Resilience is not being immune to stress or difficult circumstances, but rather having the skills and mindset to navigate them effectively.
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”Robert Jordan
When I first read this quote, I was captivated. Nature itself chooses to be resilient. Plants, for example, can grow in some of the harshest of environments. Even when it seems that the odds are stacked against them. It’s not overnight, but with time they reach their vines towards the sky. They just keep growing. When we can “bend” like the willow to life’s hardships, we are able to stay intact with ourselves and resist breaking apart! Here are some exercises that you can do today to practice resilience:
1.) Unplug from electronics/screens for 1 hour.
Sometimes the digital world can be a lot to handle. Take a break from it! Studies show that decreasing screen time also helps decrease stress, and also increases productivity and creativity!
2.) Get up and go outside for at least 30 minutes.
If you’ve been living in Utah, you probably rolled your eyes at this one! Our weather hasn’t been the greatest, but I still try to find time to go outside. Bundle up, grab those snow boots, and go on a walk around the neighborhood. You’ll find that getting your body moving in the outdoors will help you feel recharged!
3.) Go on a solo adventure.
I love my solo adventures. When I am feeling stressed or sad, most often, you can bet I’ll be taking a self-care trip to Dutch Bros and Target. A little pick me up treat, and time to myself is always so relaxing. Try this the next time you might be feeling down or discouraged. You don’t even have to buy anything at the store. Sometimes, just the time spent alone is all that you need.
4.) Meditate for 5 minutes.
This tip is so so so helpful, yet underused. It doesn’t have to be a fancy yoga mat with meditation music playing. It can just be shutting down distractions, and breathing in and out for 5 minutes. Take this time to talk with yourself. What are some things going good right now? How could I feel accomplished today? What can I do to feel more in control of my situation?
5.) Ask for help with something you are struggling with.
For such a seemingly simple task, this one is very hard for people to do. Myself included. I think that sometimes there is a fear that asking for help means; “I am weak.” That is not the case. It takes courage to truly ask someone to help us out in times of need. We can usually find ourselves eager to help someone out in times of need, but may resist reaching out. How can we expect to help others if we don’t allow ourselves the same generosity?
It’s important to know, we can take breaks if we get tired or overwhelmed! That’s not showing weakness or giving up. It is realizing that we need to slow down, regain strength, regroup, and start again. This process helps prevent burnout, and can lead to some great characteristics. This can include: Self-care habits, emotional vulnerability to ask for help, confidence to solve problems, and better communication skills!
Resilience is not achieved overnight, it is something we practice to become. What’s important to realize is that when we are able to have compassion and patience for ourselves, we are more able to offer the same to others. So, when life’s winds are strong in motion, allow yourself the generosity to bend. Take your time, but just keep growing.
If you would like to learn more about resilience and other protective factors register for the Joining Forces Conference on April 25th & 26th.