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The COVID-19 pandemic and the related nationwide lockdown have contributed to immense stress and strain on every individual, regardless of who they are and where they come from. It has created intense feelings of anxiety, worry, sadness, apprehension, disappointment, anger, irritability, guilt and loss, to name some. Continuously moving between these complex states leaves people exhausted, making it difficult to cope and keep moving forward. (Read more: How to deal with the anxiety of living through a pandemic)

In these circumstances⁠—which are compounded by all the uncertainty relating to time frames, work, finance, health, relationships—there is naturally an impact on mental health and well-being.

In the face of traumatic experiences, what helps individuals cope, overcome and maintain openness as well as a positive outlook is their hardiness and resilience. Long believed to be a trait that you either had or did not, resilience is now seen as a characteristic that can be built within individuals.

This time that we are facing calls for each of us to work towards building that resilience within us, to be able to maintain our coping mechanisms and our optimism. Here are some things that could be helpful to you:

1. Actively look to solve the problems that can be solved

Refrain from becoming a passive participant in the problems that your life is placing in front of you. Push towards being active in attempting to solve what you can. Don’t wait or get too complacent, thinking "This won’t really help" or "How much would it really change anything?" Instead, go ahead and do whatever it is that you can do to solve for the problems you face. 

2. Accept and embrace your emotions

More often than not, we struggle to label our emotions and thus to identify exactly how we are feeling. Take steps to understand what is going on inside you. Accept these emotions, even if they are negative and make you feel bad. Running away from an experience takes away from your ability to cope with it and compromises your resilience as well.

You might also be interested in Exercises to help you sleep better during the pandemic

3. Find resources within your community

You must rely on yourself but also be willing to rely on others and utilize the resources that are being offered by your community. Do not hesitate or consider it to be a sign of weakness. Reaching out takes a lot from within us and it buttresses our efforts at coping, making us more resilient over time.

4. Be willing to speak up and share your experiences

An aspect that contributes to building resilience is being willing to share experiences and seek support. This could be by speaking about and discussing your thoughts and feelings with friends or family or with experts. It enables you to find new perspectives and can act as a source of new solutions.

You might also be interested in 7 steps to beat the fatigue of virtual meetings

5. Maintain a personal belief system

Each individual has their own individual belief system, and for many, it may have strong roots within religion or spirituality. To maintain your hope and optimism, these belief systems can play a strong role. So practice your faith and maintain gratitude to keep feeling hopeful and optimistic.

6. Find your purpose and meaning

This is a time to dig deep and find meaning and purpose, even in the face of this adversity. Reach within to find ways in which you can help those around you, in whatever capacity you can manage. There is always something that can be done and finding that silver lining allows you to come out with a sense of personal growth.

Be deliberate in your actions. Take active measures to bolster your resilience and remember to stay connected and seek help if you need the support of someone!

  1. Doctors for How to build resilience and stay positive during the pandemic
Dr. Ajay Kumar

Dr. Ajay Kumar

Psychiatry
14 Years of Experience

Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra

Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra

Psychiatry
24 Years of Experience

Dr. Om Prakash L

Dr. Om Prakash L

Psychiatry
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Anil Kumar

Dr. Anil Kumar

Psychiatry
12 Years of Experience

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