The theme this month is resilience! It’s something we need in so many aspects of our lives, particularly when going through any sort of recuperation.
- the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
- ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
To me, the word that stands out most in that definition is elasticity. Resiliency is elasticity. It is the bouncing back after a struggle. And let’s face it, difficult times are going to happen to all of us, no matter how we try to avoid them. The important part is to be resilient.
How do you handle difficult times and the associated loss, disappointment or frustration?
If you’re anything like me you put your guard up. You repeat the words, “I’m fine,” until they’ve lost all meaning. This was exactly how I handled my cancer diagnosis. I put my guard up for all 9 months of treatment and I refused to experience all of my emotions. Perhaps rightly so considering that I made it through, but afterwards? That’s when I should have allowed myself to experience recuperation fully. That’s when I should have allowed myself to fully feel the sadness of cancer, the relief of recovery and the worries of my future.
Often, just a week after the death of a loved one, we’re expected to be back on the beam. More than likely we’re not ready yet because we’ve just barely started to feel the feelings of loss. To recover faster we have to do it fully so that we can move onto the next experience of joy, fully.
We try to skate around emotions but resiliency is when you embrace the experience (and all of the associated emotions) enough that you come through it.
Resiliency is all about the elasticity of moving between emotions. To help you better move through that process, more intensely and more quickly, consider these five steps:
- Be Self-Aware
First off, expand your definition of what you need to recover from. It’s not just for death and divorce. It’s for the little things as well; that date that didn’t go as you’d hoped, the traffic jam en route to work or the irritation that a colleague caused. Be aware enough to sense when you feel ‘off’. Learn your patterns and observe your triggers.
- Give Permission
Give yourself permission to recover. Otherwise, you’re just going to put the ‘fine’ Band-Aid on it. Masking the problem with neutrality does not make it better. Fine and better are not the same. Better only comes when you experience all of your emotions and let yourself recuperate fully.
- Be Nimble
I’m not talking about dancing a jig here. Be nimble with your emotions. Feel what needs to be felt when it needs feeling. The roller coaster of emotions is part of the human condition. If you don’t believe me, look at kids. Kids have unbridled emotions and they go through them way faster then us.
- Show Forgiveness
I catch myself on this one a lot. When someone else says or does something and it sets you off, you can often find yourself reeling in, “Why would they do that to me?” land. The reality is they likely didn’t intend to do anything to you. Always assume best possible intent.
- Be Reflective
Allow yourself the time to think through your resilient recuperation. What steps were hardest? What do you need to focus on next time? Have you noticed any themes with your triggers?
Let’s go for it. Let’s experience the full force of our emotions, and let’s come through it. Let’s BE resilient!
Okay over to you:
How do you handle difficult times and the associated loss, disappointment or frustration? What would you like to change about that process? How do you plan to be more resilient? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Hope to see you there!