Resilience: A Skill Set to Overcome Adversities in Life
by Rev. R. Michael Warner, Clergy Care Services Director
At Incheon International Airport South Korea a severely disabled Korean woman approached me. My first impulse: she’s ‘panhandling’. But I was dead wrong. She wanted to provide encouragement to my spiritual journey.
After she offered Spirit-filled words of hope, love and compassion, it dawned on me, here’s a person dealt a terrible blow in life and yet resilient enough to bounce back and bless others. She reminded me of the movie character Rocky Balboa who once said: "life is not about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."
This Korean “saint” challenged me to ask, what is RESILIENCE and what would a RESILIENCY toolbox look like? It occurred to me that our Lord Jesus modeled resiliency tools of solitude and prayer in order to mitigate the stress and challenge of life.
Simply put, resilience is the skill to adapt and overcome adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress, such as family and relationship problems, health issues, workplace, career or financial stressors.
Studies show the primary factor to successful resilience is caring and supportive relationships…COMMUNITY...being connected to others in healthy and meaningful relationships. Other factors to build resiliency include: the capacity to make realistic plans, a positive view of self, confidence in one’s strengths and abilities, skills in communication and problem solving, and the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.
How can we build a toolkit of resilience like the woman at the airport? Perhaps we first acknowledge that our tool kit will look different than those around us, because no two people react the same to traumatic and stressful life events. There are however common tools of resilience that we may want to further explore and add to our skill set. The following article, adapted from the American Psychological Association highlights “10 Ways to Build Resilience” (https://wellmd.stanford.edu).
Did You Know
by Michael Warner, Clergy Care Services Director
In a popular TV commercial, Samuel L. Jackson asks, “what’s in your wallet?” Perhaps a more fruitful question for those who serve the Indiana Conference is, “what’s in your toolkit”…a toolkit for self-care and care of colleagues.
One great location to expand the toolkit is https://www.liveandworkwell.com. An absolute goldmine of assistance and personal resources!” That is what our Conference colleagues are saying about Live and Work Well.
When you explore the site you will find resources under the categories of “Live Well”, “Be Well” and “Work Well”. For example, perhaps you want information regarding:
- locating a credentialed counselor or clinician in your area
- strengthening relationships
- retirement planning or considering a major life change
- financial planning
- tracking and maintaining health
- coping with adversity and discovering resilience in challenging times
- aging parents and eldercare
- effective parenting or raising special needs children
- making a good transition in your next appointment or in life
It’s available at no cost, along with dozens of other tools.
Sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, the self-description states; “Enhance your positive mental health, resiliency and worklife balance. We provide confidential access to professional care, self-help programs, interactive tools and educational resources to help with life's changes and challenges.”
So, what’s in your toolkit?