Hard times create strong people: How to strengthen your patience
Most of us are aware that it is essential to develop patience to live smarter. But there is a big difference between wanting it and achieving it, especially if we consider that the current world is not exactly the same as before.
Since the start of the pandemic crisis, we all had to adjust to the new normal almost overnight, and it caught us off guard by having the patience to adapt our daily routines and review our lives.
Patience is a transcendent virtue because, in reality, the most important thing in life takes time. In all worthwhile processes, action times must be combined with waiting times; the times of achievement with those of work.
As a half-full glass person, I see a great opportunity in all of this. A chance to reflect, to nurture the relationships around us, and to persevere taking life as it is, day-to-day.
Here are my 5 learnings:
Practice patience now, you will always need it later:
Regardless of your patience in general, you probably need more of it these days. It’s okay to lose patience once in a while and explode, but only to remind ourselves that you need to persevere.
“Patience is the key to contentment.” – The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)
I think having to practice it daily and get up from the low moments naturally increases our long-term supply of patience. Hopefully, we will come out calmer and more accepting of what we have to face in the near future.
Think of others more than ever:
Most of us have not stayed at home by ourselves, but for the good of our elderly and vulnerable people. Also, we do it to prevent the medical system from collapsing.
This is the time to think about how our small individual actions and decisions can impact someone’s health, and collectively in the economy.
What if we all say, “No, I can’t stay home”? Our parents and grandparents adhere to the rules and don’t understand why we have a problem with it. I think what we can all learn from this is to be more empathetic to others and to do things only because it is better for everyone, not just for us.
If we do, the world will be a better place in every respect.
Daily practice of gratitude:
It is no secret that some of us are in a much more privileged position than others in all of this. People get sick; they watch their elderly die; they work long hours in hospitals risking their own health.
People who lose their jobs need to announce bankruptcy, have to babysit and work at the same time, and can’t pay the rent. Or people who are trapped at home with abusive partners. If we don’t have to deal with any of this, we can consider ourselves truly lucky!
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” — Oprah Winfrey
Yes, staying home is difficult after so long, but it is doable. Practicing gratitude now is also learning to appreciate the little things in life in the long run.
Your partner’s hug, have time to read a book, learn to cook something new, spend quality time with the children.
All of this is priceless, and we hope it will help us slow down when we return to normal.
Learn to be kind and take care of yourself:
We are not used to taking care of ourselves as well as we do of others. We say compliments and offer kind words to our loved ones. At the same time, we are ruthlessly critical of ourselves (I am).
“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay
Why not learn to pamper ourselves?
If you’re having a bad day, take it easy, be understanding of yourself, and reward yourself with something you know makes you feel better. Breathe, meditate, listen to your favourite music, cook your favourite food, put on your best clothes (no matter if no one sees it), or do nothing at all, without guilt.
It is essential to be resilient in times of crisis.
I think that if we learn to cultivate our mental health during this time better, we will be less stressed overall when we return to our routine.
Be adaptable and build new habits along the way:
There is a quote that seems very true to me: «Difficult times create strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times create weak people. Weak people create difficult times.
“Nobody likes to change. There will always be resistance to change, and there always will be change. And the quicker you get to that, the easier it is. It’s not such a difficult thing. If you entrench yourself and go, ‘By God, I will not change, I will not have this.’ Then, you’re a dead man. We’re great at adaptability. It’s our strongest suit.” – Nick Nolte
The vicious circle continues. I think our generation is in “Better Times Create Weak People” or even one step beyond. It is not our fault, but as previous generations worked hard, it meant we could slack off. And when we did, it affected our patience, adaptability, and perseverance.
My mother is the most resourceful person I have ever met. She has the ability to cook a delicious and nutritious meal with very little. I think that in a way, these times are teaching us to be more like this.
We need to rethink old habits, adapt to the new normal, and build routines that work now instead of getting stuck in the same thing. This, in turn, will help us to be more agile in the future.
I like to think that we will not go back to the old ways as soon as our restaurants and airports open. I hope we stop to think about what kind of people we want to be and what world we want to see when we get out of it all.