On every continent across the globe, we have experienced unparalleled turbulence this year. In practically every which way, we have been challenged more than we ever thought possible. Most of us have had to adopt different ways of managing the stress that comes with a whirlwind of change. As we head into a New Year, there is a feeling of resilience that is starting to build.
Having been through a battlefield unlike any other, many of us are building upon our trusted toolkits that have helped us navigate the unprecedented complexities of 2020. In looking back at the lessons 2020 has taught us, there are five significant things that stand out which pertain to building the resilience we are craving. These five elements have been essential to individuals from all walks of life and will prove to be imperative as we move forward into a forever changed world.
Consider these five things in order to bolster your resilience for 2021 and beyond:
1. Have compassion with yourself
Oftentimes we are quick to have compassion with others, but slow to have it with ourselves. It’s time to flip the script. While we all may be our own worst critics, what we need most is to embrace self-love and have acceptance for where we are at.
Instead of setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves – which literally sets us up for failure – define what success for each day looks like for you. And be okay with the fact that each day may look a little different. Our global pandemic has completely upended our daily life, so having grace for yourself in a world that can change at a moment’s notice is vital.
2. Implement the 5 minute rule
It may sound like a silly question but – when was the last time you checked in with yourself? Acknowledging how you are feeling – and how that may impact your interactions with others – is a huge step in taking charge of your day. Set aside at least 5 minutes (more if you can!) to check in with yourself to see how you are feeling, consider why you are feeling that way, and define what you need.
You are non-negotiable so taking care of yourself is paramount – particularly in a highly stressed global climate. Try journaling to set your intentions, or merely find a quiet space to enjoy tea or coffee and be solo with your thoughts. That 5, 10 or 15 minute investment can have a powerful impact on your day.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott
3. Define a more optimal schedule
Chances are your schedule is now vastly different than it was in January 2020. Your working hours, fitness routine, along with interactions with friends and family may be different. So trying to stick to a schedule that was designed to work hand in hand with lifestyle components that have drastically shifted does not make dollars or sense. Take a step back and consider how you can optimize your day to day obligations and functions to help you get the most out of each day now.
4. Practice gratitude daily
Practicing gratitude every day helps to frame our perspective through a lens of positivity. We have many negative external factors surrounding our daily life, so there’s no need to create more stress within our own realm by choosing to have a negatively impacted mindset from the start. Begin each day by considering what you are grateful for and watch how your mood is elevated. This simple step has the greatest impact on setting many of us up for success each day.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar
5. Connect – not just online
Many of us are not spending as much time as we’d like being social in person due to the pandemic, which can be challenging. This can impart feelings of loneliness and have an impact on our mental health.
As humans we are designed to connect – and the human connection can be true soul food for all of us. So, instead of feeling isolated at home or stuck online – pick-up the phone! Call your friends and family to have those heartfelt chats over the phone where you can hear their voice. For those of us who love a good FaceTime, Skype or ZOOM chat – jump online to virtually spend time together. We may not be able to be together in person, but that does not mean we can’t connect. Also, remember to reach out to people who you may not have heard from recently. They may need an inspired voice like yours to motivate them.
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As an entrepreneur, mother, wife, friend and community member, I have seen first-hand how important resilience can be. I also know that building resistance requires an active practice. This means adopting certain behaviors and approaches in a disciplined fashion to work regularly towards becoming “fire-proof,” aka resilient. As we head into a bold New Year that may be full of unexpected twists and turns, upping the ante on your ability to be resilient will be a wise investment. Don’t roll the dice, double down on your resilience.
What’s one positive way your life has changed throughout the pandemic?