what is resilience

What is resilience? it’s a good question. It’s more than being able to handle stress. More than being able to bounce back from setbacks.  More than having an optimistic outlook.

What is resilience? It’s about having a strong support network around you. About knowing WHY you get up in the morning. About feeling connected to something bigger than yourself - whether that be something spiritual, a community, a cause or a set of values.

What is resilience? It’s about knowing your strengths and deliberately and consciously using them. It’s about having a balanced sense of what you’re good (and not so good) at. It’s about living consciously to your values and your beliefs.

What IS Resilience?

A few years ago I took up running. I bought some running shoes and a few too many items of high Lycra content clothing for my age and build. I glanced at a couple of books about running, I even noticed quite a few training schedules for beginner runners. But I didn’t pay those much mind. How hard could it be? I mean, people have been running for years and years - I didn’t need a plan or a training schedule - I just needed to get out there an do it. After all, that’s what the ads for the overpriced running shoes say to do.

So I set off - every night (My natural tendency is to get stuck in, no planning, no holds barred. I also tend to get bored easily but that’s another post!) I ran for as long as I could without feeling puffed out. Then I’d stop, catch my breath and set off again. As someone who’s never particularly liked sweaty exercise, I was rather proud of myself.

But a few weeks into my new health kick I started getting stabbing pains in my lower legs. Shin splints as they’re known in the trade. At first I tried to ignore them - push through and run (or limp) through the pain. After a few more days I had to give it up. I went to see a physiotherapist who treated the injury. Once my shins were feeling better, the physio recommended some exercises to build up the supporting muscles and then examined my running technique (turns out I didn’t have one!)  He showed me a better way of holding myself, positioning my foot and warming up and cooling down that would help protect my body from further injury. Finally, he gave me a proper, progressive training schedule that involved progressively longer runs with rest and recovery days built in so that I didn’t injure myself through overwork.

What is resilience? Why should you care?

Resilience is like having all of what my psysio recommended for my physical health for your emotional health and well-being.

Resilience is learning how to have effective techniques to deal with life’s multi layered tapestry - it’s ups and downs, high and low points. Resilience is like having strong mental muscles and a well paced schedule incorporating  periods of stretch AND recovery time.  Life usually takes care of the stretch for you - but the thing that far too many of us forget is the recovery time. This mean building in effective ways to handle stress and pressure, to have helpful thought processes and strong social support.

What is resilience? It’s about being match fit to take on life and really live it.

What is resilience to you?

photo credit: me’nthedogs via photopin cc

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