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    Toughen Up; 100 Ways To Develop Resilience

    Times are tough right now. How do we toughen up? ...

    Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us?

    Please enjoy these 100 ideas below...

    Resilience Is A Practice

    Practice Heart/Brain coherence skills daily so that you are connecting your heart and brain and emotions through simple breathing and awareness techniques. Before I meet with every client or teach a class, I stop for three minutes and slow my breathing down. Then I focus my breath on my heart center. I ask myself what quality of the heart I want to take into my interaction with my clients or students or my family. After a few minutes, I feel my nervous system and heart and brain start to sync up like a finely tuned machine and I can think better, stay more connected and present with others, and feel better.

    Become aware of your triggers and to acknowledge them, forgive yourself for responding to them and learn tools to respond in a way that does not drain your inner battery, as HeartMath calls it. A trigger for me is feeling like I am not being respected. So rather than just assume that is what is happening, I have come up with kind ways to ask the other person if I am understanding what they really mean or if I am just making up a story in my head.

    Learn skills to switch your emotions from depleting to renewing. HeartMath researchers and many other scientists are studying the strengthening effect of renewing or uplifting emotions. We have known for years about the draining and debilitating effects of “so-called negative” emotions including the release of cortisol, increase in blood pressure, lowering of immune system, but there is a growing body of evidence that shifting your emotions to those that uplift you has the opposite effect. Joy, Courage, and Serenity are all considered uplifting emotions and they lead to higher cortical functioning, the release of oxytocin and DHEA, an improvement in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and the improvement in your vagus nerve functioning.

    Lifestyle matters when it comes to resiliency. Yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, time with loved ones, eating foods that nourish your body, rest and sleep, and eliminating toxins from our lives are all part of my daily resilience practices. Am I perfect? NO WAY, but I know that when I do these practices, I feel better. When you feel better, you are naturally more able to be stronger physically, physiologically, emotionally, and mentally.

    Resilience is a practice. Like brushing your teeth and other daily good habits, it can only be developed if you practice daily and not wait for the crisis to happen to rally the troops. In fact, resiliency skills are best practiced when you do not need them. Once you change your physiology, you will be able to easily access these skills when you really need them. An example from my life is when COVID hit, I felt prepared to adapt to the changes in the world without anger and judgement. I did not fall in the trap of blaming others. Instead, I used my energy to figure out how to move through this trauma with the least amount of wear and tear on my body, mind and spirit. - Andrea Trank

    Question Your Thoughts

    Become Present — It’s hard to tap into our resilience when our mind is busy creating stories of worry and fear. Stop for a moment, feel your breath, and focus on the present moment. It’s only in the present that we can be resilient. We don’t live in the future or past, so, in the words of Ram Dass, be here now.

    Feel in Your Body — Whatever emotions you’re feeling, observe the physical sensations. Focus on the physical experience of the emotion rather than thoughts, which will only perpetuate the undesirable feeling. When we struggle with fear, anger, or sadness, the way out is to ride the wave of sensations through until it washes up on the shore and completes.

    Self-Compassion — Compassion is having a caring, kind, understanding attitude towards another — and towards yourself. It’s not pity or indulgence in an emotion. While you are present and feeling the sensations, have an attitude of self-compassion for your struggle. Acknowledge the challenge, but don’t try to fix it; be right there with yourself, kindly.

    Question Your Thoughts — Don’t believe everything you think, as Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith says. Thoughts are not reality and they aren’t necessarily true. Consider that there may be other ways to perceive and other thoughts that are more true and more helpful.

    Trust the Process — We can’t control everything, and often, things turn out better when we let go. Trust that there is a higher process — I would call it a Divine Process — that is at work in your life. Make your appropriate efforts but let go of the results. Trust that something greater than you is in charge and has your highest good in mind. - Connie L. Habash

    Seek Connection

    Seek CONNECTION — Connection must happen first with self, through greater understanding of who you are and what you need, and then be extended out to the collective, looking for like minds and a blanket of loving support. Without connecting to yourself first, you are always looking for external forces to carry you, and that won’t form lasting resilience. Give yourself a few moments of silence, light a candle, allow thoughts to come and go, and ask yourself how you’re feeling.

    Establish SOVEREIGNTY — We are wired to thrive on autonomy, mastery and purpose. We need to feel in control of our choices and our sense of self. We need to express something that we are great at and show mastery, and last, we must be connected to a purpose greater than us. Without these things, no amount of extrinsic positive feedback, money, or reward will let us build resilience or feel satisfied. This comes from focusing on one skill, something you’re already naturally good at, and offering that skill to the world.

    Feel a sense of BELONGING — Once we find our community of support through connection and we establish our sovereignty by finding our autonomy, mastery and purpose, we must actualize a sense of belonging by both giving generously and taking consciously from the community of support, creating a system of interdependence, trust and reliance, which establish a sense of belonging. Without belonging, we feel loneliness, and loneliness leads to the breakdown of our mental capacity as well as inflammation in the body and ultimately disease and dis-ease. Belonging is an essential exchange of acceptance. Anyone who’s helped at a food bank or homeless shelter or even helped a neighbor drag away tree limbs after a storm, experiences a sense of belonging, while allowing others to feel it too.

    Anchor in your PRESENCE — Presence is in how we show up — how we carry ourselves, how we walk in the world, and the face we show others as a manifestation of the work we have done in the spaces of connection, sovereignty and belonging. Presence tends to be our somatic experience of the world, and it can show up as the tension we are carrying in our bodies because of our experiences. Everything shows up on our faces, in our walks, in our tone of voice, and in how we interact with others. Somatic healing leads to the healing of our presence so that we can walk in the world with peace, not aggression.

    Build and share HARMONY — Harmony is a practice of being quiet within and transmuting that quiet into the world as a gift. Harmonious people are magnets for other people — safe space to be themselves and share their gifts and their voices. The WEL movement seeks to be a safe space for people to be who they are and to stay neutral to volatile world events while also listening to each other and practicing the experience of speaking powerfully and asking powerful questions.-Courtney Feider

    Don't Be Afraid

    Having a victor mindset — never feeling like a victim. Instead of saying “Why is this happening to me?” you say, “What is this trying to teach me?” It’s accepting whatever’s happening and figuring out how to move forward in the gentlest and most positive way possible. When I was terminating my marriage, I refused to feel like a victim. I knew no one was going to rescue me. I took full responsibility by taking ownership of my life.

    Watching your self-talk. It’s astounding how many times we talk to ourselves in a way that is deprecating. We need to talk to ourselves as if we are our own best friend. How can we feel powerful and capable if we are putting ourselves down? Again, during my divorce, I’d catch myself partaking in cognitive errors (read Feeling Good by David Burns) like, I’ll never get through this, or, I can’t handle this. I would consciously change my narrative to I will get through this and Things will get better.

    Practicing self-love and self-care. It’s important to take extra good care of yourself when going through something difficult. Take your B vitamins, get good, quality sleep, listen to uplifting music, watch uplifting or funny movies, take walks in nature, minimize your sugar intake, eat healthy meals. Stay away from drugs and alcohol -they are NOT going to help you cope because numbing your feelings does not help you move forward. Instead, choose healthy escape activities: drawing, hiking, dancing, etc. During my divorce, I took good care of myself. I even started a gratitude journal. All these things led me to write my second book, Fantastic You — about self-care and self-compassion.

    Reach out to your family and or friends. Have at least one person you trust that you can confide in. I’m a very private person, but luckily, I have one friend who I can talk to without being judged and who is always supportive. It’s important to feel like someone cares deeply about you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t stuff your feelings.

    Surround yourself with positivity. Read positive books (especially those that feature people who’ve turned their lives around for the better), write positive quotes on sticky notes, and put them around your house. Fill your mind with inspiring, positive affirmations. Again, during my divorce, I would literally change the lyrics to a song I was listening to if they were negative. For example, if the song, Never Gonna Fall in Love Again, by Eric Carmen, came on, I’d change the lyrics to: Yes, I’m Gonna fall in love again — and apparently it worked!-Danielle Dufayet

    Read And Learn

    Simple exercises I encourage clients to do to increase their resilience;

    1. Foundational work is to make sure they have healthy sleep hygiene and habits, that they are exercising and eating well. Food, sleep, and exercise contribute considerably to our ability to handle stress. Would you rather handle a crisis on a full night of sleep or 2 Red Bulls and 3 hours of sleep?

    2. With the help of a counselor, therapist, or coach challenge negative “self-talk”. Engage in critical thinking about your beliefs in the problem. Actively asking questions to debunk your initial beliefs or to give them a more balanced view can help a leader feel more empowered.

    3. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone and your problems are too big to handle. So reading biographies of resilient people and learn from them, allows a leader to see that they are a part of a collective. They are human and they have all the grit they need when it is called upon.- Diana Lowe

    Observe Your Development

    Be aware of the fact, that you are already resilient! Most people have already had adversities in their lives, which actually made them already somewhat resilient — even if they are not aware of that. Think about these hard times in your life, list them and also write down how you grew through each of them. What you learnt, what skills or emotional development you gained from them. All these all already part of your current resilience!

    Think about what are those situations, where you still see a room for improving your resilience. There can be such difficult situations, during which you still cannot find your balance. Think about these and also, what you would need to be able to find your center in these cases. If you know what you are missing, you can start to work on these skills or capabilities, which will help you increase your resilience on your own.

    Find practice opportunities for yourself and observe your development. When you already have the improved skills and capabilities of above, find some opportunities for yourself to test them. The most important here is to take it gradually, step by step, not by a deep-dive. By practicing continuously, you will be able to get used to these situations, hence grow your resilience on these areas as well.

    If you feel stuck, contact a professional coach/therapist to help you through it. It is absolutely normal to have such adversities, which we cannot handle on our own. Fortunately, there are plenty of great coaches and therapists, who can support you in this development process. Find one, with whom you can open up, who you can trust and who can use their professional experience to heal your mental and/or emotional blockages, which prevent you from being resilient in these particular cases.

    Be aware of your improvement and be proud of yourself! Celebrating the successes, or even being aware of them is something that can easily be missed in this fast-paced world. Make sure that you are aware of how far you have got in building your resilience. Think about those adversities, in connection to which you are already resilient and compare the ‘now’ to your past experiences. Feel how much better you are now in this and be proud of yourself. If it helps, you can keep track of these situations in a written format for yourself, so that if you get into a hard situation again, you can read them and gain energy from them!-Dóri Padla

    Bet On You

    Create the space to reflect from the lessons. Processing is important. Otherwise, it isn’t resilience anymore. It’s doing the same thing over and over without learning.

    You need a support system that reminds you of who you are. In the midst of challenges, it’s easy to have a warped sense of who you are. Having folks remind you of what’s in you is necessary.

    Bet on you. Challenges will come. Trauma isn’t always avoidable but what you can do is make sure that you always believe in yourself and your abilities.

    Recognize the traumas that you endure. I think as a society, we are so determined to move through situations and just as muscles need time for recovery to be stronger, you must know when to pause or even stop to heal before moving forward.

    Watch your thinking. One of my favorite quotes is “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits.” Everything starts as a thought. Pay attention to what you think about yourself and the situations you face. It can determine your results/outcome. - Dr. Froswa

    Be Confident

    Learn from your mistake and adjust accordingly: The world at times can make you feel that things are done with perfection or proficiency all the time. We see that perfection after the bloopers are edited out, years after someone has trained. We see the edited clean performance of things. Mistakes are the building blocks of life. Resiliency is developed after all those mistakes.

    Be the student in life: Be the student in life: Everyone wants to be the leader. There is always something to be learned in life. Researching and learning from others is what is going to prepare you during those turbulent times.

    Be confident in the decisions you make: Be confident in the decisions you make: This will shine and radiate in others. Your performance is going to produce massive results. When you are satisfied with your choices, you set the foundation for positive results. Leave your legacy as someone who refuses to give up on doing good in the world.

    Take care of yourself: Your body is what drives you to success. If you do not take care of your health, you will not do well. When I faced a difficult moment in life, I could navigate through it because of the care I devoted to my mind, body, and soul. Feed your body, and it will lift you through turbulent situations and moments of adversity.

    Be okay being Criticized: Be okay being Criticized: On your journey, criticism will come, guaranteed! -Jameson C. Montgomery

    Stop Overthinking

    The first step in building our resilience muscle is knowing what we have to offer and learning what our ‘Why’ is. When you know what you offer and why you go out and do what you do on a daily basis, it can add tremendous strength to our resilience muscle. One way to do this is to do some soul searching and actually write down your ‘Why’. For me, it’s family and personal growth. If I don’t put maximum effort into everything I do, I feel like I am failing my family. Knowing my ‘Why’ and reminding myself of it daily keeps me resilient at times when I need it the most. In addition, knowing what we have to offer and feeling strongly about it can really keep your resilience up because that confidence will keep you going in the right direction.

    Second, I would say stepping out of our comfort zones is a great way to build up resilience. I make it a daily goal to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable; within reason. Nothing great happens in our comfort zone, yet so many people get stuck in this zone because it feels safe to them. I can tell you first hand that when we step out of our comfort zone, not only will we overcome our personal fears, but we will be even more resilient in our endeavors. I encourage everyone to do what makes them feel uncomfortable.

    Third, we need to stop overthinking the situation. I hate to admit it, but I still struggle with this one. It’s easy to get tied up on something that happened that maybe made us feel like a failure, or caused us to doubt ourselves. Over thinking what happened and replaying the situation is a waste of time, effort and potential. Over thinking can keep us stuck in that past moment and rob us of future opportunity. If we decide not to over think what happened and remember to move on from it, we can be leaps and bounds ahead in building resilience for ourselves.

    Fourth, take a step back and breathe. Failure is never a fatal catastrophe-nor is it a brick wall that stops us in our tracks. Taking the time to breathe and briefly looking at the past experience can help us realize that we can move forward faster with the resilience we need to do the great things we seek. Failing to breathe and allow ourselves to move forward will not make us the resilient person we need to be.

    Five, find a way to laugh. Laughter is my favorite way to stay resilient because I love the effects of comedy. No matter how bad a situation get’s or how sour we feel towards something, joy is always found in laughter. I love to push off stress by playing short comedy clips to put me in a better mood. Finding things that make you laugh hysterically can really change your mind set for the better.-Jason Gelios

    Challenge Yourself

    Remove the naysayers. There are always people around you that will tell you that you cannot or should not do something. They do not need to be in your inner circle. Example: People told me not to leave the law and not to start a business.

    Challenge yourself. Set new goals that are outside your comfort zone and work to accomplish them. Each time you will be able to reflect on what you did before that you did not think you’d be able to do. Example: Giving a TEDx talk after five years of rejections.

    Give up the idea of perfection and do it anyway. Example: I am not a perfect speaker, but I am an impactful one.

    Find your joy. Example: For me, that is boxing. Find something you enjoy and make it a priority in your life no matter how busy you are.

    Do not be afraid to fall apart. Example: I learned that I have come through better and stronger after hitting rock bottom.-Jennifer Lynn Robinson

    Help Others

    Own your own story — It has taken me decades to be fully comfortable as a person with Tourette Syndrome. I wish I had a long time ago, because now I feel like I can do so much with it. And I wish I hadn’t wasted all those years. It is only now that I am embracing it with all my heart, that I feel like I can be a leader in the world of neurodiversity and Tourette Syndrome. As an example, anytime I give a talk now, I start out by telling everyone that I have Tourette Syndrome. It just takes it off the table as an issue, so they can focus on whatever I am talking about, rather than wondering “what’s wrong with that guy?”

    Find humor in situations — I think you need to find the humor in situations. Something may seem bleak, but there is nearly always humor there if you look. It may be dark humor. But being able to laugh at yourself, particularly, can get you through the bad times. In all my social media accounts, I describe myself, among other things, as a “twitchy bastard.” Why? It might catch someone’s attention. It’s not what they are expecting. It pokes fun at myself. Why not?

    Realize how insignificant it all is: If you look across the sweep of history, all our problems are relatively insignificant. I mean we live 100 years if we are lucky, and our species has existed for something like 200,000 years. Our lives are just blips in time. If you look beyond earth to the universe, we are a tiny fleck in an incomprehensible vastness. Whether you think that is because of God or science, or both, or something else, what we are is such a small part of what exists, that our setbacks really don’t matter. I tic. So what? In 10,000 years, when the Klingons discover earth, my tics and I will be long forgotten.

    Find a home base — In that vastness, we need to find a place we can feel free to be ourselves. We need a home base. Where people who love you and support you will let you be you. It gives you a place to explore from or retreat to if times are bad. My family is that for me, of course. But my friends are too. One of my best friends jokes with me about my tics. I’ll start thinking about something creative, and he’ll say, “There you go twitching again. What are you coming up with this time?” He doesn’t care, and that gives me the freedom to be me.

    Help others — If you are having troubles and are stuck, believe me there is someone who has it worse. Help yourself by helping them. It gives you humility and a sense of purpose and makes you feel good. It can be a huge help in getting you through a tough time. This is why I wanted to be on the Board of Directors of the Tourette Association of America. I didn’t have support when I was growing up with Tourette Syndrome. It’s important to me that all the kids who start ticcing today know that they are not alone, that they have the support of a whole community of people just like them, and that their lives can be ok.-Jerry Gidner

    I Am

    Develop Your Self-Awareness — The key to being able to develop your resilience, is to know where you’re starting. It’s hard to see how we’ve grown or assess where we’re going, if we don’t know where we are starting. You can start doing this by becoming more aware of how you are responding to situations in your life. Consider these questions to developing your self-awareness: How do you show up when you experience a stressor or a challenge? Do you sit in it and feel like you are at the affect of everything, or are you able to see the opportunities in the challenge? What is triggering those stress reactions and do you notice a pattern? This is a big first step and although can be uncomfortable, it’s like holding up a mirror for yourself to see how you are showing up and how that is serving you and what you want, or holding you back. This was a critical first step for me in developing my resilience to get really honest with myself of how I was handling tough situations and stress, and if that was getting me closer to or further away from my goals.

    Give Yourself Grace & Compassion. I think in general, we are really hard on ourselves. We tend to beat ourselves up about what we do or don’t do, and how we handle situations. After you reflect on how you handled something or a tough challenge, usually the first thing we do is to put ourselves down. With my clients, sometimes they try so quickly to “fix” things and move past them, that they don’t acknowledge what they are all feeling and just use a “bandaid” approach, and yet those feelings are still festering under the surface. Try giving yourself some grace and compassion. Allow yourself to sit in the feelings for a little while from a place of compassion instead of self-judgment. Then, with your awareness and your compassion, you can ask yourself “now, what do I want to do with this?”

    Practice Gratitude and Affirmations. I truly didn’t understand the power of gratitude and affirmations until the last few years in growing as a business owner. It’s a great tool in developing your resilience to be able to practice gratitude for what you have, what you’ve done, and all the things you appreciate. You are able to more quickly bounce back and see opportunity in a time of challenge, when you are grateful for what you have. I now start each day by writing out 5 things I am grateful for. Sometimes they are big things, sometimes they are small things. I challenge you to try this and see how it impacts the trajectory of your day.

    - Affirmations are things you say to yourself. I encourage my clients to also incorporate these into their day because it helps set you up for how you CHOOSE to show up, instead of letting the day go by and reacting to challenges by default.

    - Affirmations are things you say to yourself about yourself, about your abilities, about how you want to show up.

    - Not only do they make you “feel good” they are also actually backed in science for helping your brain on what to focus on.

    -I once attended a Tony Robbins event and I remember him saying “where focus goes, energy flows”. So many people focus on what they don’t want to have happen, instead of what they DO.

    -Try starting your day with a few “I am..” statements

    -“I am confident.” “I am capable.” “I am powerful.” “I am smart.”

    Put Things Into Perspective. We often go right to “worst case scenario” and create these big stories in our heads. People who are really resilient are able to put things into perspective and see the bigger picture and realize things really aren’t as bad as they might seem at first, and that there is always a way to get through it. If you find yourself going down this path, a few questions I use with clients to help them are:

    -What story are you telling yourself? How true is that really?

    -What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen?

    -If you are really stuck in the negative spiral, checking in and asking “What is the gift or opportunity here?”

    Develop Your Mental Fitness. I love how in the question you reference resilience being like a muscle we can strengthen. That is exactly how I describe it to clients is that this is really developing our mental muscles to be able to handle life’s challenges with a positive rather than negative mindset. Just like with physical fitness, it takes time and practice. If you wanted to get faster in running, you wouldn’t just run once and expect to be faster. If we want to develop our resilience, we need to take action and develop new habits, each day. A few ways you can develop your mental fitness: Several times throughout the day, take a pause and draw your attention to one of your five senses for a few moments. Things like taking a few deep breaths and noticing the air going in and out, feeling your feet on the ground as you sit or walk, rubbing your finger tips together and noticing the ridges, listening attentively to the sounds around you. We so often run from meeting to meeting, or from task to task that we are often operating primarily from our left side of the brain, which is also called the rational or survival brain. To build our resilience, requires us to also be tapping more into the right side of our brain that allows us to see situations with more creativity, curiosity and clear-headed action. Doing these “mental reps” actually helps you activate that part of your brain. - Julie Menden

    Thankfulness and Gratitude

    Step 1: I pull from Brenee Brown and her book, “Dare Greatly”. It taught me how to set a really high expectation for yourself and those around you.

    Step 2: Understand that when you set those high expectations there is a chance you might not achieve the fullness of the outcomes that you are hoping for. To me, if you set the aspiration high and prepare yourself for the worst, then you have the ability to recover more quickly and that recovery period is the most important thing.

    Step 3: Recovery. How quickly can you get over something that doesn’t work out for you? There are a whole series of steps inside of that but the main focus it is being able to live in the now, that is the most powerful thing, and not dwell too much on the past and not spend too much time worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow but get granular on what you can do today.

    Step 4: From there, it’s about learning. What did I learn from what I just did? How can I improve and get better? Get really tangible about ways that you can take the lessons from what you were just trying to do and convert them into actions you can take in your life moving forward because each step in the journey, you want to get stronger and stronger.

    Step 5: Gratitude — really having a mindset of thankfulness and gratitude for what you have in your life, regardless of where you are or how much money you have, some of the happiest and most grateful people I know have the least amount of money but have strong connections with their families or their community or their friends. That mentality of gratitude is going to help you with your resilience because you are going to pin your self worth to other things rather than just external success. I really work hard on that and this may be the toughest one for me, just having a mentality of gratitude for all the things that have come through my life. -KC Estenson

    Fight For Your Right

    Fortitude. You should always remember, I repeat this a lot, that nobody can take you away from what you love to do. Nobody can take your strength, your talents. Nobody can destroy you. You can do it to yourself, but nobody else can, unless you give them that power.

    Power. You never let anyone step into your mind, your space, your anything, This world is big enough for everyone, and anyone that tries to take that from you should be aware, that you are fierce and you will reclaim your dominance.

    Fierce. Nobody can take the light that shines within you. Remember always where you came from and where you are going.

    Spirit. Never let anyone take your spirit. Your spirit is the light that shines within you to make anything you want manifest.

    Fight. The last is that nobody can enter your personal space. They need to know that if they do, you will fight for what is your right to have. You. -Lillee Jean

    Remain Optimistic

    Face your obstacle head on. Pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t solve the problem and doesn’t help you recover any quicker.

    Surround yourself with a supportive network. They should not judge while you’re under a state of vulnerability. Rather, they should uplift you with encouraging words.

    Maintain control of your heart and mind. Feel the emotions yet do not allow them to control you.

    Remain optimistic that the storm will pass. For every negative thought that arises, drown it out with several reasons why you are grateful for what you have in your life.

    Distract yourself. What do you enjoy doing? Is there something you want to learn? Then do it. -Linda Nguyen

    Try New Things

    Try new things and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” The more you challenge yourself, the more you flex that resiliency muscle. When you train yourself to handle small challenges, you are better prepared to face major difficulties. That’s why the letters in my Open When book discuss a wide range of challenges, from minor inconveniences like, “Open When You Miss a Phone Call During Deployment” to larger crises, like “Open If Your Service Member is Injured.”

    Build your support network before a crisis. Military spouses don’t always know when a deployment or a big move is coming. So we are always looking for emergency contact numbers, local resources, or someone to rely on in a pinch. Think about who you would call if you got a flat tire, got sick, or suddenly lost your job. If you don’t have those friends saved in your phone, then you need to work on that now. This will build up your resilience so you are ready for difficulties.

    Prepare for worst-cases, but then let them go. When my husband was deployed, I found myself constantly worrying about what would happen to the kids if I got sick or were in a car accident. We lived far from family, so it would take relatives a full day to fly in and visit us. Who would take care of the kids during that time? Once I learned that the military has paperwork for this situation, called a Family Care Plan, I filled it out and filed copies with our local unit leaders. Then, I was able to relax. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had faced the dreaded situation, and I had prepared for it, so now I didn’t need to worry about it anymore.

    When faced with difficult situations, find one small thing you can control. In my book, in a letter called “Open When You Feel Out of Control,” I wrote, “The best thing you can do for yourself is to let go of what you can’t control and focus on what you can control.” This has been especially true during the pandemic. You can’t control vaccination rates or who wears a mask, so instead focus on things in your own home that are within your control. You can choose what you eat and how you schedule your time. You can choose to turn off the TV during a bad news cycle. This exercise helps calm anxiety and teaches you that you do have power over your own life, even when things around you feel chaotic.

    Remember that you aren’t the first one to face a challenge. It’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t go your way and feel like you are alone in your problem. But the reality is that there is probably someone else who has faced almost that same situation… and they got through it. Talk to experienced people in your field, listen to podcasts, or read stories of motivational heroes. If they found a way to navigate a particular trial, then you can find a way to handle it too. The more you read about people overcoming challenges, the more resilient you will become. That’s why the message throughout my book is that “you are not alone” and “you can do this!” -Lizann Lightfoot

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Step 1: Get connected and stay connected.

    During a world pandemic, more of us are probably more careful about social distancing. So, it’s important to be mindful about forming connections that create well-being. Take a walk with a friend. Make a meal with your family and eat dinner together. Call a friend and laugh!

    Step 2: Take care of your body.

    Physical activity has a ton of benefits, so take advantage of them! Running, walking, cycling, and swimming can keep your body in good shape. People should be sure to listen to their bodies, too. So if you have a lingering or new injury, don’t be afraid to take quality time out to rest.

    Step 3: Take care of your mind.

    People tend to forget about mental health, or sometimes they might not think it’s that important at all until there’s a crisis. A tip: try to be preventative. Find a good self-care routine and stick to it!

    Step 4: Find, remember, and celebrate purpose and meaning.

    Every person is unique and has a different answer to the question: what matters most in my life? What makes me smile? Or feel joyful? What types of activities and relationships bring a sense of satisfaction? Bring those elements into your life, and you’ll be sure to add to your capacity for resilience.

    Step 5: Rinse and repeat!

    Practice makes perfect. Resilience is about growth when people are faced with challenges. It’s a process and the benefits (and victory) become more apparent over time. -Montrella Cowan

    Cultivate Hope

    Get to know what is happening in your body and use it. Dance. Sing. Make funny faces. Cry. Rage. When I was at my lowest points, my body took over — it shook, cried, walked like my legs had anvils. It also wanted to sing and jump and dance. And I let it.

    Seek out people who care for you and let go of the ones who don’t show up. If we can’t let go of them (after all, they may be a family member or your boss), don’t use your energy on them. Save your energy for you. I’ve been in work environments that were emotionally draining and I had to tiptoe around mercurial leaders. I knew that I couldn’t change them, but I could change my reaction to them and how much energy I let them take up in my life. A certain level of detachment can be helpful for situations that don’t serve you.

    Set boundaries and be realistic about what you can and cannot do right now. Setting boundaries honors your values and what you need. When we are in crisis, we have limited resources to extend to others, let alone ourselves. Focusing on yourself or the mission in front of you during a crisis will take a lot of energy, so it is important how to use it well so that we don’t burn out.

    Cultivate hope. There were times I felt utterly hopeless and couldn’t see a future for myself. But when we believe that another future is possible, change can happen. I look to the resilient leaders I mentioned working in the face of significant threats because they believe another future is possible. If we don’t believe it, it’s hard to make it happen.

    Savor joy. Life is full of ups and downs. Happiness is not always sustainable. But, we can find moments of simple pleasure that bring us joy. A delicious meal, a good conversation with a friend, watching a dog play, or sharing a laugh with a stranger are all things that connect us and can make us feel alive, even if for a moment. I didn’t realize how much pleasure and joy are connected to healing until I went through my own healing from grief. -Rachel Lipton

    Set Of Talents

    The relationship is a four-legged stool. The first leg is self-awareness and self-understanding. It’s knowing where we come from. It’s understanding the influence of our culture and our family on who we are. It’s grounded in a commitment to understanding our subconscious mind, why it is the way it is, and how we might be able to shift it with that understanding.

    The second leg is understanding our own strengths, talents, and innate abilities. Every human being has their own unique set of talents and innate abilities that drive our interests in life. Work happiness is dependent on our consciousness of this.

    The third leg is built on the first two, it’s a sense of our purpose in the world. Call it “personal mission”. Since each of us is a unique blend of family, culture, strengths, innate abilities, and talents, each of us has a unique place in the world. The more in touch we are with how we can maximize our usefulness as well as fulfill our own personal drives through our work and/or family, the more satisfied and fulfilled we are.

    The fourth leg is practicing. The habits and traditions that we develop in our life have everything to do with how well charged our batteries are, how prepared we are for setbacks, and our response to stress. Values are communicated through traditions. The traditions that we emerge from and the traditions that we create for our families communicate values and principles. These values and principles are the backbone of holding to our vision when we’re confronted with difficulty.

    I’m often tempted to say there’s a fifth leg and that is meeting difficulty or opportunity depending on how you look at it. Maybe a fairer metaphor would be that life challenges sit on the chair of our resilience. How well that chair holds up has to do with how strong the four legs are. -Rich Heller

    Ask For Help

    Believe in yourself; this is the most important. You have to not revel in the praises so that the negativity doesn’t bring you down.

    Take full responsibility for everything; you control everything in your life. If you take full responsibility for everything good and bad, it’s very liberating.

    Don’t sweat the little things; don’t get hung up on little issues or roadblocks. Always look at the bigger picture.

    Ask for help; it is not a bad thing to ask for help from a friend or a professional. We can only pep talk ourselves up so much.

    Understand that you aren’t alone; there are 8 billion people in the world, you aren’t in a bad place in life when you are 1 in 8 billion. -Shawn Soole