Enhancing Resilience During Tough Times

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting each of us differently, some more than others. For those already suffering from a mental illness, the pandemic may be enough to push you "over the edge" - and assistance from a mental health professional may be in order. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is one of the best sources of info on the impact of coronavirus on mental health. See

For a lot of people, following some common sense guidelines may be sufficient to enhance your resilience during these tough times. While NOT to be construed as a substitute for mental health diagnosis or treatment, the following strategies - loosely paraphrased from Brad Hoefs, founder of Fresh Hope - - may help.

* IT WON'T LAST FOREVER. Remember your present situation is only temporary.

* KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET. When you can't change circumstances, you must change your mindset.

* REACH OUT TO FRIENDS and FAMILY! Lean on supportive friends for assistance - especially positive, impactful people. Stay away from negative folks as much as possible.

* KEEP IN MIND TOUGH TIMES YOU'VE GOTTEN THROUGH BEFORE. Death of a parent? Divorce? A job loss? Remember times in your past when you've gotten through difficulties and that you'll get through this, too!

* PLAN A DOABLE PROJECT. Planning is important. Is there a project around the house you've been putting off that you have the time for now? A project would give you something to look forward to now, and offer a sense of accomplishment later when the pandemic is over. "I fixed that leaky garage roof I've been meaning to do!"

* USE HUMOR. What makes you laugh? Don't be afraid to binge watch some favorite TV shows (or movie) that really leave you laughing. Sometimes humor is the best medicine.

* EMBRACE YOUR SPIRITUAL SIDE. Regardless of your religion, denomination, etc., embracing faith and hope has gotten many a person through a rough patch in life. Talk to a counselor, pastor, and/or take advantage of this time to really look within.

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