by Rachel Clarke, University of New Brunswick

In the current climate it can be challenging to take care of ourselves when there are so many conflicting demands being placed upon us. However, wouldn’t we all be better equipped to handle our new, shifting rolls if we had a toolbox of proactive skills to draw upon when needed? This is where resilience comes into play and with a few quick tricks we can all start living in a more proactive way.  

Have you stopped recently and asked yourself how you’re really doing? Not the generic response you give to colleagues when they ask but the real, honest self-check in. How am I doing assessment. What feelings / emotions do I currently possess? Why am I feeling these emotions? How am I dealing with my feelings? Or the more honest…Am I dealing with my feelings?

It’s very easy in the current climate to want to focus on only the positive and ignore anything that makes you experience the world in a negative way. However, if you prevent yourself from feeling those emotions they will eventually sneak up on you and quite possibly when you least want them to (ie. grocery store melt down, Zoom call explosion, etc). Similar to choosing to ignore the leaky kitchen pipe and only look at your beautiful kitchen plants does not mean the leak has resolved itself; the same goes for our emotions. Ignoring emotions does not make them go away. Unless we are honest about how, what, and why we are feeling we cannot work thought the emotion. 

Right now, it is 100% OKAY to feel mad, angry, sad, anxious, guilt, joy, gratitude, peaceful, etc. Whatever you are feeling today, tomorrow, a week from now is valid and the right thing. Learning to accept and process how you are feeling is the first proactive tool to add to your personal resilience toolbox. 

Processing our emotions on our own is great but why not invite others to join a conversation? Developing a network of people, we can trust is key to our sense of community and belonging. Having individuals, we can turn to for laughs, share our wins with, and when we are struggling are people whom we have a social connection to is important. The key in developing social connection is having another person or persons in which you’re engaging in regular meaningful conversation. Deeper level than “I’m fine, how have you been?” type conversations. These connections aren’t just for us however, they are an excellent opportunity for us to check in on the ones we love. With today’s climate building a strong community where we support each other is how we move forward, stronger together. That’s why social connection is the second proactive tool to add to your toolbox 

Some additional tools to look into:  

  • Developing a routine  
  • Sleep hygiene  
  • Rethinking Stress 

We are all learning how to navigate our new world; by being kinder and gentler with ourselves we will make it through, together.

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