Six Strategies for Resilience

Any time we are faced with difficulties, there is a process we must go through to adjust. The question is, how long and how much impact the difficulty or challenge will have on our life.

These resilience practices will enable you to bounce back more rapidly from hard times: 

  1. Connection.
    Building strong, positive relationships with friends and family can provide you with needed support and acceptance during the ups and downs of life. Reflect on the people you spend the most time with. Will they be there with you no matter what’s going on? How can you improve the quality of your connections? 
  2. Meaning. 
    While you don’t get to decide what happens to you, you are always in control of the meaning you make of your circumstances. Define what matters most to you. Then do something every day that gives you a sense of accomplishment toward what matters. When things don’t go your way, decide how you will react. Vince Lombardi said that he never lost a game, he just ran out of time! 
  3. Wisdom. 
    They say wisdom is applied learning. Lessons are useless unless they are used. What have you learned from hardships that you faced in the past? What skills or strategies helped you deal with the rough times? What did you do that was not so helpful? Be wise – apply what you learned about what works, what doesn’t and what’s true in the midst of difficulties.
  4. Hope. 
    A friend shared that his training in the military taught him the importance of hope. When you give up hope, it’s over. Hope is a life and death decision. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but you can choose to believe in a better future. Instead of focusing on the rear view mirror, look out the windshield and imagine the best.   
  5. Self-care.
    In challenging times, it can seem like the right thing to do is take care of everyone else. But if your “tank” is empty, you won’t have the energy.  Prioritize your physical and emotional needs. Intentionally do things that bring you joy. Don’t miss out on exercise, sleep or healthy food. To maintain inner calm, practice yoga, meditation, deep breathing or prayer. Practice gratitude by pausing each day to reflect on three things you are grateful for…that’s a game changer!
  6. Action. 
    One of the most helpful things we learned from David Allen’s Getting Things Done is the idea of the next step. Rather than having to come up with the complete solution or fix, just focus on the one thing that can be done next. Don’t ignore the problems or try to wish them away. It takes time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss. Know that things will improve, just take the next step.

Unfortunately, part of life is dealing with hard times, struggles and difficulties. If you intentionally build resilience strategies into your life, you’ll be better prepared when you encounter them.

Here’s to your resilience…advancing despite adversity.

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