Building Resilience

Media Entrepreneur Paula Conway on How She Builds Resilience

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling depleted in far less time than I usually do because of the added stress of adjusting to the new normal of our lives. Mustering up the energy and courage to meet the day’s demands and the mercurial nature takes some extra strength. Building my resilience helps right now but also refills my reserves for the future.

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of “adapting well in the face of adversity, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress…” To do so, we need to be both mentally and physically strong, which requires some focus and work. Here are 5 things I think are crucial to becoming more resilence.

Keep Up With Your Connections

Your friends, family and long-time supporters are the lifeblood of your happiness. At your core you want to know that they are safe and well and discover new ways of connecting.

Facebook research reveals that talking online or off to friends is associated with improvements in well-being.  Take the time to check in on everyone you care about.  Having the emotional support right now will help you face these daily challenges with a fresh perspective. This also applies to business connections. You may read a social media post that someone is struggling in business, or quite the opposite that they are thriving. No matter which way the chips fall, reconnect with them.  The wheel keeps turning so everyone you know is valuable to your wellbeing.  

Think Positively About Your Future

Having a mental image of the great things to come will help you move the balls forward.  This is simply positive thinking; visualizing all of the wonderful things you will be doing two, three, six months out and so forth,and being excited about it. Johns Hopkins Medicine sites the link between positive thinking and cardiovascular disease. A study on positive thinking by Lisa R. Yanek, a master of public health and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, found that people with a family history of risk factors for coronary artery disease who were positive thinkers were 13 percent less likely to have a heart attack or coronary event than their negative counterparts. Your ability to forge ahead in difficult times is directly linked to your health, so take extra measures to infuse your body with good positive thinking.

Take Care Of Yourself 

We know that mental and physical health is linked, and that you need to perform regular maintenance on your body to impact your mental health. Physical fitness is critical right now to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Being physically fit does not mean you need to lose 15 pounds immediately. Getting fit is simply taking care of your body, building strength and building up your cardiovascular strength to be able to bounce back in tough times.  There are many low-impact ways to get fit, including walking daily, bike riding, and low-impact weight training. Companies like Team Body Project offer hundreds of on-demand fitness programs to choose from, including this free low-impact video workout for beginners. 

Embrace Change

The book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson was published in 1998 and became an instant New York Times business best-seller.  The book is a fable about two mice and the typical reactions and responses to change in work and life. The lesson illustrates that change is inevitable and embracing it is the key to success, and that instead of getting stuck in the moment, you must grow to move forward. While some goals might not be attainable right now, look to the ones that can be fulfilled and accept that the only certainty is that things will change.  If you work at changing your perspective on inevitable change and welcome the unknown, your resistance to negative forces will build. 

Maintain Perspective 

No matter how deeply you look at the situation, the reality is rarely ever as bad as it may seem.  In a list of 50 quotes on perspective from Psychology Today, these are my two favorites:

“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.” ― Irving Berlin

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” ― Oscar Wilde