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Professor Kevin Dalby Discusses Five Ways to Build Mental Resilience in a Crisis

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It is no secret that our world is going through a crisis. With an unpredictable virus in the air, along with an economically damaging quarantine, how do you stay mentally sane?


The answer is building mental resilience. Psychologists define mental resilience as adapting successfully and proactively in the face of stressful situations such as trauma, tragedy, severe health, or relationship problems. Those who build mental resilience do not let the world drag them down for long.


Kevin Dalby, Austin-based professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry at the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas, notes that it is essential to continually work at healthy mental practices to keep your mind in the right place. Below, Dalby shares five ways to build mental resilience during a crisis, such as the current pandemic.


Way #1: Let Go of What You Cannot Control 

When your life gets rocked, and you are trying to balance remote meetings, homeschooling, and staying healthy six feet apart, mentally accept your situation, and let go of what you cannot control. You can manage your reactions to conditions, but you cannot control the economy, the virus spread, or the promise of tomorrow. Keep your mind on the things you can administer during times of crisis, such as eating habits or daily exercise.


Way #2: Practice Gratitude

When a crisis arises, it is all about mindset. You can prepare for the worst, but always hope for the best and be thankful for the outcome. Practicing thankfulness will lighten the load to any situation. Every morning, review three things you are grateful for to start this healthy mentality.


Way #3: Strengthen a Weakness

You will do yourself a huge favor by turning off negative media and choosing to learn something new instead or do something you are not good at doing. Strengthening your weaknesses will only further develop your problem-solving skills. It also aids in keeping yourself mentally occupied and stimulated by learning to do something that you lack strength in, whether you want to start practicing yoga or widen your dinner menu. Many people during the pandemic are choosing to focus on reaching fitness goals from the comfort, and challenge, of home, as well.


Way #4: Establish Goals

What do you do when you want to build skills or overall self-growth? Take time to establish both big and small goals. Allow yourself to see the big beneficial picture as to why you are doing what you are choosing to do, and then start establishing small baby steps into your daily routine that keep you directed towards your big goals.


Way #5: Take Time for You

You must take time to do what is necessary to keep your mental stability balanced with methods like meditation, consuming superfoods, getting enough sleep, and not neglecting your needs. By taking time for self-love, it will assist in maintaining lower levels of stress and increase emotional peace.


About Kevin Dalby:

Dr. Kevin Dalby is a professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, currently working on cancer drug discovery. He is a co-director of the Texas Screening Alliance for Cancer Therapeutics, and the principal investigator on a $2.3 million CPRIT grant that gives Texas scientists access to resources for drug discovery research. By understanding cancel cell signaling, Dr. Dalby works to improve diagnoses and utilize technological advances to develop targeted pharmaceuticals for different cancers. When he is not working, Kevin Dalby enjoys photography and spending time in the Texas countryside with his dogs.