YOUR RESILIENCE ROAD MAP
Because it’s hard to think clearly in a crisis, it’s smart to have your strategy ready to roll in advance. Steps such as these – written for someone who has just lost her job – can work for any setback. IMMEDIATELY AFTER you’re laid off, jot down what you’re feeling – blindsided, angry, scared, relieved, whatever. Researchers have found that writing about a traumatic event, rather than replaying it in your mind, can help you make sense of it. Then take a few days to simply feel all these things, keeping up your routine: work out, meet a friend for lunch, go to bed at your regular time. Resilient people give themselves space to process emotions, but don’t wallow so they stay busy and connected. ASK YOURSELF, ‘Do I see a path forwards?’ If you don’t quite yet, repeat step 1. Otherwise, write out steps on that path, whether big or small: one might be ‘Update LinkedIn’ and another ‘Apply to study further’. Your list does not have to be perfect – you’re simply opening your mind to possibilities instead of dwelling on distress. MAKE A MOVE. Even if you still feel bad, do at least one list item daily and build up to more. Some may seem silly and you might have to step back to move forwards (for example, you can’t apply for further study without digging out your past degrees). That’s okay: resilient people are flexible with goals. WRITE DOWN three to five things that you’re grateful for each week. Research indicates that building gratitude may bolster resilience by reducing feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. ASK FOR HELP. Being resilient does not mean handling everything yourself. Talk to a good friend or a therapist who can help you reshape your perspective.