Being a parent reads like a Charles Dickens novel, “A Tale of Two Cities;” it’s the best of times and the worst of times.
To all you mamas out there, we need resilience in order to survive parenting. At the core of resiliency is one fabulous concept, self-care.
We call the capacity to ride life’s hurdles gracefully “emotional resilience.” Resilience is your ability to rebound from all kinds of bad feelings – pain, fear, grief, humiliation, depression – the whole bouquet of human suffering. It is your resilience that allows you to withstand the shocks of change, to recover from tragedy and to move forward after failure – at least enough to give yourself another shot at success.
Self-Care is at the core of resiliency.
It ripples outward and inward to build a stable foundation to withstand life’s cruel blows.
There are three elements to an overall well-being to be emotionally resilient.
- Emotional well being
You throw a rock into a calm stream and you see the ripple effect.
These three elements ripple towards each other.
It can ripple outward (#1), which is good self-care leads to a better emotional well-being which leads to better relationships.
It can ripple inward (#2), better relationships lead to better emotional well-being which leads to better self-care.
- A person starts taking better care of themselves, which leads them to start to feel better emotionally, and they may become a better spouse, parent or lover. Someone who feels good attracts others that feel good.
- A person falls in love and starts to feel good emotionally and then starts to hit the gym to look good for his/her lover.
This formula plays out over and over again in life.
At the core of resiliency is self-care. It will ripple outward or inward depending on which formula you choose.
I have had my share of what I call, life smackdowns. If we live long enough, most of us will acquire quite a list of struggles and triumphs.
Do you have the conditions in your lives that research shows help people to be more resilient?
Being a parent, is a challenge filled with high emotions. When our child suffers, we are flooded with anguish. When our child succeeds, we feel flooded with joy. With such highs and lows, parents need to be resilient. We need to always pay attention to self-care first and foremost to build the resiliency muscle.
Do your children suffer from emotional flooding? As parents we can help them build their resiliency through meditation. We have teamed up with Mellisa Dormoy to provide parents with some tools to help their children with impulse regulation. These will help to alter your child’s state of consciousness.
How well do you rebound from life’s cruel blows, both large (a loss of a job) and small (your kid says she hates you)?
People bounce back from tragedy, trauma, risks, and stress by having the following conditions in their lives. The more times you answer yes (on the resiliency quiz), the greater the chances you can bounce back from your life’s problems “with more power and more smarts.”
Your ability to rebound after a minor or major setback is probably partly inborn. Beyond biology, we are influenced by how our families taught us to cope with hurt, by how much trust in the world and confidence in ourselves they helped us to build. Our own individual experiences of success or failure shape us, too.
The timing of trying events also affects our resilience.
Most of us have periods when we are able to brush aside setbacks easily and vulnerable times when anything negative is an instant knife in the heart.
We are generally strongest when we are healthy, and our lives are stable and relatively satisfying.
You cannot control the world itself (not that you’ll necessarily stop trying), but you can make it hurt less.
There are any number of steps you can take to strengthen your emotional resilience. Many of those steps are listed in that Resiliency Quiz.
You need to talk to yourself, offer yourself encouragement. Remind yourself that others have survived. Force yourself through the motions of life and have faith that one day its meaning will be restored. Relief is ahead, even if you cannot see it. And after relief, perhaps something better.
Booster resiliency shots include:
- Physical routine
- Spiritual strength
- Shift of focus
- Support of others
As you strengthen your support network, as you raise the level of your physical, mental, and spiritual health bit by bit, and as you increase the richness and texture of your life, your overall capacity to rebound from injury will become greater and greater. Resilience breeds resilience. Take pride in growing yours.
P.S. I’d love to hear about your stories of resiliency and bouncing back! Join our conversations in our private Facebook Group.