Saturday, April 17, 2021

Resilience: Cracked but not broken


Resilience:  Cracked, but not broken

Greetings my fellow humans! I hope you are surviving and thriving during this very difficult time in all of our lives. The year 2020 was truly a crap storm and we all hope that 2021 will provide light and hope to us all.

It has been several months since I felt the energy and mental ability to put down into words something worthy. I wanted to provide an opportunity for dialog at an unprecedented time of challenge, as the whole world has struggled through the last twelve months of living in the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was so easy to formulate intelligent thoughts when mentally free flowing in deep philosophical conversation with my soulmate-sister earlier today, but now I am unable to wax eloquent once my fingers hit the keyboard. One cannot help but ask “why don’t the words of wisdom come across as easily from my fingertips as they poured from my lips just moments ago?” Oh yes, one of the many dilemmas of being a writer!

Over the course of the last twelve months of isolation, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have grappled with numerous thought paths, like tendrils of fine wire, flowing through my mind as I search for some glimmer of purpose during this challenging time. Shuttered in my home, I attempt to redefine my purpose, but instead I find myself shutting down one idea after the other.

The one familiar thing I am able to accomplish as my feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression increase is learning. I have always been a strong proponent of self-help, self-reflection and self-improvement. It has been my mantra to continue to strive on this lifelong journey to be the best person that I can be. Pursuing this path of learning provides a focus, while other normal outlets involving physical presence around others has been taken away. This focus also provides me with a sense of hope, since I am not currently inspired to work on any of my vintage re-creations.

On my life path, I discovered early, my desire to learn about behavior and mental processes and how humans interact with each other. I went back to school in my late 30s and earned my bachelor’s degree with honors. An interest in psychology not only helped me in my corporate job as an HR Manager, but also in my relationships with other humans. Learning what makes us tick, helps me to try and understand what also makes me tick as well.  

As I currently pursue my coursework for my Human Resource recertifications, I am especially focused on resilience. Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stresses (or changes) and this is a skill that is needed in our work lives as well as our personal lives. As I approach my 61st year of life during this pandemic, I realize my toolbox seems to be lacking, as I see my own resilience falter.

Growing from Failure and Adversity

Is the cup half full or half empty? It all depends on your perspective. When one attempts something and does not succeed, it should be seen as a life lesson and not a failure. It is important to be kind to yourself. Most of us fail along our journey in life. It is how we respond to failure that’s important.

Life doesn’t come with a blueprint or manual of “how to’s.” I remember once asking my mother why she never warned me about “this or that” when I was younger. Her response? You probably wouldn't have listened anyway and it’s better if you learn it on your own.

If you are like me and find that your coping skills and resilience may be faltering at this time, and you want to continue a positive, forward trajectory how do you start?

One thing that keeps us from taking that first step towards a needed change or improvement in our lives is the fear of the unknown. Another thing that may cause us to pause is not knowing where or how to start. The internet has a wealth of information and experts that can help. You can also find support groups so you don’t feel alone on your journey.

As I ended my call with my soul-sister earlier today, I reminded her that we are not broken, but cracked. We are like a mosaic of lines where we have healed from our experiences.

Some things to think about on your self-help journey:

  •       Practice self-care (exercise, eat properly, get enough sleep)
  •       Work on being more flexible and adaptable (you can only control yourself)
  •       Hold yourself accountable, but be kind to yourself
  •       Have an empathetic support system (rid yourself of toxic relationships)
  •       Work on developing your happiness toolkit
  •       Allow yourself to sit with your pain (work through it)
  •       Journaling (write down your thoughts)
  •       Practice mindfulness
  •       Help others
  •       Make a list of goals (and work towards achieving them)
  •       Practice supportive self-talk (let your inner adult embrace your scared inner child)
  •       Recognize that you are only in control of how you react to things (and people)

The Serenity Prayer (a great reminder that we have no control over other people or things)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…the courage to change the things I can…and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Below are some links and resources that you may find useful as you navigate your self-help journey:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_science_backed_strategies_to_build_resilience

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201810/9-ways-strengthen-your-resilience

https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-to-become-more-resilient-2795063

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/resilience-training/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/resilience.htm

https://momentousinstitute.org/blog/5-ways-to-build-resilience

PODCAST:  https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-qa-podcast-resiliency-during-covid-19-pandemic-flu-season/

 

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