Bounce – 11 Tips on Being Resilient

02 June 2009, by Ariadne Cedilla

Whether you’re a still-jobless new graduate, a determined semi-young single trying to make money by striking out on your own, a near-retiree under the axe, or the anxious parent of a one (or two) parent household needing to make ends meet , here are a few tips on how you can make sure you build up your resilience under the strain of living in these trying times:

Physical resilience:

  • If you’re in shape, congratulations.Keep at it. If you’re not, take baby steps and keep going. A body that has been ignored for years cannot change appreciably overnight(without surgery), or even in a week. Don’t sabotage yourself physically by going all out and then hurting yourself, or financially by spending money on expensive equipment that will only gather dust in a corner. Consult a doctor to get an accurate idea of your baseline and some exercise suggestions, then start a simple regimen you can sustain. Key words: Simple and sustainable.
  • Wash your hands frequently. This is the simplest and most effective way method you can use to ward off the invisible nasties that are everywhere, in the air, on the seats in public transportation, car handles, door knobs, etc.
  • Have a relaxation ritual. There are stretching and deep-breathing exercises you can look up that can release tension in your shoulders and lower back (a common place we store stress). When you’re as tense as a drawn bowstring, throttle back and stretch. Take a walk if you feeling like throwing things. It’ll save you from a possible lawsuit by removing yourself from temptation (and possible targets)and the exercise can clear your head.
  • Have an encouragement ritual. Keep mementos or pictures of special memories and triumphs in a photo-album or a memory box, whether actual or virtual, to remind you that this moment may suck, but it won’t be forever. You’ve survived worse, this Now is just another thing you’ll live through. Whenever you feel down and tired and very small, look at your memory box/album to remember what really counts.

Mental resilience:

  • Stop feeding yourself mental fast-food. Instead of formulaic sit-coms and celebrity-buzz soundbytes, why not listen to audio-books on subjects you’ve always been interested in but never had the time to check out? Read, find a hobby that engages other aspects of yourself (for example, if you write for a living, try taking guitar lessons, or learn how to create a website — there are tons of instructional videos on the Net.
  • Perfection is boring. Be willing to feel like an idiot. It doesn’t cost anything, you can make friends with people who are similarly willing, and you can get a good story out of the deal.
  • Be open to changing your mind when new data comes up. Denying the facts makes for comfortable illusions, but reality has a way of running them over. Repeatedly.

Emotional resilience:

  • Remember you didn’t grow up alone. Somebody taught you to wipe your chin, tie your shoelaces, and look both ways before crossing the street. If you get too curled up in agony at how life isn’t fair, remember these people. They will probably tell you to stop whining and look at the situation objectively.
  • If, at the moment, you can’t help yourself,you can still help other people. Reach out. Volunteer. This also helps boost your immune system, as well as keeps you from being self-obsessed.
  • Ask for help. There are a lot of good people out there. Find a group of like-minded individuals who you can share with. Create your own tribe.

Financial resilience:

  • You know the advice about having X months worth of living expenses, but what if you’ve already used it all up? This is where your creativity, resourcefulness and judgement comes into play. Re-frame your thinking. Reach out. Extend yourself and don’t let fear rule you. Years later, you’ll be remembering things differently. It’s not a hardship, it’s an adventure!

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