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How do You Get More Resilience?

How do You Get More Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to easily recover from or adjust to misfortune or change.

Since we are living in a fast changing world, it is to our advantage to build our resilience. So – how do you get more resilience?

There are several ways to increase resilience.

1. Good Relationships With Family  

Good relationships with family members provide you with a safety net. More and more households are living with two adult generations under one roof. This is often a stressful situation but it also provides several benefits. House-sharing with elderly parents can provide built in child care. For the elderly parents it provides safety when a medical emergency occurs. When adult children move back home with their parents, it can be a significant saving to recover from financial hardship. The proximity can be a challenge but it isn’t even an option when there is a rift between family members.

2. Close Friends

A small circle of close friends provide mutual support. They can be a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on or help out in a pinch.

3. A Community

Being part of one or more communities can be a life saver. A couple of examples follow: A young woman had no close relatives but she was active in her church. When she unexpectedly lost her job, her church community pulled together for her. To save money the young woman gave up her apartment. Several church members stored her furniture and belongings in their basements. Then people with an extra bedroom in their home offered to let her stay with free room and board in their home for a month each. This community support helped save her from going bankrupt and helped her get back on her feet.

Another example: A retired schoolteacher became an avid photographer. She joined a local photography club and became active in the amateur photography community and its leadership. She learned and then taught others about photography. When she ended up in a car accident that left her wheelchair bound for many months, many jumped in to help. Some gave her rides to appointments, others ran errands like grocery shopping and the like, others brought companionship to this homebound photographer. All this made the long months of recovery much more bearable.

4. Ask for Help

In order for the young woman and the photographer to get help, they had to let people know about their difficulty and ask for help. They also had to be gracious about the generosity extended to them. I was particularly amazed at the asking skills of the photographer. Though many offered to help her, she was wise enough to find out what each individual enjoyed doing already. Then she asked for help that most fit in with the lives of those who offered. I was lucky enough to have a vehicle that could easily accommodate her and her wheelchair and I was able to bring her to photography club meetings. I really enjoyed the conversations and what I learned from her during those car trips. With my help she was able to get out of her condo at least once per month.

5. Set Goals

While the photographer was wheelchair bound she could not pursue her photography hobby. So she focused on another part of her photography. She organized the many photos she had taken, selected prints to be displayed, created slideshows she could present at future meetings, and found opportunities to sell her beautiful photographs. And she did it in the company of fellow photographers who provided companionship.

When adversity strikes it is important to have goals and to regularly take actions to achieve them.

6. Understanding That Setbacks Are Part of Life

Many of us have gone through setbacks, be it losing a job, health issues, natural disasters, loss of a family member or divorce. Those who are resilient are more likely to work through the difficult times, and move on from there. Believe that whatever difficulties you encounter, you have the strength to move on and rebuild your life.

7. Problem Solving Skills

When problems present themselves, learn to break the problems down into small and manageable steps. Then take the steps, one at a time.

8. Understand That All Things Are Temporary

Each day brings new challenges. Some are good and some are painful. Savor and be grateful for the good things that come your way. It makes the difficult times more bearable knowing that they will become less painful over time. Resilience doesn’t make challenges go away. It simply helps us rebound more quickly and with less pain.

Next Steps

If you are facing a challenge, don’t do it alone. Reach out. Support is out there. But also realize what strength you have, what challenges you have already overcome, and that you can overcome the current challenge as well.

If life has got you down and you are feeling excessive anxiety or depression, seek professional help.

If life is good to you, reach out to others and strengthen your communities. Reach out to others who need help and volunteer your time.

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

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Good Grief! Is Grief Good for You?

Good Grief! Is Grief good for you?

Are you de-pressed? If unresolved grief is weighing you down, you might be “pressed down” by the weight of it. If the memories are a constant in your life (you think about it at least weekly), your life might be held in place like a boat with an anchor.

So what is grief?

Grief is deep distress at the loss of something valued or necessary, something taken from you without your agreement.

We can grieve the loss of people in our lives. We can also grieve the loss of a job, loss of a sense of feeling secure when incurring a major financial blow, losing the comfortable and familiar when moving, or the loss of our health. We may also grieve the loss of a belief: losing trust after a confidence or commitment was not kept, a broken promise. If grief stays unresolved, we add to our burden of grief that we carry around with us. It weighs us down or de-presses us.

Therefore, resolving grief and bringing closure will free us up, will give us room for more energy and joy in our lives.

Story: Resolve your differences – regularly

I was recently shown photos from a funeral. One of the photos showed two sisters who attended the funeral ceremony of their mother. The expressions on their faces were very different. One face was stricken with grief – the other was at peace.

Here is what I was told. One of the sisters spent time with her mother as her mother’s health was failing. They talked things out. When the mother passed away, there was a sense of peace and closure. Things were resolved. Her mother was no longer suffering in ill-health and in pain. Old emotional wounds had been healed.

The other sister had a lot of unresolved anger and grief. She and her mother didn’t speak. That daughter couldn’t bring herself to visit her mother in the final couple of years or even call her. Old grudges and anger and disagreements were never dealt with. Now that sister has deep lines of grief forming on her face. She is suffering.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

To heal unresolved grief means that you need to bring closure to something you may have had no control over, something that is left unresolved. You didn’t choose the timing. You had unfinished business. You don’t know how to resolve the unfinished business. The other person isn’t there to resolve it, or you feel unable to take steps towards resolution. How can you move on?

First of all, recognize that unresolved grief weighs you down. To lighten the load is to be able to live life more fully. It’s like putting down a backpack filled with rocks. You can move more freely without it, run faster, have more fun, and feel unencumbered.

Secondly, get clear on where you have unresolved grief. Did you feel that a friend has betrayed your confidence? Was a promise broken? Did your job evaporate despite your best efforts and commitment to the company where you worked? Did a relationship end? Did you lose your nest egg in the recent financial upheaval?

Thirdly, where is the judgment? Do you blame yourself for making poor choices or do you blame others: your boss, the economy, your partner, your friend?

Sometimes when we become clear on what grief we are holding onto, it will start to release all on its own. Clarity can bring a certain amount of healing.

Next, welcoming grief into our life is a big step for many. We have been taught to suppress our emotions, or at least the “negative” emotions. We are supposed to be strong and not show our vulnerabilities. This may be even harder for many men than for women. So go easy on yourself. How? Set aside some time when you are undisturbed and in a comfortable place. Think of an area of your life where you feel you have unresolved grief. Try to feel it fully. Welcome it into your consciousness. Then ask yourself if you could let go of this unresolved grief and when. Repeat the questions until you feel done or feel a sense of peace. This particular line of questioning is inspired by materials from “The Sedona Method”. For more information go to http://www.sedona.com/

Taking it Farther:

There are many ways to deal with grief. Aurora Winter uses a series of questions starting with, “If you had known that your spouse was going to die young, would you have still chosen to be with them?” For many the realization that they cherish the time they did have, releases much of the grief. In her book, “From Heartbreak to Happiness” she chronicles her own story.

There are many resources to help you process your grief. Healing grief through regular healthy communication is probably best, when that option is still available. I can help you bring closure.

Contact me:

If this was helpful and you want more, I’m here for you.  Call to schedule coaching and start living the life you choose. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

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