Striving for resilience this season

Published 12:09 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

“I haven’t failed. I’ve identified 10,000 ways this doesn’t work.” ~ Thomas Edison

Resilience is that quality of being able to deal effectively with difficult times.

It includes being able to cope with uncertainty, disappointment and misfortune coming back stronger than ever. Rather than focus on failure, resilience is about learning from experience, finding a resolution and moving forward. When we have a clear sense of identity and purpose, we are more resilient, because we can hold fast to our vision of a better future.

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Resilience comes from community — the relationships that allow us to lean on each other for support when we need it. Resilience is about being ever mindful of ourselves and our surrounding environment. Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives us the strength to tackle problems head on, overcome adversity and move forward.

While the holiday season is defined by peace, goodwill and celebration, stress associated with the festivities can sap resilience.

Day-to-day life continues despite the hustle and bustle, financial pressures and heightened emotions of the season. Strengthen resilience by being mindful of emotions, nurturing important relationships, and reflecting on learning experiences of the past year.

The pressure to entertain, purchase gifts and create the ‘perfect’ holiday combines with the reality of everyday life. Setting realistic expectations both now and for the coming year builds both confidence and resilience. Instead of hosting a feast for fifty, invite close friends and family for a potluck dinner. Give gifts from the heart rather than the mall. Make New Year’s resolutions that are achievable; rather than resolve to lose 50 pounds, focus on healthy eating habits.

Recognize that this can be an emotionally charged season. Grief from past losses will often emerge, whether the death was days or decades ago. Military families have empty chairs at the table. Estranged family and friends are missed. Take time to reflect, reminisce and honor memories.

Share a smile with a stranger, help a neighbor and create good memories with friends and family.

Take care of yourself; engage in activities that are enjoyable and relaxing, maintain a healthy routine of eating and sleeping and keep expectations realistic. As 2012 comes to a close, reflect on the past, plan for the future and be mindful in everyday activities.

Polk Wellness Center is here to help navigate your Journey to Wellness by offering an integrated model including primary medical care and mental health services, as well as substance abuse, prevention, education, wellness and recovery support in an atmosphere of respect for all.

Call 828-894-2222 or visit our website at for more information.