These last months I have been reflecting on resilience, particularly heading into winter holidays and listening to the news. I find myself searching for inspiration, connection with depth and humor, and maintaining hope while brushing against the real problems on the planet. These questions have me recalling the definition and key factors of resilience.
Resilience is our way of bouncing back after difficult, oppressive and/or traumatic experiences. It’s part of how we live through very hard moments or times, and what can fuel happiness, connection and well-being. It’s what keeps hope alive, gives us strength, and lets us thrive.
In life we see people who encounter unbelievable events and are able to re-establish the ground beneath their feet. We also see those who do not. There are practices that can help us build resilience in ourselves and others. This includes our organizations and our communities. While it is ideal if resilience factors are built into our habits, we can also cultivate resilience throughout our lives.
Based on studies of resilience factors some of these include: spirituality, a strong relationship with animals and/or nature, creativity and art including music, movement and visual arts. Other more relationship-based resilience practices include: being able to help others, making greater meaning of difficult experiences, and being positively connected to at least one other person during difficult events.