When stress and anxiety are provided a window of opportunity into your heart, mind, soul and body, they quickly focusing on creating imbalance in your world in order to be able to invite their close friends depression, anger and frustration to the party. Seeking to find and keep your balance, and allowing your resilience to support you in moving forward, are ways to limit these windows of opportunity that tend to pull us even farther off the balance we seek.
Is there a sure-fire way to avoid stress, anxiety and their friends from attempting to tilt you over? Of course not, and yet, if you take action on several or all of these steps to build your resilience skills you will be better able to walk tall, keep your alignment more steady, and ward off these mental beasts that seek to tear you down.
A few simple excercises to stay in balance:
-Be thankful: Yes, be aware of what has been provided to you, what you have access to, and that you can use to take care of yourself. Be it food, shelter, clothes, or even crumbs, consider that you have something. If you have family, loved ones, a job, a place to call home, a place to visit, you have something to be thankful for, and
-Be kind: Taking a moment or two to provide an act of kindness, to care for someone else, or to provide something to someone that needs a pick-me-up.
-Be active: By getting your body going (walk, jog, run, ride, bend, stretch…) you inform each and every cell of your body that you are alive. You let your whole system know that this life must be lived, that you want to be part, and that you are readying yourself for your next great adventure.
–Be present: If you work, be at work, and take care of the things that work calls for without allowing yourself to be engaged in, for lack of a better word, “DRAMA” that pulls you away from your work. If you are at home, be at home, be there for those that need and depend on you, yes, that is your life, these are the people you love, and they deserve the very best of you each opportunity you have to be with them. By being present, you remain an active part of your life, their lives, and show them the way to engage, stay in control, remain calm, fight your way through, and to be ready for a new day!
–Build your skills: Personal, professional, creative, or even athletic skills must be targeted and focused on. If you recognize you should, and want to improve in a given area, you must put in the work to advance your skills. If it’s by becoming a better person, well, maybe you start by reading a little blog such as this, or it’s by taking a class, or it’s just by having a conversation with someone you know. If it’s professional, again, focus on the area of need, target that specific skill set you have identified, and get yourself going. If you want to develop a new part of yourself, there are literally millions of ways to “Google” it, and then take action. It is your life, you are the lead of your own show, and you can modify the script as you see fit.
BOLD CRAZY SENTENCE: You, are only the you, you believe yourself to be, and if you want to be a new you, well then identify a path, take a step towards your journey, and seek to become the new you you long for!
Here’s hoping that you each find your balance, that you seek to engage in being: thankful, kind, active, present, and that you build your skills accordingly. While I can’t guarantee that the stress and anxiety won’t be able to find you if you engage in these behaviors I can tell you with assurance that you will have more skills at hand in your resilience tool kit if you do, and that you will be more able to right yourself should you feel yourself tilting one way or another.
So, with that, Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone, and I do hope that you reflect and plan on bringing the best you to each and every day. Remember, some of the best days of your life may have not happened yet.
Dr. Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District and is also known as @ResiliencyGuy on @twitter. He can be found on Facebook at “Resiliency Guy” and is Co-Moderator of #Resiliencechat that occurs each Monday, at 7:00 PST on @Twitter