In 2021 Focus on Resiliency rather than Getting Back to “Normal”.
Do not spend your time on thinking and expecting, instead, strengthen your resilience.
” Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control, some things aren´t.”
Covid-19 has shown what an individual can or can´t control
Before 2020, the words of Epictetus were well known and pursued by those mindful people searching for whatever “life-balance”, “nirvana”, “harmony” in their lives. In 2021, this might become the very basic principle for any ordinary people, if they want to get out of this crisis with the least damaged mental and physical health.
Mental Health and COVID-19
WHO states: “In public mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety. But as new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behavior are also expected to rise.”
Rachael Cooper, senior program manager, substance use and harm prevention safety, at National Safety Council said: “It can be expected that the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to manifest in the coming weeks, months and years.”
I want to put emphasis on this particular topic because it is very important for every each of us to recognize it and address it in whatever sphere of our life. We are all unique with specific situations and circumstances, therefore anxiety and stress can stem from any private, public or work-related sphere in whatever form.
It is understandable that all people want 2021 to be an end to all that has started in 2020. But it is a mistake to think that this year will be a year for “getting back to normal”. It is not wrong that every each of us want this. But we must be careful to not fall into this collective hope that things are returning to normal. This is the time to stop hoping, but rather accept the reality and by this to find more personal power.
Here Comes Resilience
2020 is more close to an old way of life than what our nearest future holds. With irreversible global changes happening, 2021 will be rather an opening of a new way of life. I find the forecast by Teal Swan very relevant and important to address on our personal levels: “We have been forced to see (quite painfully) what in our society and what in our individual lives is unsustainable. For this reason, it is critical to not look to go back to the way things were, no matter how tempting it may be. And no matter how much nostalgia you may be suffering from. Instead, go back to the drawing board and invent the future anew.”
What Teal means is that many not resilient things will collapse. In light of the current world crisis, is therefore vital to create resiliency in our lives.
What is Resiliency?
It is an individual ability to withstand adversity and simultaneously to adapt well to it. For something to have resiliency, it must be able to WITHSTAND AND ADAPT. We can take this concept and apply it to anything to see whether that thing is resilient or not. For instance, if your positivity depends solely upon something good happening to you, that is not a resilient mentality. Or, if your finances are entirely dependent on what comes to you through your boss and you could easily get fired and therefore lose your only source of income, your finances are not resilient. Another example is, if you do not know how to create resolve in your relationships or if the people you are in a relationship with are not interested in creating resolve, your relationships are not resilient.
Now is the time for us to recognize what is and is not resilient in our lives.
Teal suggests asking these questions “How resilient are you overall? How resilient is each one of your relationships? How resilient is your community? How resilient is the society in which you live and the structure of that society? How resilient is your lifestyle? How resilient are your finances? How resilient is your business? How resilient are your plans? How resilient is your sense of purpose and meaning? How resilient is your mentality? How resilient are you emotionally? How resilient is your health? How resilient is the environment in which you live? You should then break down each sector of your life into smaller components. Such as: How resilient is my style of communication in my relationships? Or How resilient is my employee retention plan in my business? Or how resilient is my circulatory system?”
Once you define your answers, you can make changes and create what is actually resilient instead. To be resilient does not mean to be immune to life´s difficulties. We all will experience pain, challenge, negative emotions and other unwanted things in relationships, work, health etc. With resiliency, you will be able to recover and find the strength to use adversity/crisis to add to your success. In the spirit of resilience, the author Elizabeth Edwards describes it precisely ” She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”
How to Build Resiliency?
- WHAT WILL GIVE YOU ENERGY?
- FOCUS ON BEING POSITIVE
- FIND OR CREATE PURPOSE
- FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL, INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU CAN´T
- DEVELOP SELF-EFFICIENCY
- CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT ADVERSITY
- ACCEPT CHANGE WHEN IT HAPPENS AND ACCEPT THAT CHANGE WILL INEVITABLY HAPPEN
- BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
- FACE AND INTEGRATE YOUR FEARS
- WHAT IS YOUR BACK-UP PLAN?
Resilient relationships, work, finances, family. Anything can be questioned in terms of resiliency. You can do it for yourself. But I want to focus on what is really important at the end of the day- our health. We must take control of our mental, physical, and emotional health. Let´s not play a passive role in relation to our health. Instead of expecting a health care professional to know what is right for us or to heal us, we must take the initiative to individually learn how to make ourselves healthy and get better. We must create resiliency in our habits, diet, and movements. We must start thinking about how to “get healthier, better” and start to research the hell out of information that fits our individual bodies.
Take Your Power Back
In 2021 and onwards, it is no longer an option to passively wait for things to get better, to passively wait for someone/something to become what would make you feel good or become what you want it to be. In 2021, we have to be active and take initiative if you want our life and our world to get better. But your contribution in this life is cast by your thoughts, your words, and your actions. I could not say it better than Teal and I leave you with this:
“You must BE what you want to see in the world. You must SAY what you want others to say. You must DO what you want others to do. You must STAND FOR what you think others should stand for. In 2021, don’t hope for light… Be the light you are hoping for. If enough people do that, this world will be what you want it to be.”