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January 2023: Building Resilience for 2023
It’s a new year, and many people make New Year’s resolutions about what habits they will change and how they want to grow within the year ahead. One week into the new year, 77% of those individuals may be successful in keeping their resolution, and a little over half may keep up the good work after a month. What can you do to withstand adversity and hit your goals this year?
One key predictor of success is the development of resilience. Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. It helps you harness your inner strength to get through a challenge or setback. It can be a very complex skill, but there are a few things you can do to become more resilient this year.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of compassion and joy. Comparing yourself to others may cause you to lose sight of your own accomplishments. Instead, compare yourself to the version of yourself last year. How have you grown? What have you learned? What adversity did you overcome? Comparing yourself to another may minimize these moments of success and prevent you from seeing the strength you already possess. You can heal this natural impulse by recognizing when you start to compare yourself to another, and focusing on self-compassion instead.
Become more self-aware. Being able to know how you are feeling during hard times helps you respond to and face your obstacles. When you are unable to identify your feelings, you may struggle with addressing them. When it comes to big feelings, you have to name it to face it. Therapists often encourage individuals to use a feelings wheel or chart to help provide a name for the emotion.
Build a strong social foundation. Although resilience involves personal strength, it’s not built in complete solitude. We may dream of a personalized ‘80s training montage where we overcome adversity under our own volition, but that’s usually not the case. Everyone needs help. It’s important to talk about adversity with trusted individuals to help overcome it. This may be with peers or a mentor. When we hide what we are struggling with, this paints our struggles in a shadow of shame. Shame grows in the dark. Choosing to be vulnerable and talk about our problems can help put an end to shame.
Don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by adversity. Accept that it is a part of life, focus on what you can control, and take action to overcome it. The next time you face adversity, whether you are struggling with a New Year’s resolution or navigating a difficult moment, try to remember the tips above to help you persevere. Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. Consider talking to a mental health professional. With guidance, you can improve your resiliency and mental well-being.
Self-care is the fuel for resilience
When it comes to self-care, it can be difficult to narrow down the behaviors you need to focus on. Self-care is often an abstract topic. It’s easiest to break down self-care behaviors into four areas: physical self-care, emotional self-care, intellectual self-care, and spiritual self-care. Ask yourself where you have strength and where you have the biggest need as you read about these areas below.
Some aspects of physical self-care are sleep, nutrition, exercise, and personal hygiene. Lack of sleep can dramatically impact your wellness. The same way everyone has different caloric needs, we all have different sleep needs. Pay attention to your body and give it permission to have as much rest as it needs.
This may need to be your focus if you are emotionally drained. Are you regularly experiencing joy, playfulness, or silliness? It’s important to be aware when your emotional tank is running low, and to know what kind of emotional self-care can help you fill it back up.
The need to learn and grow is essential for resilience. It’s important to feel mastery and efficacy in what you do daily, but you also need to be challenged. Variety, from work or through your hobbies, can provide this challenge. Challenge your brain to complete puzzles, create art, or learn something new.
People can feel fulfilled through organized religion, friendships, volunteering, or even random acts of kindness. Spiritual self-care is crucial for building resilience. You can also fulfill this need through meditation or journaling to connect with your deepest self.
It’s hard to show up as your best self when you’re exhausted. Building your self-care into routines helps makes these habits more sustainable. Focusing on these areas can provide fuel to endure the hard times that are a certainty in life.
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