend’s struggles? Many times we can apply the same kindness that we show our friends to ourselves.
Another way to grow self-compassion is to keep a journal in which you process the difficult events of your day. Do it through a lens of self-compassion, mindfulness, and non-judgement.
Eat for Resilience
When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s not typically helpful to start a restrictive diet. Strict diets, like the keto diet, can have a negative impact on your mental health. Diets can cause us to compare ourselves to others more often and make it harder to show self-compassion. Diets can also lead to guilt around food. Neither help us feel more resilient.
Instead, eat foods that help you feel good, both physically and mentally. Eating with this mindset can help boost resilience. Find ways that are mindful and help you take care of yourself. Show your body kindness with the foods you choose.
Keep Practicing Resilience
Resilience takes time to build and looks different from one person to the next. With enough practice and dedication, you’ll have a toolbox of techniques that come naturally.