BY KAREN THURANIRA

For many professionals in the energy space, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a dream killer. The pandemic has resulted in a big economic recession that has negatively affected people’s mental health.  

A report released by the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics on 1st Sept 2020, indicated that the unemployment rate in the country had doubled to 10.4% as compared to 5.2% in March the same year. As many as 1.7 million Kenyans lost their jobs bringing down the number of employed individuals to 15.9 million from 17.8 million. The saddest part however, is that the age bracket mostly affected by unemployment is the youth aged 20-29 years. 

Unemployment is just among the many negative effects of the ongoing pandemic! If anything, this Pandemic has emphasized on the need to build resilience not only for our business models but also for ourselves as individuals.

Individual resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that promote personal wellbeing and mental health. People can and need to develop the ability to withstand, adapt to, and recover from stress and adversity and maintain or return to a state of mental health wellbeing—by using effective coping strategies.

As human beings, when things are not going well, or as planned, or as expected, we naturally tend to beat ourselves up. Why are we so unkind to ourselves?

Here are some tips to help build individual resilience;

1. Keep going

We all face changes every day. It could be a simple change like a sudden weather change or a change in your normal day schedule. These changes affect us all and we each deal with change differently. While change is the only constant thing in life, we have to remind ourselves that circumstances or changes should not dictate how our life will go, but rather how we handle those changes and disruptions.

Do not let changes in life throw you off track. Remember that no situation is permanent. Even the most painful experiences are temporary. Stay on track and channel your energy to a positive direction.

2. Trust yourself

Believeing that you’ve got the situation in control and that all will turn out okay, is actually the most important step in taking charge of the situtaion. Try to believe in in your inner resources, no matter what, and you will grow from the experience. Most of the time, you will find that the answers you seek usually lie within and you are actually smart enough to figure out what you need to do. Give yourself a little time and have patience.

“You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am. ‘ “ ―Mariah Carey.

3. Become friends with life

Sometimes we hate the world because we feel like it’s punishing us by sending misfortunes our way. Yet, we have been told time and again that we are our own enemies. Life is No one’s enemy! We need to constantly remind ourselves that our strength comes from within us. Life bears loads of other opportunities we can focus on rather than dwelling on the misfortunes.

4. Watch your thoughts

Thoughts are powerful, and we are the product of our thoughts. Think, and you shall become! Learn to dismiss the negative thoughts and stay open to other ideas that will help you move in a positive direction. Start recognizing negative thoughts and use your mind to put a stop to them.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” — Norman Vincent Peele

5. Summon your inner strength

Challenges come to us to make us better, not bitter. There is wisdom in challenges, you must look for them! Challenges can make you or break you.

To overcome our challenges gracefully, we need to learn to access our inner strength and channel it to the right places. Believe that your strength and intellect can help you deal with anything. This alone is enough to keep you going!

6. Learn to love yourself

You do not have to be who you are today, and your life is not scripted. Changing how you feel about yourself means creating a strategy, gathering some new tools, and making yourself into the person you want to be.

Self-love is key to building  your happiness, but it’s also one of the things that tends to be forgotten and/or ignored when we’re feeling stressed or depressed. The next time you feel a bit dispirited, remember to show yourself some love.

7. Don’t Desire too much

Desire can be a powerful motivating tool, but wanting something too much can be very painful and very expensive, so do not live beyond your means or covet the unattainable. Seek your desire, but keep your integrity. Wise people everywhere say that the most important thing you possess is your integrity. It’s your word of honor—what makes you honorable!

8. Recognize that disappointments are a part of life

Even the most successful people have to deal with disappointments, but they’ve learned how to use their dissapointments to get to the next level of life. Turning your weaknesses into your strengths is the trick. Whenever you face dasspointments, process your feelings, then act wisely.

9. Deal with your fears

Overcoming fear makes you stronger, and being a little scared can make you better. Believe me, You want to have butterflies; you just want them flying in some order. It helps to understand and admit your fears so that your can deal with them accordingly.

Conclusion

Almost everyone has gone through a difficult moment in their life. In addition to the tips we just shared, sometimes looking back at what was helpful or what worked well for you in those moments of distress, can help you figure out how to effectively respond to the new crisis or difficult situation.

Also remember that seeking help when you need it is very critical in building your individual resilience.

Cheers to a more resilient You!