Covid changed the world globally. It shook psychological resilience in humans creating a lasting impact longer than the lockdowns. Just like the world of air travel changed forever after the Twin Towers were demolished, human resilience may never feel the same. We will walk around with only 100ml of fluid resilience provided by our inner selves each day.

Our shrinking resilience has been the visited daily grind of every psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist. I am a practicing psychologist with over 18 years of experience and never have I scraped the barrel of psychological resilience in humans and myself so hard.

Resilience comes in many forms. Our wobbling resilience also comes in many forms.

Wobbling resilience comes when we shut down, shut others out, roll down our blackout blinds and pull the duvet over our faces. Poor resilience comes when you snap inside or snap at others and can’t ask for help. Giving up hope and help and not accepting that you will not have control over everything. It is when you train your muscles and feel sore the next day. However instead of going back to training hand your boots up and never return to face the pain.

If you have never heard or read about Brene Brown, I urge you to do so. Let her be your Taylor Swift singing in your ears until your brain can absorb the importance of co-residing twins… resilience and vulnerability. That’s right, they come together as a package.

Resilience is seen in managing daily tasks, keeping focus in the face of emotions, speaking up and speaking about emotions, showing vulnerability, crying when you feel something and articulating your worst fears. Resilience is when you manage to cope even when you think you will break and resilience comes in breaking temporarily to ask for help. Resilience comes when you can accept difficulties and helplessness and not personalise issues. The list goes on. If you have ever experienced pain from training your muscles and can push through a level of pain threshold, to build your muscle… that is resilience. It is feeling the pain, falling down and then working through your pain again.

Sometimes resilience comes through knowing there is courage in people to overcome their issues. For me it came from my consulting room, as I hear story after story of distress and how people still come to therapy to work on their resilience. I heard labels for the first time being given to me, and my colleagues. “You are all crazy”. “You are a bit mad”. “You are a tough cookie”. Not really, we have all just developed a better perspective.

Whilst I deal with patient after patient with incredible resilience to just walk through the therapy door and sit down and ask for help… the past few years my resilience started to wobble. Shrinks shut down too and shut out our significant others as we immerse in saving other minds. We are humans too.

Dr. Bijal Chheda - Founder and Director of Nos Curare, Consultant Chartered Psychologist and CBT therapist
by Dr. Bijal Chheda – Founder and Director of Nos Curare, Consultant Chartered Psychologist and CBT Therapist