Why “resilience” matters, according to these mental health experts

Queensland rescuers remember horrors and heartbreak of Christchurch earthquake on 10-year anniversary of tragedy

Several nations from around the world sent rescue teams to New Zealand to help search for signs of life.(Reuters: Tim Wimborne)

It has been a decade since New Zealand was rocked by the deadly Christchurch earthquake — a disaster that scarred the city and left an indelible impact on the Australian first responders who risked their lives to help.

The magnitude-6.3 quake killed 185 people and injured thousands of others on February 22, 2011. About 100,000 homes were damaged and the Insurance Council of New Zealand said the insurance bill exceeded $31 billion.

The disaster sparked a mammoth international recovery effort. A 69-person urban search and rescue team from Queensland was among those first deployed to the epicentre of the crisis. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Inspector Ric Chambers said arriving in the ravaged city centre was “surreal”.

“It felt like a movie set — everything had just been dropped at 1 o’clock in the afternoon,” Acting Inspector Chambers said. “There were half-eaten sandwiches, cups of coffee that were still half full, things were just left as they were….

Why “resilience” matters, according to these mental health experts

Lockdown can be incredibly difficult for our mental health. Being in an enclosed space during the winter, getting little sunlight and seeing the same location day after day is not conducive for good mental health. But we can develop ways to work through and weather issues such as anxiety and depression, with a concept called “resilience”.

UK Mental Health charity Mind suggests several ways of developing fortitude include indulging in hobbies, looking after your physical health, giving yourself a break and building a support network.

As well as mindfulness tricks, such as using the best diffuser for essential oils to soothe sleep and learning how to meditate, resilience is a way to feel tougher on a day-to-day basis.

The UK mental health charity Mind writes that resilience “is not just your ability to bounce back, but also your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing.” It’s a broad definition for habits that can keep your chin up during troubled times…

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