Written by Volker Ballueder
We all agree that 2020 didn’t turn out to be the year most of us had planned or were expecting. It doesn’t make much sense to remind ourselves of what we could have done differently, or better, or how we could have prepared better. Should we not have seen the wave coming over from Asia at the end of 2019 - but we didn’t and neither you or me, or the government for that matter were prepared for the pandemic. So let’s not dwell on the past.
2021 will be different. Whilst here in the UK it started in lockdown, we know the vaccine is on the horizon. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It might, as one NHS doctor said the other day, be a really long tunnel. But there is light for us to return to our ‘normal’. Whilst of course it is anyone’s guess if that will be as early as Easter or not. But this too shall pass.
How to build resilience
In times like these, we need to hone our skills. We must be ready to embrace the new normal or whatever comes our way. We all anticipate a lot of changes, from the place we work, to how we work, and how we live. What are your priorities for when it happens? Will you spend more time with your loved ones? Will you have them all around for a party? I think there are a lot of hugs coming, being able to really connect with people again is key to being human. But it is also about building resilience. A resilience that will take us through this long tunnel, and let us cope with stressful situations with confidence.
1. Have fun
And part of building this resilience is to make time for loved ones, and having fun. To train our brain to be able to cope with change, and our storytelling mind. We have about 6,000 thoughts a day and most of those are repetitive.
2. Build a strong social network
The other bit is about having a strong social network, and you can start building that now. Build that network online, keep your friendships up through video calls and online activities, until you can meet them all in person again.
Another part to build strong resilience is sleep. Sleep helps your mental health and also helps you to relax. However, for me there is only one constant action that will help anyone with both stress reduction and growing resilience. And that is, on top of the aforementioned factors to meditate.
Incorporating a daily practise, and even if it is only for 5 minutes, will over time produce a resilience to cope with stress and unexpected situations. You will be able to withstand those situations where you normally feel anxious and uncomfortable. You will be able to get to know yourself better, and how you think. That self awareness, and learning how you react in certain situations, will help you to master whatever lies ahead of you in 2021.
I wish you a fantastic year, be prepared and start your meditation routine today. Build your resilience muscle, train your brain.