Tips for Reliable Resilience

May 01, 2017

by Bozeman PowerHouse Amy Falcione One of my family members has reached the end of modern medicine. Or that’s how it feels. For the past year, he’s had an undiagnosed condition that sends intense, shooting pain all over his body at random intervals throughout the day and night. Local physicians and Mayo Clinic doctors are flummoxed, and test after test after test have only shown that he’s in excellent health. At a recent appointment, the doctor threw up his hands and said, “I don’t know what else I can do for you.” That was hard to hear, though I appreciated his honesty. It feels like there are no more options and that modern medicine has shut its door. So, what’s next? How does a person move forward after life delivers a big blow? There’s no manual for this, no easy 3-step process to magically fix everything, but I have learned a few strategies to strengthen my resilience and help me keep moving forward. Have that pity party We’re told to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off when we get knocked down, but sometimes, you just want to lie on the floor and sulk a little. And that’s okay! It gives you time to go over what happened and sort through the emotional tidal wave. It’s important to reflect on what went wrong so you can avoid the same sequence in the future. It’s also important to avoid reliving the events over and over, running the dialogue and emotions back like a movie on repeat. The purpose of licking your wounds is to acknowledge what happened and recognize how you feel, without judgement and without playing the “I should have said” game. You might find that simply recognizing that you’re feeling anxious, sad or conflicted actually helps those feelings to subside, even a little. Got 5 Minutes? Write, write, write You’ve heard Oprah say it dozens of times: Keep a journal. This past year, I committed to writing several days each the week and it’s helped me gain a perspective I never considered—my past self advising my current self. I realized that I don’t remember those small moments when I was happy, disappointed or frustrated by something and I can see patterns emerge about my habits and what contributes to a good day or a bad day. No time to write? Consider the Five Minute Journal, where each morning you write:
  • three things you’re grateful for,
  • three things that would make today great, and
  • a daily affirmation.
Then in the evening you write:
  • three amazing things that happened today and
  • three ways that you could have made today even better.
I love this model as an easy way to track what you’re doing and how you’re feeling to show your future self how far you’ve come. There’s even an app for it. Find your community Humans are social beings and we need to be around other people. Isn’t it strange how we have online platforms called social media that can actually be extremely isolating? Find other real humans who’ve been through what you’re going through, who will listen, offer insight and most importantly, don’t judge you. Have live conversations with friends or family you trust to be empathetic and truthful with you. When you start talking about what you’re going through, you might be surprised to learn that others have experienced something very similar. Their advice could be just what you need to get up off the floor. So do get up. And keep moving forward. Amy Falcione is a communications strategist and graphic designer who loves hot tea, hand lettering and Montana mountains. You can find her at