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As the clock counts down to my due date, I have found myself wishing I could just stay pregnant for a few more months. It feels like such a strange time to be welcoming a new life into the world.

I worry whether my husband won’t be present for the birth due to some of the restrictions maternity units are now putting in place. I wonder when our family who are spread all over the country, and half of which are classed as vulnerable will meet the new addition to our family. I wonder how Miss H is going to adapt to a new baby in the house considering she won’t have the routine of groups, play dates, and nursery in place. I worry my husband will be deployed in the armed forces to support the country, leaving me to deal with a toddler and newborn alone.

But I do know that no matter how hard it might feel, I will find a way to cope.

I am talking about something called resilience. This is defined as the capacity to bounce back or recover from times of adversity.

There is not one person in the UK whose life hasn’t been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Each individual will have their own unique set of concerns and worries, but we all have a choice in how we respond. We can spiral into negativity and feel like a victim. Or we be resilient by holding onto hope; a hope that no matter how bad things are right now, it will get better.

Here are three ways to help us all stay optimistic and hopeful throughout these times of adversity:

  1. Practice gratitude – Focusing on what is good in your life right now can shift you into a more positive mindset. Thinking of 3 things to feel grateful for can be a valuable way to end your day.  These things don’t have to be ground breaking and could be as simple as having a good chat with a friend, enjoying the sunshine in your garden, hearing the birds sing.
  2. Think about previous times of difficulty – Whilst you may not have had prior experience of living through a global pandemic, you will have experienced difficult times in your life and come out the other side. Referring back to these times not only reconnects you with how you survived, it also reminds you CAN survive.
  3. Bring some meaning and purpose into your life – The restrictions on our lives are real but that doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of your passions and visions. You can still have plans and aspirations for how you want your life to be once the worst of the pandemic is over. In the meantime however are there some others things you can be doing? Are there others you can help? Can you reach out virtually or on the phone to neighbours, friends and family members who are isolated?

To finish I will refer to the words of A.A.Milne, where Christopher Robin turns to Pooh and says “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.