Allowing for Personal Renewal in 2013!

“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.” ~ Stanley Kunitz

Image Source: http://breastcancerpartner.com/blog/uncategorized/renewal-spring-is-here/

Image Source: breastcancerpartner.com/blog/

As 2012 came to an end, some sighed in relief that the world did not come to the prophetic end. Some did not have any clue that 2012 was supposedly an “end” to anything. Most of the world simply went on living life as usual.

Everyone has their own individual experience with the past year (2012) so I am not going to do any kind of run-down of 2012 events. We all can do that on a deeply personal level. Look back at 2012 and recognize the blessings there. Recognize the challenges and subsequent learning opportunities. Recognize the achievements and appreciate the moments of joy. Be grateful for what 2012 brought to your life, big or small. Then, let go of 2012 and move on to a sparkly shiny new 2013.

The year 2013 for me will be another year of change and goal setting. Here are a couple of my personal goals for 2013:

  1. Get into optimum training form. To do so, I will kick up my synchronized swimming training efforts a notch to make my goal of competing by  my 50th birthday in spring of 2014 a reality. (I have already begun this one by joining a local gym with my hubby and beginning a training regimen tailored to my injuries and medical adjustments and my goal of competing. This should complement my weekly synchro swim training sessions well! ) 
  2. Keep on top of my health management by ensuring I maintain a healthy diet and manage my fatigue properly. To do so, I will follow a healthy diet with as much raw foods as possible. I will not over-extend my energy limits to the point of exhaustion. I will schedule in more relaxation yoga and meditation.

The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one. -Elbert Hubbard

The training goal is the tough one physically. While there is definitely excitement to be back in the water and training competitively in synchronized swimming, I battle frequently with a little niggling fear in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, I have bitten of more than I can chew this time. Little ghosts of thoughts cross my mind, such as: Will my body be able to handle this? Am I crazy? Am I too old? Am I too “disabled”? Does it stop me? Heck no. But it does keep me on my toes and AWARE of myself and my own qualms.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. -J. Pierpont Morgan

The health management goal is the toughest one. That’s the one where I have to really fight myself to keep…because I can so easily slide into bad eating habits or push myself to  work too much when I am over-tired. When I am fatigued is also when my brain does not seem to function at its best, and I have been known to make really weird decisions in terms of best choices at the times. (I believe my sister often uses the phrase “OMG – Do you need a brick to hit you in the head every time to get you to finally rest???” ) Trying to get a Type-A person to recognize when she is in full Type-A throttle and to scale back can be quite a challenge at the best of times!

So – do I expect to be perfect this year in reaching my goals and resolutions? Heck no. But I will have fun on the path!

OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FAILING, BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL. -CONFUCIUS

Have fun on your own 2013 journey!

Namaste.

Carolyne

The Beauty of the BUT

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Buddha

Have you ever noticed how the word “but” can can change the meaning and context of communication and self-talk in subtle but distinct ways?

“I’m sorry – but it’s not really my fault!” – redirecting accountability

“I know this isn’t good for me – but it’s just this once.” – rationalizing

But’ can be a powerful word for such a small one. Often, using ‘but’ contradicts  or rationalizes the intent and context the speaker. However it also can affect the expectations of the listener.

I was on my yoga mat the other day thinking about this, after my lovely teacher Kim (ALL Yoga) spent some one-on-one time with me to bring me back to the simple joy of yoga – all forms of yoga. In trying to settle my mind during my practice and especially savasana, the word “but” kept floating in. “I  should spend more time on my mat, … but I am so busy at work; but I have so much to do around here; but my friends or family need me to do this or that.” “I’d try that, but I am not sure I can do it successfully.” But, but, BUT.

But can stop you from moving forward…as you rationalize you way into and out of scenarios. When challenged with chronic illness, the word but can become the crutch that stops us from trying new things, keeping up with the old, or moving out of the current comfortable (or not so comfortable) “status quo”. Sometimes this is good…however sometimes, we need to stop using “but” in order to change.

Did you know that the word “but” as is, in French, is pronounced more like “boo” (with more nasal intones) and means “goal”?

So you know what I decided to do? I decided to use the word “but” in the context of “goal”.  As in: “I know I have challenges to face. But I know I can overcome them.”

Mon but dans la vie est de prendre bien soin de ma santé , de ma famille, et de mes amis.

How’s your “but” doing?

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” ~ Jamie Paolinetti 

Namaste

Carolyne

On My Mat: Seeing The Bittersweetness of Change and Transition

Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. ~ Albert Einstein

Change. It is the one true constant in our world, isn’t it?  However, dealing with change requires transitioning – and that often takes determined effort.  Sometimes people think: “well, transition is just another name for change. Right?” Wrong.

Change is fast. Transition is slow. Change can be forced on us. Transition is the key to accepting that change – and it takes different amounts of time for different individuals.

Whether we are healthy, or have a chronic illness to manage, change and transition are a part of living in this world. How comfortable we are with change, how resilient we can be, usually determines how we transition through that change.

Recently, I have been dealing with a fair amount of change…and I have been taking the time to truly feel the bittersweetness of it as I transition into a new way of being. I have been using my time on the mat to really feel what’s going on within me. Change can be small – like a new symptom that makes a slight modification to daily routines necessary. (Spontaneous tears for me recently is an example – irritating for me, but amusing for friends and family.) Or, change can be huge, and affect you inner core to a large and evening surprising degree. For example: My children are transitioning through from adolescence to young adulthood – so I have myself been dealing with my own transition from “Mommy” to “Mom”, from being the centre of their world, to not being the centre of their world anymore. Bittersweet. The bitter part comes from knowing I must let them fly free – that it is the natural way of things. The sweet part comes from knowing that I have done a good job as a mother – because these kids are eager to fly and take on the world in their new adventures. This allows me more time to focus on me – because my identity is changing.

You’d think that would be easy, eh? I can remember many a time over the years when my kids were young that I lamented “Oh, to just have some time to myself!” Now – I have more time on my hands. But my identity as a mother is challenged – I must transition from Mommy to Mom, flying by the seat of my pants as I do so. But isn’t that exacly what parenthood is all about? Flying by the seat of your pants as you try to raise these little beings in your care. Throw in a chronic illness, and periodic emotional lability due to either the illness or the meds for that illness…well, it leads to some pretty memorable moments!

So how do you not fill that free time to excess work or “busy-ness”, and make sure the transition does not negatively impact your health? My remedy? YOGA! I say: take action – do yoga and meditate (whether a walking meditation, relaxing meditation – whatever floats your boat!!)

Yoga can give us the strength and insight we need to navigate change in our lives. Your yoga practice can serve you well during times of change, big or small.  Yoga won’t necessarily keep you from feeling scared, overwhelmed, or confused. But it can help you sort out your feelings, letting you see  what’s happening from a position of non-attachment to guide you through those feelings so that you don’t get lost in them.

Here are some of the key things to keep in mind when dealing with change:

  • Recognize that change is an inevitable part of life. Change is the only constant!
  • Try to see change as an opportunity – an opportunity to try a new way of living. Or maybe open doors to new people. Or maybe just an opportunity to get to know yourself better, and develop your self awareness.
  • Attitude matters!!!
  • Take action of some sort – baby step by baby step. It might be something as simple as taking that first step into a yoga studio, or cracking that new cookbook to begin learning to cook. Have the courage to take that first step.
  • Be willing to let go. If you keep looking back and keep hanging on with a tight grip, you’ll never actually move forward. Stop thinking in “if only’s” – they keep you anchored in the past and keep you from moving forward. Being willing to let go—moment by moment—can by itself be the inner key to navigating change.

When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our
courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no
point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we
are not yet ready. ― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

Namaste.

Carolyne

Life and Trust and the Ability to Fly

“I’m flying, Jack! ” ~ Rose De Witt Bukater

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Living in Halifax for this anniversary has been very interesting…larger than life in someways, and weirdly revealing in other ways. Revealing in that while something as epic as the Titanic exists, what it all really boils down to is trusting the decisions you make every day: Trusting yourself to fly in the face of what seems insurmountable.

One of my all time favorite movies has been and is James Cameron’s Titanic movie. The picture I have above is, to me, one of the most inspiring pictures – because it depicts the first step in someone’s ability to trust themselves and eventually fly free. Why? Because the character of Rose opened her heart just a bit to the possibilities and positive energies of the world just by placing trust in her own abilities, fledgling though they may be, to really fly in the world – recognizing the support around her for the first time. Her eyes were opened to a whole new world and her trust in herself was sparked, to be fueled into a roaring fire.

Confidence and self-trust basically come from the emotional state. Confidence is your ability to cope and depend upon yourself to create a reality that is dependable. When you are dealing with tough situations in life, like a crisis or a chronic illness that must be managed, having self-trust is a critical key to that coping. It allows you to assess the situation, and make decisions – and trust your own decisions. Is it scary? It can be. It can also be the easiest thing in the world.

For me – my self-self trust is something I value greatly. (And somehow, as I have aged, I have noticed it becomes much stronger! All that life experience and wisdom gets packed in the brain nice and tight…or maybe too tight, eh? :) I trust that every day, using all the knowledge I have learned over the years, I can make decisions to keep moving me forward on my own path, unique as it is – no matter what my health throws at me or otherwise.  (And yoga’s teaching & benefits have definitely helped me along that path.)

What I have learned is that there is no such thing as a mistake in life – every experience is something that can be learned from. This I trust – because I trust myself to see the experience for what it is (whether a seizure or an MS exacerbation or something else in life), to find a way to turn negatives into positives, and to generally find the right path forward, even if I may have stumbled off it. My very training as a meteorologist taught me a good part of that – by making self-trust a huge part of the job. You have to trust your information in a smart way, assess and analyse it, discard what has little value, make a decision and trust in your decision. Don’t second guess yourself – as that undermines your own self-trust. Even if that decision turns out to be the wrong one, don’t distrust yourself – you made the best decision with the information you had. You do better when you know better. So, amend. That’s part of the life journey.

“Life is like forecasting. You make a decision based on your best analysis, and if you’re wrong, you change it.” ~ Jim Abraham, Environment Canada Meteorologist

No matter what you are going through in life, there will come a time for  you to fly. Trust in your own ability to do just that!

Namaste

Carolyne

Seeing Through the Loneliness

Remember we’re all in this alone. ~ Lily Tomlin

Recently, someone asked me to write more about the loneliness that can come with living with a chronic illness. Whew – that’s a tough subject, eh?

Loneliness is more of an emotional state consisting of a hollow emptiness and profound unhappiness. It is not a voluntary condition like solitude might be. Loneliness can affect us all at different times, in different ways – whether it’s a fleeting feeling or a constant state of disconnection or isolation. For people with chronic illness, this can sometimes play a significant role in managing their lives.

Unfortunately, the reality of managing a chronic illness is that sometimes you have to make decisions about what you can handle physically at times – decisions that sometimes conflict with family functions (such as Easter Celebrations), or social functions, or physical challenges. Sometimes this can be a really bitter pill to swallow – especially if you have prepared ahead of time the best way you could, and your health takes a different turn, forcing you to cancel plans. At times like that, loneliness can hit like a sledge hammer, especially if you are possibly bed-ridden or otherwise hampered from your usual activities,

It is difficult to experience loneliness, and all the emotions it comes with. At times like that, it is very important to be kind to yourself; be gentle with yourself. Do things that get you to feel more “connected”, such as social media like Facebook or Twitter – it make all the difference in the world when it comes to dealing with loneliness.

Sometimes, no matter how much a person tries to cope, there is the need to speak with a professional. A counselor can help you manage negative emotions that seem to be a part and parcel of loneliness.

Personally – I find I crave solitude at times, but sometimes even the solitude can trigger bouts of loneliness. I find though that those bouts of loneliness are usually triggered by periods of forced solitude (such as an empty nest scenario) combined with deep fatigue or pain caused by my illness. As long as I keep my non-attachment perspective and can see the loneliness for what it really is, I am able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In our deepest moments of struggle, frustration, fear, and confusion, we are being called upon to reach in and touch our hearts. Then, we will know what to do, what to say, how to be. What is right is always in our deepest heart of hearts. It is from the deepest part of our hearts that we are capable of reaching out and touching another human being. It is, after all, one heart touching another heart. ~ Roberta Sage Hamilton

Remember – you are never truly alone. Just reach out. Reach out to family, friends, bloggers. Find the courage within yourself – it could be the biggest, most courageous step you will ever make. Reach out and touch another heart. They may be just as lonely as you – and suddenly, two feels less lonely, three feels even less lonely…

Namaste.

Carolyne

The Funny Side of Real Life – Catastrophic Comb-overs and more!

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Life is really funny sometimes. As we age, I think it gets even funnier, personally. From memory issues to coming full circle with kids, there is more and more to smile and laugh about.

I spent much of the past weekend in teh emergency room. This time however it was for my son, not me! (Do I say “yay”, “Aw”, or “Huh?” ) My oldest boy hurt his leg, and we spent a while waiting for xrays and doctor consultation. During that time, I got to spend precious moments with my young adult son – and loved every minute of it! That boy is funny! We ended up in tears of laughter (despite his pain) as we listened to someone in another berth complaining endlessly about the quality of cheese and crackers at the emergency fascility and the lack of “real” food. For some reason, it struck many of the patients on the floor as hysterically funny, and some even called out for more cheese and crackers themselves, and this made my son and I laugh that much harder. I must say that now, cheeese and crackers will hold a special memory for both of us – even from a not so fun situation.

Another situation that I found funny recently was surrounding memory – and not just my own spotty one! As we age, we realise that our memories can be wonky and full of gaps. Think of how many times you have walked from one room to the next and compltely forgotten what you went there for; or when you head to the store for a particular item, and get all sorts of things but completely forget about getting that particular item you needed to begin with. I don’t have enough appendages left to count how many times this has happened to me!

In that vein, I find it quite humourous lately that my peers are also experiencing such memory issues – so I know it is not just my medical situation! Recently, a couple of my work colleagues and I figured out we had been in the same physics program at university, but we could not remember each other from class. We can remember vividly a particular class in which the prof, who had a notoriously greasy and shabby grey comb-over, dropped his chalk on the floor while discussing very important aspects of modern physics, and bent to pick it up. When he stood upright to continue on with his lecture, his comb-over stood flipped off to the right of his head, like an open lid – and it stayed that way the entire lecture!! We all remember the lecture, remember where we sat in the classroom - but none of us have any memory of each other (nor of the specific topic of the class because we were all trying so hard not to burst into laughter).

This kind of “funny side of life” laughter is a powerful coping tool for everyday stress, or deeper stress. It allows you a moment to breath, let go of the seriousness of life, and release into the humour surrounding us.
If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right. ~ Bob Basso

What makes you giggle in the life you live? Embrace it!

Namaste
Carolyne

Celebrating the Little Things

Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go. ~unknown

Part of coping with a chronic illness, or an on-going stressful situation of any type, is to celebrate your successes often.

I had a mini celebration of my own recently. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary since my last seizure. My last seizure episode was a doozy – back to back full-on tonic-clonic (gran mal) seizures that landed me unaware in the hospital emergency room for over 24 hours. I remember thinking “I am kinda tired – maybe I’ll just lie down for a moment.” That was a Thursday afternoon. My next memory is on the following Friday, “waking up” in the hospital, looking at my darling Mike who was holding my hand, and saying “Hi handsome”…then looking around and thinking “WTF – where am I? And what the heck happened??” So – one year with no grand mals! Ya-Hoo! Can I drive again? Well, no – because my seizure were often spaced by months and we still aren’t 100% sure they can be classified as controlled. The violence of them and the fact that I have no warning is what makes it too dangerous for me to risk getting behind a wheel.

Celebrating our successes is an important tool to help cope with a chronic illness. Whether it is big or small to others is irrelevant. What it means to YOU is what matters most. So celebrate it, whatever it is!! Ya-Hoo!

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

Namaste

Carolyne

Lifestyle Changes due to Chronic Illness and How to Deal with it

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” ~Kenji Miyazawa

Image Source: nickomargolies.com

A chronic disease like Multiple Sclerosis (and many others) comes with a lifestyle change. It may be a noticeable lifestyle change – like going from walking to rolling; or from seeing to not seeing. But, it may not be immediately noticeable, as it may mean little tweaks here or there to diet, new or adjusted medication(s), accommodating fatigue, etc. It may be immediate, or it may change slowly as the disease progresses. No matter the pace…lifestyle changes due to MS or other chronic illness are usually faced at some stage.

One of the biggest fears is the uncertainty associated with a chronic illness such as MS or seizure disorder or other chronic illness. The condition may be sporadic (such as in a seizure event, in my own case), lasting only a short while. Or, it could be permanent, gradually worsening over time, such as in most of us dealing with MS.

Chronic illness can force us to face and deal with many potentially stressful lifestyle changes, such as giving up favorite activities, limiting social engagements, adapting to new physical limitations and special needs, and paying for what can be expensive medications and treatment services – or even choosing not to pay for these services due to resulting  financial changes. Even simple day-to-day living may be difficult. It can hit you like a sledge hammer, or creep up slowly over time. Over time, the stresses and anxious or even negative feelings can suck you dry of the emotional energy necessary to move forward. Lack of progress in your recovery or worsening symptoms can trigger negative thoughts that heighten feelings of anxiety and sadness and even anger, often leading to depression.

For me, the biggest sledge hammer was the loss of my driver’s license as a result of uncontrolled seizures. It was a huge lifestyle change – not only for me, but for my family, and even my ex husband! It necessitated a move, and a new working lifestyle and accommodation. It forced me to look at my lifestyle from a completely different perspective, and figure out how to accept all the change and move forward.

So how do we deal with it all? Well, for sure I can say that coping is highly individual. Adapting to your condition or feeling good about the future may seem impossible at first, but it can be done. (Seriously! And the good part? It gets easier over time as you develop your “happiness muscles”!) I wish I could say that there was a special techique, or a good recipe that always works. My own experience as shown me that even as an individual, one has to learn to roll with the changing changes…and that the look of that “coping” changes depending on the situation at hand. Does that mean it’s a hopeless cause trying to cope with lifestyle changes due to chronic illness? Nope – it just means there may be more interesting challenges than previously anticipated!

Here are some suggestions for coping with chronic illness:

  • Stay connected socially. It is so very important not to “turtle” for too long, leading to self-isolation. Establish and maintain quality relationships with friends and family. Join or form a community of positive support. Join a positive self-help group – and recognise that one size does NOT fit all. You may have to search around a bit. These groups will not only aid your own well-being, but also provide rewarding opportunities to help others.
  • Take care of yourself first. Don’t allow worries about your illness to get in the way of eating property, getting rest and exercise, and having fun. And don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first and saying “non” if there is too much on your plate or you simply need rest.
  • Maintain a daily routine of work, errands, household chores, and hobbies as much as possible. Include 15 minutes of daily meditation and/or yoga. These will help you sustain a feeling of stability amid the chaos and uncertainty of your illness.

(Reference: The American Psychological Association )

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” -Unknown

Namaste

Carolyne

Turning Negatives into Positives as a Tool for Managing Chronic Illness

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Gandhi

One thing I adore about cats is that no matter what situation they find themselves in, they usually figure out a way to make it a comfortable one. And they don’t make any apologies for it!

The new year always brings with it shiny new resolutions, new goals, new resolve. The beginning on 2012 has been a bit of a challenge for me, as concussion repercussion vertigo and MS weakness and fatigue have flared up. What it’s meant is that I have been forced into a bit of a downward physical spiral in that the vertigo prevented me from doing my usual cardio (though I managed a couple of aqua fit type classes for movement and falling safety…but the pace is very slow for my fitness level). Yoga has been greatly modified to allow for safety…so when I have been well enough, I have done restorative yoga. But none of the usual “pushes” over the bulk of the holiday.

I admit, I pushed myself to attend a New Year Welcoming 2012 Yoga event, doing 108 Sun Salutations to welcome the year and donate to charity. That was a double pleasure for me, because I also got a chance to lead a segment of the 108 Sun Salutations…a happy surprise! I took breaks as I needed…child’s pose…mmmmm. My darling Mikey got through all 108! WOW! We were both very sweaty and rubbery by the end – but what a great way to get a sweat on! Savasana felt SOOOO good.

This year is one in which I will be challenging my body to make changes. Yoga will continue to be my tool to see me through it all. I will be seeing new specialists regarding concussion damages and how to manage them. One thing that is always a challenge, and makes your body change, is medication changes. For instance, I recently weaned off my anti-depressant, as recommended by my sleep specialist neuro doc…it had the positive effect of improving my sleep, but negatively it may have affected my medication cocktail in such a way as to affect my metabolism…causing weight gain. (Not just the xmas weight gain.) So I will use this as the opportunity to challenge myself to lose the weight…and maybe a few more that crept on over the course of the ups and downs of the recent year. The docs will be changing my seizure meds too – to adapt to the sleep issues. They want me to change to a seizure med that reduces sleep and mood interference, and that is known to help with pain and even with weight gain issues. This could be a good opportunity to learn even more about how my body works and how to manage my health…but it will be another slow road.

“Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.” -Unknown

Namaste

Carolyne

Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel: Builiding your Resilience

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” ~Winston Churchill

http://www.babaloud.com/2011/05/amazing-inspirational-quotes/amazing-inspirational-quotes-16/(Photo Credit: http://www.babaloud.com)

Sometimes it can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s where personal resilience comes in. Resilience can help you know that even if you can’t see the light right now, you are confident that you will at some point.

If you google resilience, a Wiki definition comes up for resilience as:

Resilience in psychology refers to the idea of an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” and function better than expected (much like an inoculation gives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure to disease).[1] Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, and not a trait of an individual.[2]

Resilience is different for every person. When dealing with a chronic illness, resilience can mean the difference between life and death sometimes, or so it would seem when you feel like you have hit rock bottom. Resilience is what helps you find the strength to get back up one more time, try again once more, reach for the rope that you know is somewhere just out of sight.

Sometimes, people surprise me by saying to me: “How do you cope with it all? Shouldn’t you be a basket case by now? Why do you keep pushing forward? How do you do it?”

Honestly – I could not tell you the details of how I bounce back all the time, for the most part. Statistics often can say that a person who has dealt with multiple childhood traumas and multiple health issues should be having a really tough times surviving and living a good life. I just know that I do bounce back – to me there is no other logical choice but to keep trying, no matter what life throws at me. When you are down, rest, but look for the silver lining somewhere – no matter how small. Baby steps at times; sometimes, big leaps of faith.

My youngest son noticed this “bounce back” ability and surprised me one day by saying “Mom, no matter what happens, you are always happy and positive. Most people aren’t happy – but you always are. You are a very positive person. That’s interesting.” He noted it because he found it interesting that he does not think the same way as me, but that his older brother does more so, in terms of positivity and jumping in with both feet. (Both of my sons are absolutely brilliant, but my youngest is particularly deep, and often sees things in life in a very unique and clear way. He fascinates me!)

So how does one build resilience, if it is not instictive? Here are some tips…(reference source: Mayo Clinic)

  • Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships and support networks. Do volunteer work, get involved in your community, or join a spiritual community.
  • Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
  • Learn from past experience. Think back on how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times.
  • Stay hopeful. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise daily. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing or prayer.
  • Take personal control – Be proactive!  Don’t ignore your problems or try to wish them away. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it. This is one of the biggest keys to building your resilience, because perceived control is critical.

Once of the biggest helps to build your resilience is your perception of control in your own life. That’s where changing your perception to be proactive, and take control of the things you can, can make all the difference in the world. There are many things in life that are totally out of control – but take control where ever you can to help improve your situation in some small way. Many small steps eventually get you down the road, too.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” -William James

namaste y’all!

Carolyne

Related Posts: “The Value of taking Time for Laughter and Rest”