Holding onto Resilience, Determination, Inner Strength, and Hope

PEP Talk Header Mollie lifting weights

Most of us go through life measuring progress and milestones. From finished projects to promotions at work to parenting successes, we each have a unique set of metrics to assess our progress. Nearly 10 months of life in this surreal, restricted, stressful environment has challenged those systems.

While we may not be able to measure how well we’ve done in the traditional sense, there are still ways to take stock of where we are. I have an unfettered belief that every woman has a story to tell. Resiliency, determination to thrive, inner strength, and hope tend to be the threads that weave through those stories. These concepts can do more than drive narratives: we can also use them to think about where we are right now, even as we feel unmoored by the things we can’t control around us.

Read on for a few ways to tap into what you already have in order to orient yourself and evaluate and promote new kinds of headway.

Breathe in hope.

It is critical to remember to embrace hope, particularly in times of sustained duress. Start your day by breathing for one minute. There are apps available for your smartphone or smart watch, or you can use a simple timer to ensure that you’re setting aside a full minute. Repeat this practice a few times throughout the day. These regular breathing breaks will likely leave you feeling more centered and increase your ability to sustain that hope.

Recognize your resilience.

One of the most important things we can do is embrace the knowledge that we are resilient. This is something we know to be true at this moment.* Coming back to what we know to be true right now, this instant, serves to ground us as we navigate the fluidity of near-constant change. Resilience can be hard to see when you’re the one showing it. Take time to think about the strength and elasticity this year has demanded just to get through each day. Commend yourself on a job well done for completing even the most basic tasks.

Be kind to yourself.

Above all else, it is a critical time to remember to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to some leniency, even if you realize that you possess a wealth of resilience. Believe in yourself, be aware of the strengths you possess, and, perhaps most importantly, cut yourself some slack when you feel like you’re not measuring up.

*A phrase labelled a “Mollism” by NYBRA patients.

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