As we pass the one-year mark of the pandemic, you may be hearing the word mental resilience used often. So, what is it? According to the website Verywell Mind, “[Mental] resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. It is the mental reservoir of strength that people are able to call on in times of need to carry them through.” In this context, we are all globally digging deep to find the resilience to continue to work, raise our children, and ensure that we are staying healthy and strong. Resilience extends past the pandemic and is something that we can all work on to help us through tough times.
Recently, the Arizona Relocation Alliance held a webinar on resilience with several speakers who shared their own stories of resiliency. Aires Account Executive, Dr. Sheri Sinaga, spoke about her own resilience as she experienced cancer not once, but twice. Read on for Sheri’s inspiring story and tips to keep a resilient mindset.
Solidify your support: Find a team to advocate for you. For me, it was my medical team, family, and friends who helped me. I was able to text with my sister-in-law, a nurse by trade, discussing my daily lab results while in the hospital. She would review them and provide me questions to ask my doctor every day. It felt like I had a true advocate and someone who understood things on a deeper medical level. I believe in the power of connection, and having her there in spirit felt like I had an extra layer of support. Love really does help us heal in all situations.
Advocate for yourself: I like breaking advocacy down into three areas (with lots of wiggle room in between): knowing yourself, knowing what you need, and knowing how to get what you need. You know yourself best. Speak up and ask for help when you need it. For me, it was having curiosity for my care, questions about procedures and processes, and ensuring that I was vocal about my thoughts and feelings. Every situation has an opportunity for us to advocate for ourselves – at home, at work, with friends, and with challenging our own negative inner thoughts.
Trust in something bigger than you: I had faith in both science and a higher power to guide me through the tumultuous time. I trusted my doctors implicitly, but also relied on my faith as an extra sense of help during this indescribably difficult time. Knowing that I had both working hand-in-hand helped me to understand that I had the power to get through this through with science and a sense of inner calm.
Relax: It sounds so basic, right? Find something that allows your body and mind to come to rest. Relaxing helps let go of stress by meditation, mindfulness, prayer, or whatever works for you. We all know stress to be a cause of many health issues, so finding ways to mitigate it helps immensely no matter the challenge.
Find the joy: My joy during my hospital stay was watching basketball. (Go Warriors!) The nurses would hear elated cheers from my hospital room and come rushing in to make sure I was ok. I was great! Watching Steph Curry and team play brought joy into my heart in a really challenging time. Joy is unique to each individual. For some it’s sports, for others it’s hobbies. What is your joy?
Through any struggle, be patient with yourself. You will have good days, bad days, and days in between. Strength can sometimes be non-linear, and resilience is a skill for life. How do you keep resilient in tough times? Let us know!