“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” – Jodi Picoult
Life is unpredictable and can often throw many curveballs at us. Sometimes we know how to handle them and bounce back quickly, but other times we don’t. Developing personal resilience is a way to come out the other side of adversity with a different view, and many times, more opportunity and success.
Believe in Yourself
Most of the time, the way you deal with the outside world is affected by how you view yourself. If you have positive self-esteem, you will be more likely to have confidence in the way you will approach and deal with the stressors in your life.
Tip: Practice self-affirmations every morning to speak positivity into your life. Write out some affirming sentences that are relevant to your goals and read them aloud. Each affirmation should start with the words “I am.” Always use the present tense. Make your statement positive, only affirming what you want, not what you don’t want. Make it specific and keep it brief. And include feeling and action words; put some emotion behind it.
Here are some examples:
“I am so happy and grateful that I am now earning $180,000 a year.”
“I am enjoying contributing generously to retirement savings each month, making rapid progress towards complete financial independence.”
Now it’s your turn. What would you like to affirm?
Find Your Purpose
When the world around us changes, and our sense of “normal” is disrupted, we may begin to feel like we have lost our sense of purpose. It is important to know “why” you get up every day, what you need to accomplish, and what you contribute to the world around you. This is especially true if there has been a major life change, such as losing a job or a major medical ailment.
Some people are crystal clear on what their purpose is and won’t need any help identifying it. But most people have trouble going deep and getting honest about the thing that truly drives them. Even if they have a pretty good idea, such as knowing that their kids are their big why, sometimes the day-to-day responsibilities of life feel disconnected from deeper meaning.
Tip: Spend time writing down your “why” and determine what your daily contributions are. It could be something as simple as keeping the daily life of your house in order or making sure you are reaching out to others to offer to help those around you. It doesn’t have to be world-changing, but it can be if that’s what you really want. The point is, it needs to be personal, something that’s going to make you pop out of bed with enthusiasm when you’d rather press snooze. That’s where you’ll find your resilience.
One thing you should know about developing resilience is no matter what the concept of rugged individualism leads us to believe, the truth is we don’t develop resilience entirely on our own. People were made for interaction and connection with other people. During times of stress, you can often find yourself isolated from others. It is important to make a conscious effort to connect with other people and know that you are not alone. This is necessary for not only the social interaction but also to know that during times of trouble you have someone you can reach out to for help should you need it.
Tip: Think outside of the box, use social media, virtual meeting platforms, texting, calling, and even good old-fashioned snail mail to stay in touch with people. Make it a daily practice to reach out to one person and offer to help each other in any way you can.
There are a lot of quotes and advice about accepting change – and most of them are true. It is a good idea to take stock, know what changes you can control and what changes you cannot control, and don’t waste your energy fighting a losing battle. When you focus on the things within your control you lessen the opportunity to become frustrated trying to change things that are outside of your control, in turn reducing your stressors.
Tip: Make a list! Write down the things you have no control over, and then let them go! Then, write down a list of things that are within your control and figure out what adjustments are required to make the best of the situation.
Stay Healthy / Self-Care
One of the first things we tend to let go of in times of stress is self-care and staying healthy. The not-so-good-for-us snacks are within easy reach, and binge-watching Netflix seems like the best way to pass the time. Don’t let yourself get sucked too far down this hole. Make intentional time for yourself every day to do at least one thing to help you not only stay physically healthy but mentally healthy as well.
Tip: Make a list of things you will do for yourself every day no matter the circumstances: take a shower, get dressed, make better eating choices, drink more water, etc. Then make a list of things you enjoy that you can try to do at least 2-3 times per week: go for a walk outside, read a good book, pick up a new hobby, etc. Self-care is essential, and if you want to stay healthy and resilient, you can’t afford to skip it.
This is a tricky one. We have to find a balance between keeping informed and becoming overwhelmed with information. Some people even go to the other extreme of intentionally blocking out all information and ignoring what is going on around them completely. The key is finding a balance. Don’t consume every article, news show, social media post, or video about what is going on around you, but don’t stick your head in the sand either.
Tip: Seek out two or three reliable sources of information. Stick to those sources and set a time limit on how much information you are going to consume. It is a good idea to set specific times of day (i.e., once in the morning and once in the afternoon) to check these sources. You want to stay in the know without letting the news of the world drag you down.
Keeping a positive attitude about any difficult situation can be hard. This is a great time to practice the art of gratitude. Staying focused on the things around you that are going good can help ease the sting of things that may not be so great.
Tip: Start a gratitude journal. Take the time each morning to write down five things you are thankful for. Look for the bits of good amidst the chaos.
Stay the Course
Remember, not all situations are forever; there is an end in sight. Things will get better. Take this time to think about what you want that to look like and take actionable steps to help you get there. The definition of resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” It’s all about the recovery and the journey!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This material was prepared by Crystal Marketing Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate and is intended merely for educational purposes, not as advice.