Times of crisis may sometimes bring out both the best and the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have heard stories of individuals hoarding items and selling them for profit, together with stories of people who selflessly met the needs of others despite their personal fears.
The secret to weathering the storms that are guaranteed to come up during our lives is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the military, and offers tips that can help build resilience through any time of crisis.
- Express your reactions. It is common to have various responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other stressful situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, trouble with sleeping, irritability, problems with focus and concentration, and hypervigilance. It’s important is to make certain these reactions are short-lived, and do not progress into long-term psychological problems. Recognize your feelings, and express them with a trusted confidante, or write them in a journal.
- Maintain social connections. While your reaction might be to pull away from close friends and family during a crisis, remaining in touch on a normal basis with those you care about is crucial. Locating a support group, whether in person or online, is another great way to ensure you’re forming and preserving social ties, allowing you to speak with other individuals in the same situation.
- Take a moment for self-care. This means something different to each individual, but should include enjoyable activities, engaging interests and hobbies, healthy meals, a good amount of sleep, and physical exercise. If you discover that it is hard to carve out self-care time for yourself because of caregiving duties, Atlanta Home Care Partners is always here to partner with you to offer reliable respite care. Taking care of yourself enables you to take better care of those you love.
- Recognize what you can control – and that which you cannot. Letting go of what’s out of your control and concentrating instead on what you CAN control is one of the fundamentals of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”
It is always wise to seek professional counseling whenever your reactions to stressful circumstances are impeding your ability to maintain a feeling of calm and to tend to the essential day to day activities of living. While self-care is important, it’s equally important to watch for signs that senior family members are feeling undue quantities of stress so that you can obtain the help which they need also.
Realize that whatever life may bring, you can count on Atlanta Home Care Partners to walk beside you with reliable home care services in Decatur and the surrounding area that encourage seniors to remain resilient and independent. Give us a call at 404-228-0103 to find out more.