Following researching her new book, ‘Resilience’ (published by Capstone Wiley next February), modern life skills specialist Liggy Webb (www.liggywebb.com) has come up with ten strategies to help people to be able to cope better with the demands and challenges of everyday life (http://www.liggywebb.com/files/id/162/view/resilience-toolkit.pdf):
- Take a journey of self-discovery: Self-awareness and self-confidence play a key role in helping you to cope with stress and recover from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Becoming more confident about your ability to respond and deal with crises helps build resilience for the future.
- See the glass as half full: Being an optimist means understanding that setbacks are transient and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.
- Take emotional control: Recognising how you can potentially react in certain situations helps you to take more self-control – and helps you be more considerate about how your reaction can affect other people. Managing emotions during any ordeal helps you to focus your energy where it’s best placed.
- Accept change and learn how to be adaptable and resourceful: You may not be able to control or change circumstances but you can change your attitude towards them so you’re more in control. Resilient people use events as an opportunity to branch out in new directions.
- Manage conflict and cope better with difficult situations: Conflict is an inevitable part of life. Its outcome can be positive because it can help you create new ideas, learn from others, understand yourself better, see different perspectives and improve your own communication.
- Embrace problems and turn them positively into opportunities: In every crisis, an opportunity will arise which can be of some benefit. Developing problem-solving skills is valuable.
- Look after yourself physically, emotionally and environmentally: Build your self-nurturing skills. Losing your appetite, overeating, not exercising, not getting enough sleep, drinking too much alcohol, not drinking enough water, driving yourself too hard, are all common reactions to a crisis.
- Make positive connections and develop your relationships and interests: Build and sustain a strong network of supportive friends, family and work colleagues.
- Keep going: No matter what happens to you in life, believe in yourself and keep going. Let go of the angst that you experience. Negative baggage merely makes the journey ahead more difficult.
- Create a vision: Set objectives and goals and create a vision of the life you really want Goals unlock your positive mind and release energies and ideas for success and achievement. Setting goals gives you direction, purpose, focus and, importantly, hope.
Comment: Confucius is credited with having said: ‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.’
In these challenging economic times, with stress-related illness and depression on the increase, maybe learning to bounce back and be resilient is an essential life skill for us all to develop.