I have come to think of resiliency as our emotional core. Just like our physical core, it needs regular attention. If you have ever tried to get back into your fitness regimen after a few weeks holiday or after being sick, it is readily apparent that your body is not the way you left it. It will take time to get it back to where you were.
The same is true of our emotional core.
Resiliency is our ability to overcome life’s hurdles. Some definitions include adversity, but I choose to expand that to hurdles, the experiences that knock us off our game. Even positive experiences – such as moving or having a baby need a work out of our emotional core. New surroundings, new demands and new roles. These things are stressful and require a tool kit of sorts to work through them.
Our emotional core does best when we have an array of connections
We are all connected in a spider web of relationships that span family, work, school, hobbies and our online and offline communities. Each of these offer us different experiences and feelings. They also give us varying levels of satisfaction and safety within our worlds. From the perspective of resilience this is a good thing. In fact, managing our lives and the problems that come with being alive, depend on our array of connections.
How well are you tending your relationships? Are there a few people who have slipped off your radar? It happens, right? Life is busy and days and then weeks and even months can slide by and you haven’t connected.
Now is the time my friends. Consider it preventative maintenance and…it’s fun!
Whatever reason brought you together, the connection and enjoyment you feel when you are with them, is no doubt still there. It may take some doing, but the payoff is excellent.
Just like our physical core, our emotional core benefits from changes in our routine
Doing the same old thing, with the same people, while easy, isn’t in our best interests. Like taking the same route to work or school every day. Auto pilot kicks in as you repeat your activities and your world narrows. When you start interacting with others within your circle, it fires up different parts of your personality.
There’s the friend you share your love of witty greeting cards, or the one that is always reading some article or book that adds to your interest. Or, what about the person who has the “willing to try anything” flair? You know, just enough dare and spontaneity that you find yourself willing to try a new ride at the fair or sign up for a class you wouldn’t consider doing on your own?
It’s what makes those connections so great and so important. They help keep us anchored in our lives and to ourselves. And then, yes, when life hands you an obstacle, you have tended your relationships so you are not left trying to manage all on your own.
And, might I add, it is best to expand your network of friends wider if you find that it has shrunk due to natural events such as moves or job changes.
If your entire set of connections is heavily weighted from one area, expand it
It’s also a good idea to do a bit of an “inventory” of where your friends and close relationships are from. If you see that some areas are more heavily weighted than others – such as work or family, it is worth considering the impact should you change jobs or retire. And, if you and your family are all coping with the same situation, it is helpful to have others to whom you can turn.
There’s no right or magic number to your connection network. Your network’s biggest asset is if most of it is in your immediate area. While technology is great, friends from afar can’t provide you with the in person support you need.
All right then, you know what you need to do. Schedule in your emotional core work and make some plans with your people.
Once you have done so, leave a comment. I’d love to hear how you fared.