When looking back at the past 18 months, there’s no doubt it’s been a tough time to be a parent. From job instability, to juggling work and homeschooling, to trying to explain to your kids why they can’t have their birthday party this year, it was hard for many of us to put on a brave face when nothing seemed certain. On the flip side, when you look back on these tough times in a positive light, chances are these experiences have already made you a better mother and a more resilient person than who you were in February last year.
Taking steps to improve your resilience can significantly improve your ability to get back on track after challenging circumstances. Yes, this is often easier said than done, but by taking small steps to work on this skill, you will find your mental health and outlook on life will slowly start to improve. Negative experiences are part of being a parent, and as much as we’d like them to, they aren’t going away. What we can change, however, is how we react and overcome them. Below I’ve collated five key tips on becoming a more resilient person.
- Find a good inner circle
Having people you can talk to and confide in is very important when experiencing something difficult. Make the effort to strengthen relationships with friends and family, so that when you do go through something tough, you aren’t in any doubt about who you can open up to. If you feel like one or some of your current friends wouldn’t be helpful in that situation, try to strengthen other friendships. It’s important to have at least one friend or family member who can help you when times are tough.
- Take lessons from the negative
When something bad happens, instead of searching for someone or something to blame and act angrily towards, think about what you’ve learnt or become better at as a result. Instead of feeling like a victim, ask yourself what you could have done differently next time as a result. If it’s something completely out of your control, embrace that, and remind yourself this situation is helping you become more resilient in the face of uncertainty.
- Take steps out of your comfort zone
Everyone loves the bubble of their comfort zone, but if we never leave, facing something big will be even more daunting and harder to overcome. In your day-to-day life, think of small things you can do to step out of this zone – whether it’s doing that task you’ve been dreading, or making that phone call. Learning to take action can also help direct feelings of negativity to working on active solutions to help you feel more in control.
- Embrace the uncertain
If there’s one thing the last 18 months has taught us, it’s to live with the uncertain. Many aspects of COVID-19 are out of our control, and we’ve had to learn to embrace that to get on with as normal a life as possible. Feelings of stress around uncertainty often don’t help anyone, so try to overcome this by exercising self-care and anxiety-reducing techniques.
- Find ways to release tension
Make sure you have ways to express emotions and let go of tension when negative feelings arise. This could include talking with friends, family, or a professional, meditation and breathing exercises, or activities such as listening to music, running, reading, journaling or drawing. You may have something in mind that helps calm you down or make you happy, which when something difficult occurs, you can use to release any tension you are experiencing.
If you feel like you need to seek professional help to navigate a challenging or traumatic experience you may have had, please contact us.
About Amanda Gordon
Amanda has an innate ability to translate psychological wisdom into practical life skills. Highly relatable, Amanda is experienced in helping people deal with the full range of life crises, including managing relationships, coping with grief and loss, dealing with stress and managing change. She works with individuals, couples and families, helping them enrich their lifestyle and their effectiveness in the world.
Over her more than 30 years in practice, Amanda has assisted literally thousands of people to understand and manage their feelings and to make positive life choices. In addition to her work with her personal clients Amanda also works with many corporate organisations assisting them in maintaining their employee wellbeing.
Amanda is a former President of the Australian Psychological Society, elected by her peers for two consecutive terms. She is also regularly called on by the media for comment on current issues.
Amanda works from Armchair Psychology’s Edgecliff office in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, easily accessible from Sydney’s CBD.
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