You knew something was wrong. You haven’t been feeling well for a while. You just assumed it was because of age. Isn’t that the catch-all for any aliments – memory loss must be age, losing hair must be age, tired must be age.
It wasn't ageing. You’ve received a diagnosis for cancer, an autoimmune disorder, or something else big. How do you prepare yourself and your loved ones for this crisis?
Planning should start early. Below are some helpful tips to building a road to resilience.
Resilience is your ability to cope with a crisis: how you adapt to trauma, tragedy, threats, or other significant sources of stress. Everyone’s idea of “significant” varies – it could be financial or work-related as well. Resilience is your ability to bounce back from such events.
How do you build your resilience?
Journal: Take a moment each day, or several times a week, to journal your emotions, problems, and such. Journaling can be a cathartic event. Sometimes putting the words on paper allow you to release some of those emotions.
Create a support system: We all need help sometimes. Start building your network in places you feel comfortable. Not everyone has a good family support system. If you have children, check with the parents. Can some of those help you with transportation or babysitting? And if it seems you are all alone, check with 211 at www.211helps.org or 1-800-427-4626 for a list of local resources.
Take care of your basic needs: Make sure you have shelter, food, and the essentials. If you need help affording any of these basic needs, check with 211 at www.211helps.org or 1-800-427-4626 for a list of local resources.
Notice your self-talk: Don’t talk yourself down. If you find yourself having negative thoughts or repetitive thoughts, try focusing on something else. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks to help fill the void.
Live with purpose: Life seems hard right now, but don’t forget the bigger picture. Enjoy the small moments in life and remember this isn’t the end.
Manage your impulses: Some individuals sooth by binge eating/drinking, shopping, etc. Don’t let those impulses take over your life. Allow yourself some prizes for managing life, but it should not control your life.
Learn to problem-solve: How do you problem solve?
· Identifying the Problem. Ask yourself what the problem is.
· Defining Goals.
· Assessing Alternatives
· Choosing the Solution.
· Active Execution of the Chosen Solution.
Grow your healthy coping skills: Keep a positive attitude, accept that there are things outside of your control, exercise regularly, mediation, rest and sleep well, learn how to relax. Use these skills daily to build your default coping mechanisms to adapt more quickly to larger stressors.
Set goals: This might be just basic stuff: taking a shower, doing laundry. When you are in crisis mode completing small goals is essential to keeping yourself still functioning.