In times when almost all the countries in the world have been struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the most natural feelings we, humans, experience are fear, anxiety or insecurity. At moments of threat, from the most ancient times, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, which invokes our instinct of “fight or flight.”
Unfortunately, if we are in “fight or flight” mode for a long period, the stress increases tremendously, and it is extremely hard to cope with it. The bad news is that stress can harm our health.
That is why it is really important to control our mind and carefully choose our thoughts. This can help us stay resilient in times of adversity.
Why is resilience so important?
Here is the definition of resilience formulated by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, USA: “Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. But resilience is also the ability to grow from challenges”.
The main groups of factors that predetermine and sustain our resilience, according to Assoc. Prof. Karen Reivich, are:
- Biology: the spread of the human race and our genetic predisposition;
- Self-awareness: what is the exact degree of our mindfulness;
- Self-regulation: how and to what extent we can successfully manage our feelings and actions;
- Mind agility: the ability to reflect on a situation from different perspectives;
- Optimism: the ability to believe in the positive outcomes in any situation;
- Mastery or self-efficacy: our ability to get out of the position: “I can do it”;
- Connection: the availability of at least one very strong connection with another human being that we have established, and the fact that we can rely on this person’s support anytime;
- Positive institutions: support we get from family, government, the organization we work for.
Something that resilient people do really well, is to think about stressors, not as threats, but rather as challenges. So, when there is a problem in front of them, they are guided by their growth mindset (the opposite of fixed mindset), believing that they can overcome any challenge. They would rather lean in to it, than to withdraw.
To help you cope better in times of adversity, we have created COPE Program which contains 5 modules:
Module 1: Prioritizing own health
In this module we will focus on the 3 main healthy life ingredients: eat healthy, exercise more and sleep better. All of the activities we will be suggesting to you will help to reduce your stress level and feel better.
Module 2: Social and emotional learning
In this module we will be focusing on self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills and social awareness.
Module 3: Coping
In this module we will be focusing on emotional literacy, meditation, dealing with hardship, how to offset negative events and recover quicker.
Module 4: Self-efficacy
In this module we will be focusing on character strengths, taking care of one’s brain, working with judgement, looking at the bigger picture and self-control.
Module 5: Optimism and Self-compassion
In this module we will be focusing on strategies that can help to boost positivity and increase life satisfaction like: gratitude, finding meaning/purpose, savouring, self-love etc.