Essential Life Skills To Build Resilience And Boost Your Health, Happiness And Prosperity by Christina Kunkle, CTA Certified Life and Wellness Coach, R.N.
here’s an exciting shift taking place in our community of heart-centered, high-achieving women. Now, more than ever, we are stepping into self-leadership, taking positive action to thrive with less stress and greater happiness in all areas of life. We recognize the vital role we play in our own well-being, and consciously embrace a restorative lifestyle to keep our heart open, mind sharp and body healthy. Like many of us, I used to think perfection was possible, and that self-care was selfish. My self-worth was tied to getting straight A’s, coming in first and taking care of others. Luckily, I’ve come to learn that our best is always good enough, and in order to serve, we need a reserve. Now, I know that if the loving care and attention we give to others does not also include us, we are putting our health, happiness and prosperity in jeopardy. Turns out, it won’t be the smartest, strongest or most perfect among us who survive in the end. It will be those of us who can best manage change. We can’t get too attached to how we think things should be or the way they’ve always been. So, when plan A doesn’t work, be ready to roll with plans B and C. Here are four essential life skills to deal better with the unknown, and greet new situations with grit and resilience: 8
Photo illusration by Sherrie Good
Work To Live
If your life seems to center around your profession, or if your work is the major source of satisfaction and meaning in your life, you may be reacting to what you think others want, expect or demand from you. In other words, you’re living to work. This can be toxic if left unchecked. Warning signs include depleted energy and leaving little to no freedom, fun or flexibility. Your creativity is left untapped, work lacks meaning and you’re not making a positive impact. Depression and burnout are lurking just around the corner.
If you are able to prioritize work and life, succeeding in your profession while still spending time with those who matter most, you’re working to live. It’s likely that this balancepromoting response is truly aligned with your authentic core values, nourishing your soul. By doing this, you feel energized, creative, playful and are making a positive contribution. You rest when tired, operating at your best for those you love and serve. Joy starts to replace depression, and fulfillment greets you at every turn.
I love the saying, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.” What would be possible if we became just a little more willing to compromise? Imagine letting go of the need to be right, allowing the edges of our rigid viewpoints to soften and stretch our comfort zone. I’ve been practicing an effective strategy to be less reactive in the presence of people who don’t “get” me (and who can quickly jump to judge what they don’t understand). It requires
that we be willing and open to see others differently (even if they never return the favor), letting go of old assumptions about why they say and do things, what they really mean or believe about us, etc. Creating space for a broader understanding begins with asking, “How many new ways could I view this,” or “What else could this person mean besides what I’ve always thought?” Give this a try and notice how quickly it helps you respond with curiosity instead of jumping to judgments. Stay open to a win-win, a fresh insight and a way to accept differences.
We’ve all heard that life is a journey, not a destination, and that the only thing constant is change. But it sure seems to be moving faster than ever, doesn’t it? Advances in technology are happening with unprecedented speed. And the twists and turns that come with life on the growing edge require a keen ability to think clearly under pressure. Yes, in order to bounce back from setbacks and catch the curveballs that come our way, we need to be nimble and quick on our feet. But keeping up, controlling every outcome and striving to never make a mistake is unrealistic. I say we adopt a “go with the flow” philosophy, riding the waves of
change the best we can, being humble enough to ask for support when we need it.
As we acquire the skills necessary to adapt easily to changing conditions, please remember that the health, happiness and prosperity we desire is a lifelong quest. We will forever be following, leading and learning throughout our lives. For those of us who have depression, are wired to be highly sensitive or struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, it can be particularly challenging to adapt in healthy ways. I believe this work is always easier and more fun in a community with like-minded women. They will walk beside you, share their own experiences and offer words of support and encouragement along the way. It is not weak to need help coping; it shows tremendous strength.
Christina Kunkle, R.N. and CTA certified life and wellness coach, is founder of “Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC” and creator of the “Synergy Success Circle.” She helps busy women prevent burnout by promoting bounce-back resilience to stay focused, positive and excited about the challenges of work and life. For more information, Visit synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call 540-746-5206.
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