How to Call Upon Resilience in Challenging Times

ResiliencePsychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship issues, serious health problems, workplace and financial stressors, natural disasters (like epidemics), and more.

During a crisis, there is a sense of urgency to get ourselves to safety. Times can be such that we need to respond even before we fully understand the threat.

Will we ever forget the 2020 toilet paper shortage!

Even though you have already been resilient throughout life you may not have consciously acknowledged it as the strength that it is. And there lies the answer of how to call upon resilience when the need arrives! You start from a place of self-awareness.

The time you climbed the mountain, ran a marathon, cared for a crying baby for months on end, turned your life around!

Imagine the power and energy that can be yours when applying consciousness to your innate ability to be resilient. When you become conscious of your skills and abilities, you can transmute your fears by strategically making adjustments and moving forward. You can pivot direction and still be productive. Many times, even more productive as a change in direction can come with an acute focus.

We pivoted quickly to work from home. To wearing a mask. Social distancing. Walking the wrong way down the aisle of your local grocery store (accidentally) and living to tell the tale. (Or was that just me?) Homeschooling, and so much more.

While being resilient does not solve problems, it does help us to face situations that must be faced. It allows us to keep our wits about us (or find them faster) and adapt to any new and sometimes even frightening situations.

Here’s a fairly relevant example. If a high schooler misses their graduation because of a life-altering event, their world can be rocked. A lifetime of expectations go out the window. This is a big deal, perhaps a monumental deal! They can literally feel lost unless/until they’ve developed the power of resilience and consciously choose to use it—or have someone in their life who can help them find that resilience.

It is during tough times, not easy times, that we learn how to be resilient. If this door has closed, we can ask: What door can I open now? What can I make happen? Who can I partner or collaborate with to make things better? How do I want to show up? What am I made of—what is my mettle?

We can’t erase sadness, worry, or fear. It can’t be done. They are an integral part of the human experience. Each feeling has its own unique lesson to teach us about resilience, about showing up for ourselves.

There will always be challenging times that require resilience. By making a conscious effort to develop it, we will find it to be more easily accessible when we need it the most.

Grounding: Calm in a Chaotic World

The world news has been far from stabilizing. We’ve been rocked multiple times in the last few months. It hasn’t been about sports, weather, a career, a healthy diet, an exercise program, or likes on social media.

No, on a scale from one to ten we’ve teetered in the ten area for an extended period of time, rocking and rolling as we grapple with the life and death situations of a global pandemic.

And that’s only part of the picture.

We are in the perfect storm with political discord, racial and gender inequality, failing businesses, and last in my list but hardly least is the welfare of our little ones’ health and education—all on the front burner, all at the same time!

What support are people reaching for during these times? A short answer is stillness, quiet, space— to find strength and clarity. We all need some balance to negotiate the risks, discord, and fear that is pervading our beings.

Recently, one of my more lighthearted clients was seriously in need of feeling and being grounded. There were way too many thoughts and challenges rocking her world. Each area of her life was affected, and she needed a sense of calm.

We loved playing with the word discombobulated to define this feeling of being unsafe, unsettled, and therefore too confused to find her best direction. And as she became more grounded, we referred to her calm state as being combobulated. Now, is that even a word? We didn’t care, we just wanted to get to where she needed to be, and to have a fun word to use along the way!

And actually, combobulate is a word, and a good one for grounding. It means to put together in a somewhat mysterious manner; to bring something out of a state of confusion or disarray.

Grounding is a recharging, stabilizing energy. Feeling stable allows for an inquisitive and open mind with the desired side effects of self-esteem and confidence. It creates a safe space for you to question thoughts, perhaps change direction if it makes sense to do so.

When you are enjoying yourself, chances are you are grounded. When you are in the zone, doing what you do best, again, you are grounded. But, what about when you are confused, ramped up, and fear is getting the best of you?

That is the time to consciously and systematically pull your grounding rituals out to play. These can include:

Walking, Hiking in natureVisualizingWarrior posing
YogaLaughingSewing, Carpentry
Strength postingSingingPraying
PaintingScented salt bathPaying something forward

Use your five senses as much as possible. Be cognizant of what you see, hear, feel, taste, touch. Being aware of our senses is stabilizing and gives us that “safe, back-to-earth feeling!”

Eventually, the life scale will come down from ten. Grounding is a great tool to employ while we wait.

Re-routing the Path to Our Goals

Paths to Goals“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

  • How are you?
  • What are you most concerned about during this time?
  • What can you focus on?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What are you inspired to do?

Whether they were big and adventurous or small and steady, I’ll bet you had plans for 2020. I sure did! Then—we hear whispers of a virus in China and boom, Covid-19 and our entire world seemed to change overnight.

We are all dealing and reeling from a global pandemic, and this isn’t a quick flash in the pan occurrence. Time to create a new normal.

Initially, we rushed to find what feels safe. We saturated ourselves with Netflix, chocolate, carbs, and lots of other stuff. I even found myself partaking of hot dogs and beans, an old childhood Saturday night staple. All that was missing was the brown bread! I haven’t eaten hot dogs and beans for years, but here I was looking forward to them.

Oh, and did you happen to binge on the movie “Ground Hog Day?” If not, I’d highly recommend it. There’s a nice message that we can take away from it. But no pressure! It’s not a good time to add pressure. It’s just time to find quality in our life, where ever that may be for each of us right now.

These distractions helped us to slowly absorb what our intellect already knew…that life has changed. There are still many unknown layers to this virus. We can’t do all that we’re used to doing. The experts say a treatment, cure, and vaccine are not imminent. We need to change how we approach life—and change can sometimes be hard work.

As for our 2020 resolutions, they may need to be reevaluated. Let’s focus on what we can do! Safety first, and then some strategizing. Use what we “cannot” do right now to gain knowledge/clarity of what’s really important to us at this time. This knowledge will help to create the motivation to make some desired changes. There are new rules with new ways of being—and even these new ways will continue to change.

Yes, let’s make a new healthy and bolder set of goals for ourselves—that’s where our focus can go. Our dreams are still alive and well. It is the path to them that must change.