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Accepting challenges, focusing on future can help build resilience

Setbacks and situations that require finding new ways of facing those challenges go with the business of living life. Currently, to say we’re in uncertain times is an understatement. What is certain though is that the importance of resilience cannot be overstated. If that is not a strength or could use a booster shot, there are simple skills to help develop a more resilient response to the ups and downs of life.

For example, studies show the importance of pushing beyond the limits into something that is difficult or uncomfortable. By sticking with it, the brain creates new neurons that help develop more resilience going forward.

Other suggestions include remaining calm and staying in the moment rather than letting thoughts get too far down the road. There’s a saying that if we live in the future or in the past, we are bankrupt in the present. It’s also important to focus on physical well being. Compromised physical health makes it more difficult to be mentally resilient. Getting enough exercise, rest, and eating a healthy diet goes a long way toward building and maintaining resilience.

Acceptance and flexibility are essential practices for staying in balance even during times of abrupt change. Maintaining a positive outlook does not mean that problems don’t exist. It means understanding that setbacks do happen. Belief in positive outcomes makes it easier to combat challenges and obstacles. Remaining calm and with an attitude that the situation is temporary is also helpful.

Right now, everyone is challenged with maintaining social relationships which will help increase resilience. It’s only natural to count on the backing of family and friends. Fortunately, creative thinking has produced many heartwarming substitutions to keep the love and support going for each other.

Thanks to technology, there are several effective visual platforms offering video communication. For those more technically inclined, there is plenty to do online with others. Check out a Modern Movie Night with Netflix Party or a social distant disco with JQBX Jukebox. You can also play Pictionary and Heads Up on the Houseparty app.

It’s often said that life is a practice, so enjoy the process. Generally it takes 21 days to lock in a new habit, so don’t get discouraged if you struggle to cope with a new routine. Working in tandem with someone could also increase successful outcomes along with trying different suggestions to see what works best. Resilience varies from one person to the next. The key is to stay focused on the strengths and over time they will override perceived weaknesses. Here’s to resilience!

Writer, editor and speaker Cheryl Russell is a Laguna Woods Village resident. Contact her at


Source: Orange County Register

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