Authored by Celia Webb, APC
Reflecting on the recent events that our country has experienced such as Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the 16th anniversary of 9/11, it calls on me to wonder the impact that significant events have on our country and the citizens that live here. In the wake of these events and those similar, I have seen some individuals emerge as stronger and more resilient. While a portion of those individuals emerge as tenacious and stable, there is an unfortunate number that do not. What happens to those people who don’t make the magazine covers or the viral videos on social media and instead struggle silently in the background.
Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover quickly from traumatic or significant events with little long-term impact. However, how does one gather resiliency when everything or everyone close to them is suddenly gone. What happens when someone just does not contain the characteristics of resiliency?
Resiliency allows someone to stand up in the face of a traumatic event, acknowledge the hurt, pain, suffering, and loss they have experienced, recalibrate to their experiences and move forward. A resilient individual is one that can often bounce back from these events with a decreased level of anxiety, depression, and grief than someone who does not identify as resilient.
While there is no shame in lacking resilience (almost everyone struggles with this in one way or another throughout their life) it often looks like adjusting poorly to change, being unable to solve problems or at times, expecting others to do it for them. Depending on the caliber of the event, these individuals may struggle significantly with depression, anxiety, shame and grief following these events, and may dwell on the things that have happened to them or have impacted where they are now.
Regardless of your ability to demonstrate resilience, traumatic and significant events often impact everyone. As we continue to experience unfortunate events as a country including severe hurricanes, mass shootings, and events like 9/11, its reminds me to refresh my self-care and resiliency skills. I have taken some tips from verywell.com on building my flexibility to change and defeat and felt that sharing them might be helpful to someone else.
Develop a sense of purpose and meaning for your life
Use positive self-talk to affirm your strengths
Reach out to others to develop a sense of support and community
Relinquish some control and accept change
Take care of and nurture yourself
Each individual will experience every situation they encounter differently and that is okay. If you find yourself struggling more than normal or on a consistent basis with different events occurring in your life, you may find it helpful to practice some of these tips or reach out to someone that has a higher level of training. The most important take away is that it is a human experience to struggle, but there is a sense of community and support that can ease some of the battle.