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Cultivating Resilience in a Time of Chaos

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations and bounce back from them. Resilient people tend to have external and internal resources they can call upon to deal with adversity. During this time of chaos, we are all experiencing constant challenges—in all shapes and sizes and weights and depths. Resilience is not about not having these challenges, but rather knowing what to do when you do have them so you can face them.

  1. Set daily personal goals and visualize success
    Setting a daily goal of something to achieve or complete and figuring out how to achieve or complete it can give a person a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes we just do not know where to start. Begin with small steps.
  2. Change your perspective
    Changing from a pessimist to an optimist is a conscious choice. There’s always going to be an option that comes up, even if you feel like you’re out of option at the moment. That’s where perspective comes in.
    Forgiving ourselves goes against everything that this world tells us to do. That’s all the more reason to do it. When we accept God’s desire to reconcile with us, and when we reconcile with ourselves, we are creating hope. Emily Heath, Courageous Faith
  3. Find humor in your situation
    Humor helps people look at their own situations in a different way, but it has social benefit too. Having a sense of humor can help build relationships with other people.
  4. Practice gratitude
    Make a note each day for three things for which you are grateful and write in a little book or on your phone. Some folks are so busy looking for big happiness that they miss all the little things. You may also practice writing down what makes you anxious; this can help get the thoughts out of your head.
    It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself. Ram Dass
  5. Pursue joy
    What are the activities that make life worth living? Even in the midst of chaos? In this overwhelming time of chaos, the joy in life gets lost, no doubt about it. Remember what you really enjoy doing and can still do, and do it (even with modification)! And be compassionate to yourself by being patient and kind to yourself. Find something to be hopeful and optimistic about as minor as it may seem. What can you find joy in at this moment?
  6. Give back
    Doing for others helps reduce stress, depression and anxiety. What can we do for others in this time of chaos? Write a note, make a telephone call, send an email. For yourself, acts of kindness include reading a good book, taking a long bath, going for a neighborhood walk, having a good meal.
    There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too… And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters; that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves. Etty Hillesum. 1914-1943
  7. Emphasize your strengths
    Write down a list of the best things about you — your intelligence, loyalty to friends, integrity, or your ability to adapt. Putting them down on paper will remind you how special you are. Reread it and add to it often. Give yourself praise.
  8. Adopt coping skills
    It seems that nothing is a given these days. So many changes all over the place and they come so often. We are daily confronted with difficult realities. Daily! Yet the one certainly is that you are a beloved child of God and God is right here with us in the midst of this unprecedented time of chaos. Have faith in your ability to problem-solve and succeed. And, by the way, how’s your prayer life these days?
  9. Expect the unexpected
    It seems that nothing is a given these days. (See previous item.) Be prepared for any unexpected scenario by thinking of, and planning for, some unexpected situations.
    For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from God. God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. Trust in God at all times, all people, pour out your heart before God. God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8
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