There is no light without darkness and there is no darkness without light.
— Pratibha Sharma
Several times this week in the oddest ways, the word resilience popped up in front of me. I thought it was really interesting how it happened too. The last time was this morning when I went to the gym and saw a new gym tank top with the word written in a swirled fancy font that was certainly eye-catching.
According to google the definition of resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. Whew! I walked out of the gym after “one of those weeks“ and thought to myself ‘yeah, that is definitely painting the picture of the superpower I need this week!'
Sometimes things happen that can knock you off balance, knock you to the core. Have you ever been frustrated by how attached you are to the outcome of a situation? It’s so important that we concentrate on the things that we have control over in our life. Truth is, we will get those ‘punched in the gut’ days but how we respond to them is far more important.
1. It's only temporary. Recognize that whatever is happening in these moments is temporary. You can easily stay connected and get sucked into the negativity of emotions within a situation or you can become aware of yourself and your emotions within the situation so that your emotions do not control you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry or cry or feel the sadness. In fact, allow yourself to feel those feelings. Simply be mindful not to get stuck in that place. We can suffer there and feel as though we are drowning.
2. Make connections. Connecting with others is an amazing way to communicate the emotions we are having during these times, gain insight from other people who are feeling similarly, and to learn from people who may have been down the same roads we may be going down right now. There is strength in being present with one another as we struggle and go through dark times.
3. With that being said, resiliency has been shown by so many who have been able to give to others as a way to build themselves back up. There is an amazing gift that you give to yourself when you give to others. As Mother Theresa said “When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.”
4. Take time for gratitude. While there may genuinely be things going wrong in your life, take the time to appreciate what is going right. Taking some time for a gratitude practice seems like an impossible task when you are going through things that are difficult. However, during truly dark times I find that it is then, that my heart opens widest and sees the world clearer than ever before.
5. Spend your downtime doing things that you love. Do things that are meaningful to you - that light you up from the inside. These will be the things that strengthen you up and give you energy for the times that are more draining. Come on, we know that those draining times are going to come every now and again so we might as well power up and fill up those tanks for when those times come.
6. Love yourself. Be gentle. Recognize that you are going to have days, weeks, maybe longer, where things may go on in your life that may make you feel vulnerable. Try not to judge yourself so harshly. Try hard to treat yourself in the same loving way you treat those who come to you when they need support. THEN....ask for support yourself. Be quiet and look inward and see what it is you need.
7. And last but not least… You knew I was going to say it… Yup! Self-care! I don’t think there’s ever going to be a time that I don’t mention the importance of self-care. Think about the things that feed your body, mind and soul. For me, the gym has been a lifesaver as it has gotten my butt out and moving on a regular basis. I’ve also changed my eating habits to nourish me, and I am FOREVER trying to work on my sleep. My soul is fed by my children just by being in their company and I love to read to feed my mind. But we can talk further about feeding the body, mind and soul on another day!
Take care of yourself this weekend and stay safe and remember that we are far more resilient than we realize and give ourselves credit for most of the time! Happy Friday!