excerpts from "Cultivate your Resilience" by Becky Andrews, LCMHC
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern." – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Resilience: The ability to pull something from deep within to keep moving forward.
The ability to bounce back and thrive under adverse or challenging circumstances.
The ability to rebound from life’s difficulties and challenges in a healthy,
"Life isn’t about how fast you run or how high you climb,
but how well you bounce." – Tigger
You have permission to:
Identify your feelings.
We often have trouble identifying our feelings. Before you can articulate them to yourself or someone else, you need to be aware of what you are feeling. Check out the following website for an example of an emotion wheel.
Articulate your feelings.
There are many physical, social, cognitive, and emotional responses to the losses
and challenges we experience. Knowing and expressing our emotions in healthy
ways is an important step in our ability to cope, cultivate resilience and thrive.
Ask yourself regularly: How am I feeling today? Journal, draw, or share with a friend
the answer to this question. Feeling is Healing.
Practice Self-Compassion. Take time for Self-Care.
“Some people worry that self-compassion will close them off from other people
by making them selfish and self-centered. The reverse is actually the case – the
more open hearted we are with ourselves, the closer we feel toward the rest of life.
Self-compassion is the foundation for kindness toward others.
When we’re more accepting of our own, we become more accepting of others.
Full acceptance of ourselves, moment to moment makes it easier to adapt and
change in the direction we’d like to go.” – Christopher Germer, Self-Compassion
We need to nurture ourselves in five areas: Physical, Emotional, Cognitive, Social
and Spiritual. What nurtures you in each of these areas? This is your go-to list
Be Authentic (YOU) in your journey.
"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle – Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite joy, grace and gratitude in our lives." – Brene Brown.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." – Theodore Roosevelt
Have healthy Reciprocal Relationships. Boundaries.
When we feel understood, validated and cared for it fuels our ability to be resilient. Healthy relationships – accept and give support when needed.
Who has been there for you? _______________________________________________
What are your Boundaries? Where do you need to give yourself permission to say no?
What do you want to say yes to? _____________________________________________
"Connection doesn’t exist without giving and receiving. We need to give, and we need to receive." – Brene Brown
Identify your strengths and utilize them.
Get to know yourself. What do you enjoy doing? What brings you joy? What are your strengths that give you energy?
www.viacharacter.org is a wonderful Positive Psychology Test that will help you understand your strengths.
Take time to utilize one of your top 5 strengths each day. When you are experiencing a challenging time – take a moment to pause and bring one of your strengths into cultivating your resilience for that situation.
What is a strength that has helped you in your life? ________________________________
Dig deep. Take small steps. Persist.
Break down what seems overwhelming into small tasks and acknowledge your small victories along the way. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon not a sprint.
A practice of gratitude can connect us to everything and everyone. It is helpful to have a daily gratitude journal. Take a moment to remember how many people have created or made possible what you experience each day. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life. Each day savor the feeling of gratitude.
"Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it." – Wayne Dyer
Laugh and find joy in each day.
Laughter can be a powerful force and finding humor in our difficult moments (in time) can help us on our path to resilience. Take time to notice the small moments that bring you joy in each day.
"Every time you are able to find humor in a difficult situation you win." – Avinash Wandre
Be open. Be flexible. Be creative.
"We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them." – Epitetus.
"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguise as impossible situations." – Charles Swindoll.
Find meaning and purpose. Give Back. Serve Others.
In time, you can create meaning and purpose from your challenges. Spend time serving others.
"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." – Nietzche
"Strength, courage, and resiliency exist in everyone, but they start as a tiny spark and its only through facing challenges that they grow and blaze into the force that directs our lives." – Erik Weihenmayer