Updated: Dec 11, 2021
The forecast predicts increases in COVID cases, hopefully with more vaccinations, there will be fewer complications leading to mortality. Yet, pandemic fatigue can continue to drain and frustrate many of us. We are desperate for a feeling of normality. How can we develop pandemic resilience?
Emotional Intelligence provides a first step that can be of help, self-awareness. Remember the basic instructions on airlines concerning the use of oxygen masks? One has to take in the air first, before trying to aid a loved one or fellow passenger that needs assistance with the mask. If we don't make sure we have enough air to help the other person, we will pass out and neither one would benefit. Have we stopped to examine how we are handling the pandemic emotionally? Have we gotten our second wind so we can keep going effectively and help those we love and care for? Some of us feel, "I don't have time for self-awareness, I have too much to do to waste time." Like the illustration of the oxygen mask, we may not be able to function effectively if we don't take care of ourselves. We may end up making decisions or other mistakes that will just add to the stress we are already facing.
There's a wise proverb, "If someone's ax is blunt, the edge isn't sharpened, then more strength will be needed. Putting wisdom to work will bring success." In other words, it isn't a waste of time to take a moment to be aware of how the pandemic has been affecting us. Taking a few moments, hours, maybe even days to reassess and sharpen our emotions can improve our success.
Three things that are usually overlooked, can also help us try to reset mentally, emotionally, and physically are:
Scientific reports have shown that taking time to give our brains silence, does wonder for the brain. Research reveals how silence can help in the regenerative process for the brain and help lower stress and tension. Putting on noise reduction headsets for at least one to two hours each day, without music, and just allowing your brain to have silence can also help with memory. We may be relaxing with music, but our mind is still distracted and being used in singing the words in the song. Think of it, if you walked all day or work standing all day, wouldn't your body need rest? Our brains are constantly being used, even when we are sleeping. Giving our brains just a few minutes of silence has shown it can sharpen our cognitive skills.
Some seem to pride themselves and at times boast of how they've gone without hours of sleep. Science has also shown lack of sleep is detrimental to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. It leads to a domino effect of problems. Lack of sleep can also affect our decision-making, which will add to more mistakes and add more stress. Not getting enough sleep can also cause problems with reflexes and movement. Sleep deprivation causes so much harm that it's even debated as a form of torture. So making sure you get the rest you need will give you the strength to continue successfully and take care of those you love.
Breathing comes naturally, so we take it for granted. Have you ever felt nervous and almost out of breath? I once did a resort scuba lesson and the instructor showed me how much of the air tank I had already used up because of how nervous I was. Nervousness, fear, apprehension is all emotional feelings that can cause us to not breathe correctly. Have you ever been told when you are angry or anxious, "Breath! Take a breather!"? Our emotions can tire us out even before we can muster up the strength to do what we need to do. Lacking control of our emotions may also make us say or do something we might regret later. It's been reported that even the Navy Seals use breathing techniques to help them deal with stressful situations. So learning how to catch our breath when we feel things are slipping in our life can also help us reset.
If we could try to apply one or two mentioned, it might help us to help develop pandemic resilience. I appreciate a quote from author Margaret J. Wheatley, "Thinking is the place where intelligent actions begin. We pause long enough to look more carefully at a situation, to see more of its character, to think of what is happening, to notice how it is affecting us and others."
The current pandemic situation is the opportunity to slow down, look for what is really important to you, reconnect with yourself and with others, rediscover who you are, and what you want out of life.
Itinaucore is offering a FREE Pandemic Resilience test. The report will provide graphs to help you see factors that can help you be resilient. Included in reports are advice and tips using Emotional Intelligence to help deal with stress. Please send an email to David@itinaucore.com to receive the link for the free test. No subscription, no spamming, no hidden costs, for your personal use only.