April 2, 2020, 6:05 PM

The importance of ‘Psychological Resilience’ in lockdown...

Dr Neha Bhave Salankar

Dr Neha Bhave Salankar is an MD in Psychiatry, who works as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Nagpur. Read what Neha has to say about the Coronavirus lockdown and why Psychological Resilience is the need of the hour...

After nearly ten days of lock down in the country, people are starting to lose it. Even though we know the self-quarantine is for our safety, a lot of us are having trouble coping being stranded at home for various reasons. All of you must have read several WhatsApp posts or articles about do’s and don’ts.

So I will try to keep this one a little different. I want to share with readers the fundamental reason why some people can cruise through tough situations like lockdowns while others struggle. Persons who possess the crucial quality of psychological resilience are not only able to face adversities better than their counterparts but also come out of these situations with some advantages (in current situation, it can be things like better fitness, better culinary or creative skills or having learned new skills).

Positive qualities or emotions, which can serve us better in such situations are solution-focused approach, humor, optimism and a goal directed approach to any given task or thought process. It’s important to have flexibility to adapt to a given situation. We should remember that nothing is permanent and that ‘this too shall pass!’

How we think in our minds also has a great deal of impact on our emotions. Every person has a constant internal dialogue that is called ‘self-talk’. Changing the tone of our self-talk from negative to positive can change our perspective of the situation. So next time you think ‘this is so boring,’ be aware of it and change it to ‘this is a peaceful break where I can Netflix and chill to my hearts content.’

Other habits that can build resilience are practicing meditation, exercise (remember you don’t have the excuse of being busy anymore!) and also socialisation (via phone or video calls of course).

Visualisation can be of immense help. Imagining how you will step out and meet family and friends after things settle down is a pleasant way to calm the mind. A note for other young parents like me out there – parental resilience or the ability to provide quality parenting in times of crises is vital to how children cope with these situations. Being intellectually inadequate to grasp the reason behind this major shift in lifestyle, they (children) get their emotional cues from parents and other elders in the house. Although parenting can be an entire (or several) book by itself, I’ll leave you with a request to watch the movie Life is Beautiful (1997) to know what I am talking about (go on, you have the time). Till next time!

Also read: Kerala to ‘prescribe’ alcohol for addicts with withdrawal symptoms in lockdown

The ideas and information expressed are solely by the columnist and not by Nation Next.

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