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How to Build Resilience

This pandemic era has got everyone clinging to any form of emotional or health support they can grasp. In an uncertain time like this, we all need to be resilient more than ever. By default, we all go through tough times, and evidently, this has an overbearing effect on our overall wellbeing. However, some of us happen to be good at coping during crucial times as compared to others. Being resilient during critical times is a skill that should be learned. You should know that building resilience doesn’t just deal with your mental/emotional health; your immune system also has a role to play in toughening you up.

While you may not realize it, you are actually what you eat. Scientific research postulates that eating healthy can significantly change your mood and enhance your way of life. Moreover, food allergies can have a telling effect on your mood. For instance, if you are gluten-intolerant, consumption of gluten can leave you feeling sluggish or depressed. Also, fluctuations in your blood sugar level can affect your mood. High blood sugar can cause irritability, while low blood sugar can bring about depression or feelings of anxiety.

Furthermore, dietary changes have been strongly suggested for autistic as health scientists have found a strong connection between food, mood, and behaviors. In this regard, we’ll be discussing some tips you can employ to build your resilience. We will be looking at some nutritional habits as well as some social habits.

Get enough sleep/rest.

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that sleep and immunity are closely tied. Moreover, inadequate sleep is strongly connected to higher vulnerability in sickness. In a recent study, 164 healthy adults were closely studied, and it was found that those who slept fewer than 6 hours were more susceptible to catch a cold as compared to those who slept for 6 or more hours.

Resting adequately can strengthen your natural immunity. Plus, sleeping more when you’re ill gives your immune system a better chance to battle the illness. It’s advisable that adults should aim to get 7 or more sleep hours, while teens should sleep for 8-10 hours. Infants should be allowed to sleep for 14 hours.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try avoiding screen light an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from your device – phone, computer, and TV can affect your circadian rhythm or your body’s natural sleep cycle.

Eat whole plant food more

If you wish to stay bright and healthy, then you should eat whole plant food, why? Well, they are quite rich in antioxidants and would strengthen your immunity against harmful pathogens. The antioxidants in foods like nuts, seeds, legumes decrease inflammation by fighting off unstable clots in your body known as free radicals. Chronic inflammation is connected to some health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and some cancers.

Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly is one of the pillars for healthy living. It enhances your cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and keeps your body weight in check. It also strengthens your immune system against various illnesses. Plus, staying fit and energized has a positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. You should also consider practicing yoga as it deals with keeping your body and mind in perfect sync. Plus, you can practice it anywhere. In line with practicing yoga, going for massage sessions are also an excellent way to ease tension and build resilience. If you can, you can subscribe to a YouTube channel that coaches people on how to exercise.

Drink water often

Water makes up 75% of blood in the body, plus it’s a super diet for metabolism. Starting your day with two glasses of water can keep you refreshed and energized throughout the day. Plus, you want to keep your renal organs functioning fine. A good way to do this is by adhering to a strict water diet.

Moreover, dehydration can instigate headaches and impede many digestive activities. These complications can tremendously increase your susceptibility to a handful of illnesses. While other fluids like juices are also hydrating, it’s advisable to limit your sugar intake.

Embrace change

Flexibility is a necessary part of resilience. Staying adaptable is a good way to handle life crises. You should also know that your reaction to certain circumstances matters a lot. In this regard, you can choose how to react when hit with some unexpected situations. Try to see drastic changes in your life as new opportunities as this will enable you to thrive resiliently.

Being optimistic is also part of positively embracing change. Note that positive thinking doesn’t mean that you should ignore the problems and focus on the positive outcomes. Positive thinking is you understanding that setbacks are a normal occurrence in life and that they are temporal. With an optimistic mindset, you have a better chance of overcoming your problems and thinking of effective solutions.

Develop a strong social network

Who do you surround yourself with? Which kind of clique do you belong to? It’s quite essential to be among friends who are caring and supportive, as you would need them in your downtimes. Yes, talking to your friends might not solve your problem, but it will undoubtedly lift some heavy load off your shoulder. Plus, you are more likely to get positive feedback or feedbacks that would inevitably lead you to a solution.

So, take time to start quality friendships or relationships as you would direly need them for some uplifting in dire situations. Plus, no one is an island as we live in an interdependent world. In this regard, you should always seek to enlarge your network as it plays a huge role in your social life, as communication is key to many things.

Have a purpose

Another guaranteed way to build resilience is by having a “why.” Having a why keeps you resilient during tough times, especially when you’re looking to succeed at something direly. Think of when you achieved a goal; you definitely must have defied several odds to achieve that goal. You should face life with the same vigor; better yet, always have a goal you’re looking to achieve as this will keep you invigorated and energized. Plus, we all want to derive gratification from something we did, overcame, or achieved.

Manage your stress levels

Relieving anxiety and stress is one of the keys to a resilient immune system. Long-term stress has the tendency of increasing inflammation and causing several imbalances in how the immune cell functions. If you don’t know, prolonged psychological stress can reduce the immune response in children. In this regard, you should engage in stress-relieving activities such as daily exercising, keeping a diary, visiting a therapist, practicing yoga, and engaging in other mindfulness activities like pep talks or talking with a loved one.

Limit added sugar intake

Recent studies postulate that added sugars and refined carbs can contribute immensely to obesity and being overweight. And truly, no one likes obesity as it increases your illness chances. Going by an observational study in over 1,000 people, obese people who were vaccinated with a flu vaccine were more likely to still get the flu than people who weren’t obese who were also vaccinated. Reducing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and help weight loss, which invariably keeps you off the radar of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Given that diabetes, obesity, and heart disease can make your immune system quite vulnerable, limiting your added sugar intake has become even more critical.

Supplement with caution

These are crucial times, and as we clamor to stay safe using several supplements, we should also be wary of what we ingest. Some shady health agencies have capitalized on this pandemic to market ineffective and possibly harmful supplements. If you come across health claims that say they possess the cure or treatment for the coronavirus, know that these assertions are unfounded as they are yet to be proven.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there’s no been evidence to support the use of any anti-coronavirus supplements. So any supplement promoted in this regard is most likely to be fake. However, supplements and diets containing Vitamin C and D, Zinc have proven to assist the immune system. While these vitamins have proven to be immune boosters, it doesn’t mean that they are effective against the coronavirus infection.

While further tests are still being carried out, you should rely on supplements that have been independently tested by third-party organizations like the USP (United States Pharmacopeia), ConsumerLab, and NSF International.

Final thoughts

With what we’ve discussed, you should have an idea on how to build resilience. Using the tips above can set you on the path to becoming your best self. If you wish to see significant results, you have to be consistent in adhering to the tips. Yes, it might seem difficult initially, but with daily practice, you’ll pull through. Know that you are what you repeatedly do. Stay happy and stay safe and don’t forget to always wash your hands.

 

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573269/

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_science_backed_strategies_to_build_resilience

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/resilience/

https://hbr.org/2016/06/627-building-resilience-ic-5-ways-to-build-your-personal-resilience-at-work

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