How To Be Resilient and Recover Quickly – Mentally & Physically (Pandemic Edition)
Staying inside your home can save you from the COVID-19 coronavirus but it can set you up for other hazards. If you’re too worried about the current situation, we want to tell you that homosapiens have seen far worse than this pandemic, and this shall pass too.
Don’t believe us? Google “The Black Death” and it might send jitters down your spine. Between 1347 and 1352 it killed a third of Europe. The total population dropped from 75 million people to 50 million in 5 years.
England had a mortality rate of 50% and half of its population was dead within two years. You don’t get a name like “The Black Death” for nothing. Don’t get us wrong. We don’t intend to scare you, we’re just listing the facts so that you know we’ve been through harsher times.
The question is, with all the death and mayhem back then, what gave people the hope and made them push through even when science and medicine weren’t nearly as good as they are now? The things mentioned below pass the test of time and will get you through not only this pandemic but any kind of trouble.
The Ultimate How To Be Resilient and Recover Quickly Mentally & Physically Kit
A Guide To Being Resilient
Constant Self Pep-Talk
A battle is first lost when the fighter gives up mentally. Having a killer attitude vs a victim mindset makes all the difference in the world when you’re in a tough decision. If you think of yourself as a deer being chased by a lion in an open field, there isn’t much anyone can do for you.
Step back and think about the kind of power and influence the person feeling like a lion has over you. Remember – no matter how difficult a situation you’re in, you always need to be looking on the bright side.
It might sound counter-intuitive but people who sign up for physically challenging jobs are first taught to build mental strength and stay positive. Optimism is such a potent tool that positive self-talk is one of the four techniques the Navy used to increase SEAL graduation rates from 25% to 33%.
This one technique enables the Navy to recruit hundreds of new SEALS every year. We all spend countless hours thinking about things we could say to others. To stay strong during this challenging time, give a little more thought to what you say to yourself, and make it positive.
We know, we know you can’t go to the gym during the lockdown. Some people confuse physically fitness with being muscular. Just because you’re locked inside your home doesn’t mean you turn into a couch potato.
A research conducted by Southwick and Charney’s found that the most resilient people had good exercise habits. Keeping your bodies strong contributes to building mental toughness. Not only is working out physiologically beneficial but psychologically helpful too.
Wondering why this is so? During vigorous aerobic exercise, the “anxiety-sensitive” person is forced to tolerate many of the same symptoms (rapid heart rate, sweating, and breathing) that frighten them during periods of anxiety.
Just like a soldier trains and prepares for war even if his country is going through a peaceful period, you need to train and be physically fit. You never know when you might end up in an anxiety-filled situation.
Turn it into a Game
As absurd as it might sound, this is arguably one of the best advice you can get for dealing with a pandemic and becoming resilient. One of the things people who live through disaster scenarios have in common is that they make survival a game.
It doesn’t end here. Happiness expert Shawn Achor said the best way to deal with stress is to see problems as challenges, not threats. Also, kids do better in school when they treat it like a game and turn it into a healthy competition.
There’s a high probability that you would have never imagined living through such a crisis. You could make things better for yourself by changing your mindset. As an example, rather than panicking and going on a complaining spree, turn your grocery store runs into a social distancing game.
If you’ve ever played video games you would know that you never quit a game when it gets hard. On the contrary, you get after it with all you’ve got. So stop seeing the challenges you’re facing as inconveniences and see them as challenges that you need to conquer.
It’s no secret that humor makes everything better. You would think Navy SEALs, Rangers, and Special Forces would be all serious and stoic like heroes in action movies. Don’t be mad at us for referring to the SEALs or first responders time and again.
The first responders are the people who regularly face anxiety-filled situations. While these guys know how to be serious when needed, listen to their interviews and you’ll often hear them say that laughter helps them cope with the toughest times imaginable.
Most of us can’t imagine Special Forces having fun during their training but Navy SEAL James Waters says, “You’ve got to have fun and be able to laugh; laugh at yourself and laugh at what you’re doing. My best friend and I laughed our way through BUD/S.”
For the smarty pants who need a little more data, studies involving combat veterans (Hendin & Haas, 1984), cancer patients (Carver, 1993), and surgical patients (Culver et al., 2002) have found that when humor is used to reduce the threatening nature of stressful situations, it is associated with resilience and the capacity to tolerate stress.
Accept the Meaning
That’s right, you can’t be laughing all the time. We don’t want you to go into an existential crisis figuring out the meaning of life so we’ll help you find the meaning. A study found religious belief among survivors to be the single most powerful force in explaining the tragedy and in explaining survival.
Much of the strength from religious activity comes from being a part of a community. Emotionally resilient people have a strong sense of right and wrong. Although in life-threatening situations, these people always think about others and not just themselves.
Most of us are by ourselves right now but this doesn’t have to mean you’re alone. Text, call or FaceTime your loved ones. If we connect, we’ll persist. Remember – there is a difference between physical distancing and social distancing, and we just have to follow the former.