5 Tips to Build Resiliency
Uncertainty can take us off track. Our ability to act instead of reacting when we face adversity can show us how resilient we are.
January has been full of intense emotions at my home.
My husband and I decided to send the kids back to in-person school even though COVID is still a threat. We sold our lovely vacation cabin as it is out of state and we cannot travel. We had our first post-cancer surgery check, which thankfully came out showing ‘cancer-free’!
In the outside world, we faced uncertainty about our democratic values and the political system, and we welcomed a new president during this unique time in history.
Show Me Your Super Powers
We can learn about ourselves by looking at the way we react to stressful situations. Losses, uncertainty, and pain may generate feelings and emotions that affect our bodies and minds.
All these past events took a stab at my body. Adversity undoubtedly brings my anxiety levels up, plus usually triggers a lupus flare. My symptoms vary among pain, rashes, and fatigue. None is fun.
For me, when the emotions are way too intense, I shut down. I need to retreat and get inside an imaginary bubble of comfort to heal myself and get back to the battlefield.
Other people may get angry, panic, or give up. Each of us has our way of dealing with pressure, and it is essential to pay attention to what it is, so we can control the outcome instead of being led by it.
Buckle Your Seatbelts: Change is Here to Stay
Kelly Clarkson, in her incredible tune, sang What does not kill you makes you stronger. Yes, struggles can increase our inner strength – as long as we learn from them and become better beings, but can we?
Making mistakes and failing is part of a growth mindset, but we all need to learn to shake it off, stand up tall, and give it another try. Life has been teaching me to be more comfortable with discomfort. I’m not too fond of it, but with on-going flares, I have learned to tolerate what I cannot control by focusing on what I can. And by doing that, I have been able to extend that learning to other parts of my life.
Please, Tell me What the Silver Lining Is!
In every setback, there is always a silver lining. I know it is tough to see a silver lining when we are about to crack open. Nevertheless, we can look at our challenges and problems as learning experiences instead of just difficulties. This apparently simple mindset change can make a world of difference.
With a learning mindset, I am open to making mistakes, to vent, take a pause and try again. I can reframe my pain and look at it to strengthen my emotional muscles, which, like any other muscle, take practice and perseverance to get stronger.
Finding Hope. Building Resilience.
In my life, hope is that continuous search for the light at the end of the tunnel. A certainty that things will get better eventually, and I am not fighting alone. Hope also shines optimism in my life to face setbacks as a part of my journey, not the destination. Another tool I talked about in previous blogs is mindfulness. Meditation has helped me immensely by bringing me back to the present; one inhale at a time. Exercise makes my mind and body healthier and helps let go of what I cannot control. Also, surrounding myself with people who are kind and supportive is very powerful. And finally, I pay attention to my needs by being compassionate to myself. It’s common to neglect my own needs and later pay a hefty price tag. If you have a few minutes, look at this anxiety article from the UK Mental Health Foundation.
I hope my suggestions help you find your way through difficult times and stay strong and healthy.
Hang tight. Yours truly,