From Rolling With the Punches To Regaining Resiliency

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Occasionally, life throws us so far out of our comfort zone we often don’t know how we’ll ever find our way back to normalcy, even when what we’re experiencing is positive. At best we find ourselves celebrating a new beginning like a wedding or the birth of a child; at worst we find ourselves facing illness or death. This wide variety of events, both planned and unplanned, can become indelible marks on our timelines; causing us to describe our experiences in terms of “before” and “after.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it was easy to feel gratitude while I cooked by candlelight and listened to stories on our battery-powered radio about people who’d lost homes, jobs and loved ones. A friend from the Upper West Side remarked that he was impressed by my positive attitude and couldn’t imagine being as upbeat in the face of the inconveniences we were experiencing. It felt odd to be lauded for keeping my chin up. My family was safe and our home undamaged, while others were facing situations far worse than no heat, an intermittent water supply, and navigating 11 flights in a dark stairwell. Knowing that our lives would eventually return to some sense of normalcy made it relatively easy to roll with the punches.

During the Sandy-induced blackout, I felt like a rubber band, stretched taut, but nowhere near my breaking point. Resiliency was tangible and I felt like I could hold it in my hands and carry it around in my pocket. I knew we’d bounce back once power was restored. Yet, for at least a week after the power returned I felt exhausted and a bit low. I wasn’t alone in that feeling. In hindsight, it is clear that those feelings were a product of processing our break with normalcy.

Last week, I did an Assessment for a new client (I’ll call Sarah) who’d been forced to move from her home a couple of years ago and hadn’t finished completely moving into her current, smaller space. During the Assessment, I shared an observation with Sarah that it appeared she’d never fully mourned the loss she’d experienced. Her move had been rather traumatic and in her effort to roll with the punches, she’d neglected to take time to process her feelings and instead felt “stuck.” Reflecting upon one’s experience is essential for moving on, yet people often neglect to give themselves the time required. Perhaps taking the time appears self-indulgent, especially when we know others who’ve suffered far worse, but it is actually essential for regaining our resiliency.

When you feel stretched like a rubber band, prepare yourself! Once the stressors subside, take a deep breath and give yourself some time to recover your resiliency. Do it even if you feel like you are being self-indulgent!

What do you do to maintain your resiliency? If you feel stuck and need a new perspective on how to move forward, get in touch so we can set up a call. I want to help you bounce back this year!

16 thoughts on “From Rolling With the Punches To Regaining Resiliency

  1. Alyssa Reply

    Excellent insights! I love the image of the stretched rubber band. It’s a great visual that really brings your point home. I always go right back to self-care when I feel that way. I’ll notice being more grouchy (that’s always my indicator that I’m “stretched”). Once I recognize that, then I can evaluate what I need to do to get myself more centered.

    • Janine Post authorReply

      I love that you have an indicator AND that you have tools at your disposal to get yourself centered. Thanks so much for commenting, Alyssa!

  2. Lorraine Reply

    It’s funny how life when it throws a curve ball we can either wallow in it or move forward out of our comfort zones! Great post!

  3. Kelly Reply

    Wow! Janine. Your clients are so lucky to have someone like you in their lives… I don’t even know how to elaborate, but you have an innate way of knowing and seeing the deeper meaning in any space! You are a gift to the world!

  4. Emily Reply

    Great reminder, Janine. I try to pay attention to how I feel when something is going on with me, and be extra nice to myself. Hot baths, a walk around the lake, or even just an hour to sit and read a book. I know if I don’t address it as it comes up it will bite me in the a$% later – even if I’m not sure why I’m feeling off!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      You are so smart, Emily! Taking the time to soothe yourself even when you aren’t sure what is wrong is exactly the right thing to do. Sometimes that is the hardest thing for folks to do. I love that you avoid trying to push past it and that instead you stop and address it. Thanks so much for sharing your strategy!

  5. Linda Reply

    I’ve been stuck many, many times over the course of my life and had no idea how to get myself out of it. Your observation for your client about mourning a move is so right on. I finally get that it’s OK to feel what I am going to feel and rather than fight it, which will simply prolong it, I experience it. But I also get that it’s in my power to be able to move on and the older I get, the more I realize how important this is!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Linda, what an excellent point! We all have the ability to move on. And I love helping people get access to tools that help them get unstuck!

  6. Catherine Reply

    Janine, I love this post. It is so critical that we mourn our “losses” big or small. It’s only in doing so that we can move forward.
    When we moved a year and a half ago, I felt all of the loss through packing each box. Some days I cried with the real estate agent as we tried desperately to find just the right house in our budget with very little time to spare. When we moved, I was free and ready to enjoy the new space. My husband and daughter were shell shocked and it took them much longer to get to a place of acceptance in our new home. I don’t plan on ever moving again, lol, but when we do they will need to pack more boxes so they too can process!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Catherine, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I totally agree that if you do move, you’ve got to get your family to join in for their own benefit!

  7. Kevin Mayes Reply

    I sincerely appreciate the reminder to take the time to process fully after a period of “rolling with the punches.” I definitely struggle with self-judgement around being indulgent. But I also know… when I step away from it… that the processing time is essential to rebuilding my resiliency. Many thanks, Janine… well stated!

    • Janine Post authorReply

      Thanks so much for commenting, Kevin! Indulge! If you ever find you are struggling with self-judgement, GIVE ME A CALL!

  8. Marcia Butler Reply

    Yes Janine, when the rubber band snaps back….it needs to find it’s neutral resting place. That is when the breathing helps. Great blog! Marcia

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