How to stay resilient during the pandemic and thrive!

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on November 11th, 2020

How to stay resilient during the pandemic and thrive!

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on November 11, 2020

How to stay resilient during the pandemic and thrive!

How do you bounce back when there’s no normal world to bounce back to? The triple threat of COVID, recession and lockdown has left most of us feeling stressed, anxious and isolated.

The good news? The human brain has a tremendous capacity for resilience – meaning we have built-in powers to survive and thrive in challenging situations, and scientists have discovered how to access them. Here are 10 proven strategies to unlock your innate resilience:

1- Understand your feelings.

Humans are social animals, meaning social distancing hits us right in the instincts. The natural human threat response is to group together for safety: when you’re forced to remain isolated under stress, your body is on high alert for danger, and it’s normal to feel “inexplicably” sad or tired.

2- Find new ways to socialise.

Even if it’s online (or yelling from a safe distance!), research out of South Korea shows that socialising with others will reduce your negative emotions.

3- Trick your social instinct.

Scientists at the State University of New York have found that watching familiar shows, playing familiar games, and listening to familiar music can help to satisfy our social instincts. We didn’t evolve with TV, so to our brains, watching “Friends” feels like actually being with friends.

4- Look for stories.

We’re not just social animals, we’re also storytelling animals. We look for meaning, especially in uncertain times. Facts and figures engage the language parts of our brains, but stories engage seven different brain areas, including those devoted to movement and the senses – in other words, it’s as if we’re living the stories ourselves. So focus on stories of human triumph and ingenuity to feel more connected with others and better about yourself.

5- Give.

Part of our social instinct is the instinct to help others. Scientists at the University of Washington have found this instinct in 19-month-old babies. And a study by the Ascent found generous behaviour leads to more satisfaction and meaning in your life. That means helping others during the pandemic will also help you.

6- Watch your perceptions.

A University of California study found that our perceptions aren’t objective – they’re influenced by our feelings. People who feel positive interpret information more positively. So instead of waiting for some good news to lift your spirits, you might find keeping your spirits up makes the news look better.

7- Take a break.

If you’re working from home, with no set timetable, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of constant vague working, never consciously taking a break, and wondering why you’re so exhausted yet getting so little done. The answer is that brains need breaks in the monotony to recharge – even going for a quick look out of the window can boost your energy.

8- Get moving.

It doesn’t have to be a whole workout – even a quick walk or a few stretches can boost your brain function. A study out of Oregon Health and Science University shows that quick bursts of movement improve learning and memory.

9- Cut down on blue light.

Increased screen time during lockdown means more blue light, which looks like daylight to our brains and can play havoc with our sleep and body clocks. Either limit your screen time, or use an app like f.lux to turn your blue screen light orange when it gets close to bedtime.

10- Go outside.

Several studies have found our brain function and mental and physical health improve when we spend time in nature and natural light –even in a roof garden.

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