Keys to Developing Resilience
Draining is the only word I can use to describe the past week of my life. While nothing devastating happened, the sum of life events drained me, spiritually and mentally. There was a moment this past week when I felt like I was literally on the edge of my sanity. During personal interactions and observing social media, I learned that a lot people felt the same way. While none of us are facing the same challenges, we all are fighting to push through to the next day. Moving forward at times like this is not the easiest task, but if you're anything like me, you're resilient. I've learned how to move past tough times fairly quickly. This resilience did not grow overnight. I constantly work to cultivate it. If you struggle moving forward, here are some things you can do to build your resilience:
1. Become self-aware: Take time to learn who you really are, what you really need, and know your limitations. A lot of stressful situations stem from us pretending to be someone we're not to force connections to others or material things that are not beneficial to us. Learning your mental boundaries and understanding your emotional/physical limitations will help you to avoid stressful situations. You don't always have to be the strongest or the toughest. It's ok to just be you. Life is easier when you don't have to pretend all of the time.
2. Understand your physiological and psychological needs: Do not suppress your emotions. Be honest with yourself and learn the subtle cues that your body/mind gives you when it is reaching its limits. Find methods to center yourself when you're angry or not feeling your best. Some people breathe slowly, some meditate, and others take long walks. None of those methods work for me. Personally, I need to write, listen to music, or go to sleep. Writing, music, and good rest are healing for me. Another way I keep centered is I allow myself to cry whenever needed. I rarely cry (unless I'm really laughing hard) but every time I take a shower, I ask myself if I need to cry: most of the time I don't, but when I do, I literally breakdown. And I rarely know why I'm crying or what I'm releasing, but that simple exercise makes me feel better and helps me to avoid having bad days. My method probably sounds crazy to you, but it works for me. Find what works for you!
3. Accept change: Prepare yourself to accept change and face the obstacles that life hands you. Life is life. It is constantly changing and nothing is permanent. Once you accept this fact, change your perspective and outlook on life. Be optimistic and speak positivity! Changing your perspective won't prevent you from having bad days, but it will definitely change how you handle them. So allow yourself to acknowledge your feelings, the good & the bad, and keep pushing forward. If you keep stepping in the right direction, you'll eventually get there.
4. Build a good support system: Our pride rarely let us admit it, but we all need help from time to time. Find people that you can call on to vent, grieve, and work through your emotions. While they probably can't solve your problems, most of the time you just need a listening ear and encouragement. Seek out individuals who have a positive outlook on life and those that aren't so quick to judge. And please remember, you're a part of a support system, so be there when others need your support and learn how to offer solutions without being condescending or judgmental.
Life is like an amusement park: Many people enter, everyone takes different paths of exploration, but none of us experience identical reactions or emotions from the rollercoasters. So find your path and enjoy your journey. Don't compare your journey to others and know that none of us have it all figured out. And if you can't find a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear, I'm always here.
What keeps you resilient? Please comment below!