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The One Thing You Need to Recover from Crisis

Resilience

Those stress reactions we talked about last week – some are survival skills.

Hypervigilance keeps you alert for imminent danger. Insomnia enables you to monitor your situation around the clock. Emotional withdrawal makes it possible to endure, to get through, to “keep calm and carry on.”

When you are directly involved in a life-threatening crisis, these skills could save your life. They help you function under extraordinary pressure.

Yet it’s unhealthy and unproductive to live in a survival state all the time.

Resilience is what enables us to move past our instinctive stress reactions and return to normal.

The ability to become strong. healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Resilience gives us:

  • The resolve to do what it takes to move forward
  • The capacity to believe that things will get better
  • The wisdom to appreciate it when they do

There are many ways to build resilience. All of them contribute to our ability to weather events that happen to and around us.

Here are three ways to practice resilience during external events:

1.  Gain perspective.

Assess the impact of events on you and those around you. If you and your loved ones are safe, that gives you some distance to process the events. Take the time to really understand that you are an observer, not a participant.

It’s normal to be affected, to feel concern and anxiety, but it’s important to separate from feelings of immediate danger. Establish emotional distance from the event.

2. Recognize negative thinking and reframe it.

If you find yourself caught in a spiral of negative or hopeless thoughts, use the perspective you’ve gained to reframe those thoughts: Yes, terrible things happen. NO, that doesn’t mean that the world is a terrible place.

Focus on positive aspects of life that are unaffected by this event.

3. Take care of yourself.

Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Physical health influences your mental and emotional well-being. Maintaining a normal schedule helps you regain a sense of control.

Limit your exposure to stressful stimuli. Relax or meditate. Turn off the news and social media.

Seek out social support. Maintaining connections with others can help you maintain your perspective and regain a positive outlook. It can also lend a sense of community that helps us feel safe again.

For specific techniques to help manage stress during times of crisis, download A Practical Guide for Coping with Stress Reactions.

Use these resources to help build resilience over the long term:

If you have questions about cultivating a resilient workforce, contact us.