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How to maintain 'realistic optimism' and deal with fear during lockdown

Written by: Paula Luckhoff

As South Africa heads toward the 21 days of lockdown kicking in at midnight, many are beset with anxiety and fear.

Pippa Hudson speaks to the founders of The Resilience Factory, a programme that focuses on teaching the skills to build a capacity for resilience daily, based on The Ten Rs for Authentic Resilience.

Gabi Lowe and Pippa Shaper are both accredited life coaches with years of experience.

So many people think of resilience as an armour that you put on. In fact it is the opposite - it's something that is born from within.

Gabi Lowe, The Resilience Factory

When the Covid-19 crisis started the two looked at their model and found it applies throughout, they say.

For example, our first R is about reality - it's about staring down the brutal truth and making meaning of the mess, and what a mess everything feels at the moment.

Pippa Shaper, The Resilience Factory

Shaper says it's important to separate facts from assumptions amid the mass of information coming our way every day.

This includes finding the middle ground between denialism and dramatisation, where everything becomes a crisis.

In the middle of that is a place we call realistic optimism, which is a place we all want to get to.

Pippa Shaper, The Resilience Factory

The programme's list of Rs includes reaching in, and reaching out.

How is our natural need for community likely to be affected as we are forced to stay home with our live-in loved ones, or perhaps alone?

Whatever we do we need to remember to hold that paradox - that at the same time as we are going into isolation, we are all actually in this together. It's that strange paradox, always, of not feeling alone because we're in our aloneness, together.

Gabi Lowe, The Resilience Factory

The reaching in is really important... We talk about not running from your feelings, but actually facing them. People are scared they'll get overwhelmed by fear but the truth is, if you run from your feelings they will catch up with you.

Gabi Lowe, The Resilience Factory

You need to learn to sit with your emotion, calmly just sit with it and hold it.

Gabi Lowe, The Resilience Factory

She points out that this is a period of massive communal vulnerability and no-one is alone in their fears, which can serve as a source of comfort.

It's also important to reach out to others, Lowe says.

We need to be busy with "we" thinking, not "I" thinking and we need to be finding ways to help each other on a daily basis. It's going to help you to cope to help somebody else to cope.

Gabi Lowe, The Resilience Factory

Find out more about how the _Ten Rs _can help you during this period of isolation on The Resilience Factory website.

Listen to the insightful discussion below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How to maintain 'realistic optimism' and deal with fear during lockdown




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