5 Resilience Tips With A Serendipity Surprise!
Posted by Dr. Judy at 7:03 am
Ever had an, “I don’t believe this!” moment?
I’ll set the stage before I tell you about my jaw-dropping telephone call.
I was getting ready to write this blog about resilience. I needed more resilience myself after my “frozen shoulder” diagnosis had curtailed summer plans. At least I didn’t break my leg, I thought. I always imagine how a tough situation could be worse. Then I jog along.
I was proud of myself.
I hadn’t whined for weeks when my shoulder ached. I kept on truckin’. So much for too much perseverance. I did the no-no and overused that strength to a fair-thee-well. I exacerbated my painful torn muscles. I brought upon myself by repeatedly dragging 75 pounds of carry-on luggage and moving too heavy garden pots. Another lesson learned. I ain’t 45 anymore!
When I was in DE, fearing it was the dreaded rotator cuff, my great friend and Mom’s caregiver, Cathy, insisted I go to see her surgeon. With no appointment on a Friday afternoon, she dragged me to his office. Kind man, he gave me a cortisone shot and within 2 days I was well enough to drive part of the way to the Outer Banks, NC, with my BFF, Cheryl. Yippee!!! My appreciation of beauty strength was in high dear!
Back home in WI, I saw my own orthopedic surgeon friend. Nonchalantly, he said, “If you were young, I might do surgery on this, but…”. So much for a reality check. I am officially old! PT is the first option, and I am game. Old is a state of mind, and my mind is still humming.
So what was the shocking telephone call?
And why did it send up my resilience serendipity flag?
Last week, one of Mom’s hospice caregivers, Davida McCray, ended her temporary substitute care giving. Cathy and I wanted to write her stellar recommendations as a surprise. Fabulous Davida wants to go to nursing school. We surprised her and sent the letters to her agency.
Here’s where the fun begins!
Out of the blue, I got a call from a sweet lady whose voice I recalled. Philly accent and full if zest. OMG! She had been the kind volunteer who had brought her Chihuahua, “Blondie,” at Christmas when Mom was still at assisted living. We had chatted up a storm. Come to find out, she is Cheryl Jankowski, Regional Director, Griswold Homecare, where Davida is employed! She read my name, remembered me, and surprised me with a call! We chatted up a storm and shared our Mom stories and her shoulder surgery saga, too.
Don’t you love, “It’s a small world?”
What a powerful positive psychology coaching word. Cheryl brightens the elderly world, and for all of us, our time is coming sooner than we know.
But how can you rocket your resilience?
Here are 5 Tips and the good news about how to rev up your resilience:
1. Optimism helps.
Most people are resilient. Be aware of your tendency to be an optimist or pessimist. Nothing wrong with being careful or having negative thoughts. We all do. But focus on what is RIGHT about your life. Sit into positive emotions and savor the good. Life is a journey, so notice the happy stuff and grab colorful bouquets along the way. Know that most people bounce back from adversity within a few months, no matter how tough.
2. Keep going!
Resilience is physical and occurs in the now. When hurdles get in your way, review your strengths (viacharacter.org). Jump over them, knock over them, or find creative ways around them. How can you harness hope, add zip to your zest, and evolve life your best self life efforts? Use your strengths to look for novel solutions. Gratitude is a powerful strength. As positive psychology pioneer, Chris Peterson, says, “Be grateful for everything.” Even adversity opens doors to possibilities and personal growth. Take a fresh look at your life and habits.
3. Be accountable to yourself.
Look at crap as opportunities to grow. It takes fertilizer to get the best plants to take root and blossom to their fullest grandeur. Bigger is better when it comes to growing your positivity. Face reality. Maybe you had dreams you know now you cannot accomplish. Get free! Journal about them or write them on balloons and launch them into the stratosphere. Psychologist Laura King calls these unachievable dreams and goals “Loss Possible Selves”. Releasing regrets adds to your resilience by serving up more energy for what you can attain.
4. Be open, aware and flexible.
Curiosity and calmness, both necessary for resilience boosting, can go hand in hand. Famed curiosity researcher, Todd Kashdan said to embrace and accept negative emotions rather than deny them. Denial depletes your pantry of self-control, a limited resource. People who are open-minded and non-judgmental can learn to differentiate negative emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, and sadness. An added bonus? Those who can describe their emotions are also less likely to self-medicate with alcohol. Accept life rather than fight it. Remember the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”.
5. Physical, emotional, and social stress management.
Resilience now and in the down the road is physical. Using your self-care and self-regulation strengths is imperative. You can’t run your tank on empty or your engine will blow. Your need to replenish your body, heart, soul. Rev up your positive relationships. Face your negative emotions head on. Practice calming down via positive self-talk like “I am OK!” or “I can handle this.” Learn fun new skills like yoga, dance, or deep breathing. Ease into difficult situations. Feeling stuck? Get a coach!
“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” (Jean De La Bruyere)
Is that you I see with the Miracle Grow off to plant some seeds of resilience?
Send me a photo, pretty please.
I love to see you strive and come alive!