This year’s Sarawak Day will be celebrated amidst a global health crisis.
Reflecting on what could arguably be the most eventful year in the 21st century so far, there is one lesson we can pick up from the year 2020: the value of being resilient.
According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.”
These “sources” can come from family, relationship or financial problems, job loss, illnesses, medical emergencies, the death of a loved one and natural disasters, among many other stressors.
People who are highly resilient have the strength and skills to cope with and recover from their problems, challenges and setbacks.
They tend to approach their hardships with a positive attitude; have a strong social support; manage their emotions effectively; and view failure as a learning opportunity about themselves.
Although some might argue that they are born with such ability, highly resilient people become who they are due to experiences that enable them to learn and develop the necessary behaviour, thoughts and actions.
Like everyone else, they are confronted with emotional pain and stress of varying degrees throughout their lives.
Instead of giving up, however, they brave themselves to face these affliction head on because they acknowledge the reality that life always has its ups and downs, and the only way to deal with hardships is to learn to overcome them.
In other words, we can build our resilience towards our problems, challenges and setbacks, because the way we recover from them will determine their outcome to our lives and their long-term effect on our mental well-being.
Resilience also prevents us from being overwhelmed by our affliction and resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse, which if not dealt with can subsequently deteriorate our health and reduce our ability to confront future challenges.
Most importantly, having high resilience enables us to grow stronger as a person; have the capability to move on with our lives; and even lend emotional support to those in need of it.
Thus, as we adapt to the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, it’s crucial not to let ourselves fall into despair, but rather strengthen our determination and make changes in our lives to survive and flourish throughout this challenging time.
In time of crisis such as the pandemic, bolster your resilience by seeking help and emotional support from loved ones; increasing self-care; focusing on aspects of your life that you can control; and committing to living based on your own morals and values.
This will take time and effort, but rest assured that by improving your resilience, you can overcome whatever hardships you face in life, and empower yourself to become a better person.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
First published in the Borneo Post in print on 18th July 2020.