Without the shadow of a doubt, the coronavirus - with more than 100 million people infected since the outbreak of the pandemic - is putting new and unforeseen pressures on all of us and has taken a profound psychological and emotional toll on us all. This is why we think it’s the right time to talk about one aspect of emotional intelligence that can help us get through and overcome life's hardships; resilience.
Resilience is a complex topic that entails different perspectives on how to exactly define it. So here is one way to explain it; resilience describes the ability to “keep a cool head” even under strong external pressure and to deal with various crises without suffering emotional damage. It is therefore not surprising that resilience is also called the immune system of the psyche and thus definitely a “must have” for all of us!
You are wondering now how resilient you are yourself? Why not take this quick test and find out: Resilience questionnaire*
Having some room for improvement? The following seven pillars characterize resilient people and pinpoint what you need to work on if you want to become more resilient;
📍 Optimism; optimists know that they have the strength to guide their own lives and that difficulties and crises are temporary.
*Exercise: Start a gratitude journal. Every day write down three things you are grateful
for or encounters that made you particularly happy during the day.
📍 Acceptance; means accepting situations that can no longer be changed and to let bygones be bygones.
*Exercise; list your strengths and weaknesses. Allow yourself to be imperfect and
accept your weaknesses. Practice mindfulness.
📍 Solution orientation; means, having accepted the situation and put it behind you, looking forward and seeking solutions, formulating clear goals and finding routes to realization.
*Exercise: Focus consistently on your room for maneuver. Find solutions and focus on
things that work well rather than analyzing problems and their causes.
📍 Self-regulation; means ceasing to be passive and becoming active in the relevant situation. For this it’s often necessary to change your own attitude, to reflect on your personality and to become oriented towards action.
*Exercise; Get feedback from your friends about what they value about you and learn to
trust in your own abilities. Try out something new regularly.
📍 Taking responsibility / leaving the victim role; means showing initiative and actively applying yourself to achieving your own objectives.
*Exercise: Reflect on your own behavior. See a difficult situation from a different angle
and try to learn from each challenge.
📍 Planning for the future; indicates having the foresight actively and consciously to prepare for the future. Resilient people develop visions and then goals for how they want to live and work going forward.
*Exercise: Define your medium-term goals with the SMART technique
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely).
📍 Network orientation; means the capability to connect with and use a network, i.e. a system of human relationships. Even just the existence of a network gives a feeling of inner strength and proves very supportive and valuable, particularly in difficult times.
*Exercise: Analyze your network and write down everyone you can rely on. Who gives
you support and energy? Actively cultivate these relationships through conscious
listening and empathy.
If this post piqued your interest, check out this super useful guide on the topic from getAbstract, which summarizes all the relevant knowledge and also gives you some useful reading recommendations if you want to further deepen your knowledge.
It’s tough times and we feel you! But we’re going to get through this, and we will definitely become stronger and more resilient along the way, hopefully learning some lessons about ourselves and about each other too.