What is resilience?
For me, resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and to emerge stronger! I think of some of the many difficulties I’ve faced in my own life: the breakdown of a relationship under hurtful circumstances, the serious illnesses of my mother and husband, a miscarriage, a redundancy, not getting the job of my dreams, to name but a few. These obstacles threatened to derail me but I survived and you can too.
Life won’t always be a bed of roses. There will be times when you see life as you know it crumble before your very eyes. You may not be able to change circumstances, but you do have the power to journey on with your head raised high.
Here are ten ways you can be resilient when life pulls another punch:
- Have a great support network. Friends and family have been the ones I’ve turned to in times of need. They have been my rock. Someone to share the tough times with and to talk to without judgment. And, linked to this is:
- Know when to ask for help from others. I find people like to be asked and respond better when they feel that they can be a support to you. No one likes seeing their friend suffer so it makes them feel as though they are doing something useful.
- Think optimistically and see challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Yes, this can be tough. There are many times things have looked so very bleak – like the couple of times my husband has been ill to the point that I wasn’t sure he would make it. Thankfully, these occasions have turned around. My lesson is that you never know what the outcome may be. So, as much as you can, keep your faith and keep hoping that things will turn out well.
- Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Believe in yourself. You have an inner strength. Tap into it and you’ll be amazed at your resilience. When I hit a low patch, I remind myself of all that I have coped with and achieved. I remind myself that I have been through worse and come out the other side.
- Be adaptable to your situation. You can take life’s obstacles lying down or you can adapt to them. Don’t be too quick to accept defeat. Ask yourself: Can I achieve my goals a different way? Or, can I gain something else from this? Be a creative problem solver. As Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
- Know your purpose and see setbacks as part of the bigger picture. Whatever your life goals are, keep moving toward them. You will know your purpose when you feel passion for something and it doesn’t feel like work.
- Relinquish control. Accept what you can’t change and focus your energy instead on what you can do going forward. Accept that you are at this point in time exactly where the universe wants you to be.
- Embrace life and all it brings Every night, I make a point of being grateful for what has gone well during my day, and for the wonderful family I have. Life will bring good, and it will bring bad. Appreciate and be grateful for all that you have.
- Carve out time to do things for yourself Everyone needs to engage in self-care. All too often, we get caught up in our responsibilities toward others and we forget our responsibility toward ourselves. Personally, I love watching a good film, escaping into a great book, ambling through the forest or dining out with dear friends. Take time to care for yourself and enjoy the simpler things in life.
- Keep healthy Exercise, eat well (fresh, whole and real not processed food), aim for 7 to 8 hours sleep a night, and drink lots of water. A healthy body, a healthy mind to cope with and overcome life’s challenges.
These ten tools have stood me in good stead during my tough times. May we remain resilient and able to rise when challenges come our way.