The current global pandemic has caused significant changes to our communities and to say the least, it has been hard.
We all know the adverse effects that prolonged stress can cause, so let’s talk about things that can help us get through stress. Resilience, the concept of “jumping back” and adapting to stress, hardship and adversity.
It is about not giving up and not letting trauma break us.
For example, picture a tree in the forest. If you put stress on a branch of the tree, it might break.
But, depending on the amount of stress and the strength of the branch, it might not break at all. It may bend or flex and then return to its original state.
This is the same with human beings: stress and adversity can make us even stronger. This is what resilience is all about.
So how can we build resilience and find strength in a difficult life event, like the many that the pandemic has brought?
Reach out for support
We can build our resilience by drawing on and building up our relationships and our support networks. Reach out to friends or family who have been affected by the pandemic in the same ways as you.
This helps to remind ourselves that we are not alone and that we are all being affected in similar ways. By reaching out for support, we can build resilience and our own communities.
Being kind to yourself
When you are compassionate with yourself in the face of adversity and challenges, you are building your resilience. Take the time that the pandemic has provided to build your self-care routine. Why not take this life interruption as an opportunity to rest, and take care of yourself?
Knowing it is not personal or permanent
There are things that we can control and there are things that we cannot.
When we choose to recognize that, the pandemic brings external forces that have affected different aspects of our lives, and not seeing this as a reflection of ourselves, or as a permanent state and knowing that things will get better – we are building resilience.
Identify your own power
Being resilient means seeing that there are things within your control.
Even with the pandemic at hand, it is important to remember that we have control over our own lives and that we are not powerless.
Find your own power within yourself. The way we perceive and respond to hardship can make the difference between the figurative branch that snaps, and the one that gets stronger.
The best time to reach out for help is right now, before it becomes too much to handle. As an essential service, our organizations are open and able to provide supports you may need. We can help in person, over the phone or online, and the sooner we can start supporting you, the better.
Where to get help:
CMHA Mental Health First Response Team 24/7: 1-800-307-4319
CMHA Lambton Kent Office: 519-337-5411
St. Clair Child & Youth Services: 519-337-3701, stclairchild.ca
This story was provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent.