Resilience is defined as the capacity for people to recover quickly from difficulties and adverse situations. Resilience is also known for its positive aspect of enabling individuals to overcome negative experiences and certain life events. In ACT – resilience is called psychological flexibility- you may hear us use both terms.
If anything has shown us the importance of resilience, it has been 2020. This year has been a year like no other, for everyone around the world. The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has shown us the good, the bad and the ugly. From isolation, home and online schooling, working from home, border closures, shopping restrictions and travel bans. Life as we know it has changed. A new concept of living has been introduced…social distancing. This new way of living has shown newfound skills and provided us with the opportunity to be adaptable, even if we didn’t think we could be adaptable in certain situations.
Relationships have been tested, workplaces, colleagues and friendships. A trying time where self-care and support networks are imperative. Self-care is important to ensure that we are looking after ourselves and that the extra pressures and stressors in our lives are identified and addressed. Self-care is individual and there is no wrong or right way for self-care. For some people – it could be the first time they’ve considered the idea. Others find it easy to care for family and friends, but struggle to do the same for themselves. We know it’s essential to our well being, and to help guard against anxiety and depression.
Stress in 2020 has been unavoidable for many of us- so situations we can normally cope with might be overwhelming at the moment. It’s really important to know that this year has stretched the coping mechanisms of even the most resilient of people. You’re not alone.
How each person learns, and practices resilience will look different. This might be influenced by our upbringing and our experiences – did you learn healthy ways of dealing with stress or do you find you try to avoid it? Human beings are really creative in finding ways to avoid things they find unpleasant. Sometimes though, that just makes things worse.
In ACT, avoidance is often what gets in the way of resilience. We can all be resilient, however, how each person interprets and enacts resilience will be unique. Discovering resilience is about trying things that work for you. This is where the resilience journey can be a different experience for each person. We each use the same letters and words when writing however, we all have our own unique way of putting pen to paper and each using a slightly different writing style.
Take care of yourself, and think about how you might improve your resilience.