The resilience game

The resilience game

You know when you hear about something, and then for a few weeks the same thing keeps popping up again and again? Like how when you buy a new car and suddenly every single person on the road is driving the same car? Or when you have on your red shoes, and everyone else has red shoes?

Well, everyone should have red shoes. Because they are awesome. But I digress…

In the past few weeks I’ve been to two different events that have had speakers on the subject of resilience. Two very different places, in two very different parts of my world, both speaking on the same topic, albeit from a different perspective.

And yet, there were common themes. Because of course there was. How many different ways can you talk about the same thing? And maybe that’s a good thing. At least the messages were consistent.

One spoke of resilience from the perspective of a learned behaviour; a chosen path, a recognition it was a good thing, a choice made to become more resilient. The other, while she didn’t explicitly say, I suspect that resilience was more forced upon her. Something she developed to survive.

Either way, being more resilient ourselves, and nurturing those qualities in our kids can really only be a good thing. Bad things are going to happen in life, and while a high level of resilience will never protect us from those things happening, it should help us bounce back quicker. Find our level ground with more ease.

I’ve always thought of myself as pretty resilient. Someone who just keeps soldiering on, a bit like that old Codral commercial. But you know what? I don’t know that I am. Lately I’m finding myself holding on to old hurts, and being pulled too deeply into new ones. Instead of things washing over me, I’m drowning in them.

The old tricks I’ve used again and again to keep afloat aren’t working the way that they used to. That’s not to say they’re not working at all, but the magic they once held has dulled and I need a little something to help put back the shine.

And that little something will be some medical help, and maybe some stronger drugs, but I’m also going to take the sign of the two speakers on resilience with a little more credence that I might have given them otherwise. A coincidence, but a timely one.

They both shared different tips on how to build resilience, and I guess different things will work for different people. But these are the three things that overlapped for both of them, so I’m going to start here and see how I go…

  1. Practice gratitude. Apparently you need to not just feel grateful, but be specific. Write it down. Think about it actively. Look for things each day to single out. Apparently there is some thing (totally the technical term) that makes our brain default to looking at negative things, but by practicing being grateful, we can help over-ride that and start to put things into perspective.
  2. Being mindful. This is a tricky one as I often find that by meditating, I can send my already introverted mind way too deep on itself, and I tip over the edge into a panic attack. So I’m using a guided meditation app in the hope it helps keep me on track and away from sharp edges.
  3. Self care. Now I’m taking a little bit of poetic licence with this one, as one speaker spoke about it at length, the other phrased it differently and packaged it up in a bit about doing good for yourself and others. However, I’m a firm believer that if your cup isn’t full, then you can’t possibly do good for others. So find whatever it is that makes you smile; a walk with the dog, a phone call with friends, a laugh over dumplings, buying someone a coffee, volunteering at an old people’s home, writing your thoughts into a blog… whatever,  and try to make time to do it every day.

So this is my little list of things that I’m trying. I’m not always succeeding, but after almost a month of keeping my gratitude journal (how freaking wanky does that sound?!) I’m starting to find it easier and easier each day.

I’ve got a feeling this resilience game is a long one, and who knows if I’ll ever really be done. But I’ve made a start. So there’s that.

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  1. Resilience is so hard to learn, practice and achieve. I think those three steps are really important ways to begin. I’ve always believed in positivity and have started to publicly recount the wins of my week each Friday on Facebook. It’s my way of being grateful and encouraging others to do so as well. I hope we both achieve the level of resilience we need!
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted..9 Ways to Find Support as a CarerMy Profile


  1. […] I’m on a mission to increase my resilience, build some extra positivity and try not to get so swamped in the negative things in life, […]

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