A mindset hack for mental resilience during lockdown.

So resilience is a big thing in the world of positive psychology. I see resilience as your ability to deal with crap and keep moving forward.  And there’s a lot of crap about right now. 

Here’s the good news – Improving your resilience will lower anxiety, reduce fatigue,  improve your performance and help you to hit your goals. 

And it gets better – we can ALL get better at being ‘mentally tough’ when the sh*t goes down. There is no such thing as the people who are tough and the people who aren’t. Fact: We can all learn to have stronger resilience 

Positive Psychology expert Dr Chris Johnstone has a great metaphor for resilience, that I love. 

He suggests that you imagine yourself rowing across the reservoir of life. The water is your resilience. When the water (your resilience) gets low you’ll get grounded on the rocks and won’t be able to move through life effectively. To keep moving through life effectively you need to your water (your resilience) topped up. 

Here’s my favourite mindset hack from positive psychology to keep thinking ‘resilient’ during lockdown. 

As in CBT we need to monitor the thoughts that come into our minds and look at the impact they have on our behaviour.

Here are two beliefs or thoughts we can have in response to suddenly having to home school.

  1. I’ve got to nail this perfectly
  2. A bit each day is good enough

Look at how each of these beliefs impacts our behaviour…

The belief that you have to do it all.

This may lead to becoming frazzled and snappy as you pull yourself in many directions and try to be all things to all people – Teacher, Family and Business Administrator, Social Media Expert, Doctor, Entertainer, Cleaner, Consultant, Counsellor, Logistics Company CEO – all at once! No mean feat.

The belief that a bit each day is good enough.

This belief helps you to let go of the perfectionist in you that tells you it has to all be done perfectly. As a result you’ll probably behave in a more caring way towards yourself. You’ll make progress on your goals and teaching your kids but not at the expense of your mental and emotional health. If you happen to do more than you planned that’s a bonus – but isn’t essential for you to feel ‘whole’.

Check in with how you are feeling today and every day during lockdown as this will direct you towards the thoughts that underlie the belief. 


As an example: 

If you feel stressed and anxious it’s likely you have underlying beliefs that something bad will happen and you can’t handle it. 

If you feel guilty it’s likely you feel you’ve done something wrong or you are doing harm to someone. 

If you feel sad the belief it’s likely that you feel you have lost something or someone. 


If you feel bad during lockdown look at the thoughts that are behind your beliefs. 

When you find yourself with beliefs that make you feel bad, ask yourself if your belief is true. Do you have evidence to support that belief?

Ask yourself what would be a more positive belief that will help boost your resilience and help you feel better instantly.


And as a final point on what would help boost your resilience. I think gratitude is an instant resilience booster as it makes me cope with things better straight away.

I’ve discovered that dancing for five minutes to a tune I love or doing ten mins of yoga makes me feel better for the whole day.

What can you do to top up your resilience?


If you’d like to find more ways to boost your mindset you can join my group here.

Natasha Pickup

Mindset Coach and Business mentor

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