We are facing an unprecedented challenge in our generation with the emergence of the Coronavirus which is now a pandemic. It is adversity; one we are dealing with collectively. Multiple data sources suggest that COVID-19 is having adverse effects on mental health. But it is vital to understand what is causing this: worries over potential adversities due to the pandemic, or the toll of experiencing adverse events.
When an individual is faced with overwhelming adversity or significant life challenges over which they have no control, they do not learn self-control, nor do they learn persistence. Instead, they are more likely to learn helplessness or hopelessness. You do not learn how to overcome or address adversity when dealing with adversity. You learn before and you are prepared when adversity presents itself. Facing adversity is inevitable in life. You must start training your mind so you can be resilient and be able to rise to the occasion when faced with any kind of adversity.
Types of Adversity
There will be a day of adversity and if you fail it is because your strength is weak. You do not develop strength on the day of adversity. You start building your strength from this moment. You do not wait for the perfect condition because if you do then there will be no perfect time to start building your strength.
You will be faced with different forms and types of troubles in life. No matter the nature of the trouble, they do not define who you are. The way you handle your troubles is what will define you. You must be aware of the kinds of adversity you might face in your life and understand the tools and techniques that can be used to overcome them. Adversity comes in many different forms. Here are six kinds of trials, adversities, challenges, or problems you might face:
- · Physical Adversity
- Mental Adversity
- · Emotional Adversity
- · Social Adversity
- · Spiritual Adversity
- · Financial Adversity
Studies carried out on COVID-19 reveals six categories of adversity, including worries and experiences of:
- Illness with COVID-19
- Financial difficulty
- Loss of paid work
- Difficulties acquiring medication
- Difficulties accessing food, and
- Threats to personal safety
These studies used random-effect within-between models to account for all time-invariant confounders. Both the total number of adversity experiences and the total number of adversity worries were associated with lower quality sleep.
Sleeping helps you to recover from mental as well as physical exertion. Sleep and health are strongly related - poor sleep can increase the risk of having poor health, and poor health can make it harder to sleep. Sleep disturbances can be one of the first signs of distress. Common mental health problems like anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems.
Sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight. Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories. Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity. Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance. There are many benefits of sleep.
Adversity is caused by many things and many situations such as trauma, grief, loss, addiction, racism, and stress.
One obvious example of physical adversity is a physical disability. Apart from physical disability, there are less drastic but similarly problematic types of physical adversity, as well. Handicaps like chronic pain, fatigue, and obesity force people to fight to achieve a sense of normalcy in their lives. Physical adversity can result in low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can have devastating consequences. It can create anxiety, stress, loneliness, and increased likelihood of depression. It can cause problems with friendships and romantic relationships. It can seriously impair academic and job performance, and lead to increased vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse.
Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and sometimes problems functioning in social, work or family activities. Mental illness can be treated. The problem is most people are ashamed to own up if they have a mental illness. Many people with mental health continue to function in their daily life. The foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, self-esteem, and resilience is mental health. Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to the community or society.
Emotional maturity comes from experience and an effective state of mind. Those who do not have that maturity face more difficulties in life. Often confused with a mental issue, emotional adversity can incapacitate anyone. Our feelings can govern our very existence and it is not always about the low feelings, but also the high, irrational feelings too.
Social adversity was defined as acute or chronic exposures which hypothetically would impact on health mainly by directly threatening salient relationships. How you interact with people is paramount to your success. Life is lonely without friends by your side. You cannot get a promotion at work if your boss doesn’t enjoy being around you.
Faith in a higher power is generally an advantage in life. That higher power does not even have to be God, though for many people it is. People who believe strongly in the human spirit, the power of community or something equally important will often attain a sense of peace that a lot of others do not. If you do not have that, find it. Enrich yourself by embracing something that you think matters. If you already have faith but feel it slipping, return to the core of why you put your faith into it.
Financial adversity is one of the most obvious kinds of adversity. There is no quick way to go from rags to riches, but there are steps you can take to improve your financial well-being. Learning new skills does not have to cost a fortune. Oftentimes you can make more from a trade school than you can from a university.
How to Address Adversity
The way you respond to adversity is what will make the difference in your life and not the fact you have adversity. Your response, not a reaction will determine how fast you can bounce forward, onward, and upward. To address adversity, do the following:
- Surround yourself with positive-minded people. The kind of people you surround yourself can boost or drain your advantage to overcome adversity.
- Learn to write down your thoughts. It allows for self-expression and feedback.
- Disconnect from the busy world and reconnect to nature. Nature has the answers and it will give you peace of mind and gives you a better understanding of your current situation.
- Invest in yourself. Read self-help books. Develop your mental strength.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” – Napoleon Hill.
Every challenge you successfully conquer serves to strengthen not only your will, but your confidence, and therefore your ability to confront future obstacles.