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Struggling with restrictions? Look to your past

We’re told to look forward to better times, when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and we return to life as we knew it.

And while optimism has its place, we need to look to the past, not the future, to meet the many challenges COVID-19 restrictions present.

Now, a question.

Hands up who has lived a worry, trauma and trouble-free life? A life where you’ve bounded from your bed every morning to clear skies and endless opportunities.

Anyone?

Of course not.

Everyone has had crap to deal with.

In dealing with isolation, home-schooling and myriad other impositions in a COVID-19 world, your crap can work in your favour.

Take a moment to think of times when life has thrown you a challenge.

For many of us, that’s often a test we never wanted – the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, a redundancy.

But it could equally be something you chose and needed to work hard on to achieve – a promotion, a fun run, better health.

These are your reference points, and they’re crucial for building your resilience.

Both good and bad events in your life present opportunities to learn about yourself. And now’s the time to reflect on what you learnt. Ask yourself:

When things got hard what did I do?
Who did I turn to for support?
What am I proud of?
What would I have done differently?
What coping methods worked?
What coping methods didn’t?

When reflecting on your reference points it’s worth pondering what was in and out of your control and whether you distinguished between the two.

So much is out of our control right now. Put your energy into what you have influence over.

Everyone has reference points. Use yours to build your belief that you can overcome today’s challenges.

“I got through that so I can get through this.

Self-confidence is a powerful weapon against fear and anxiety.

Learn from your past. Gain confidence from your experience. Apply it to your COVID-19 response and the unknown challenges that lay ahead.

Mathew Churchill is a director of Resilience Builders.

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