3 Ways to Cultivate Resilience

Spring is almost here – a time of fresh beginnings and a time to bounce back. As we continue building our resilience, we must remember to be playful, optimistic, and constructive. Check out our free March 2022 Lucky Calendar to help you on your resiliency journey!

Surge Capacity

In an article written by Tara Haelle titled Your ‘Surge Capacity’ is Depleted – It’s why you feel awful: Here’s how to pull yourself out of despair and live your life, Haelle interviewed several experts on trauma, resilience and recovery, such as Ann Masten, PhD, a psychologist and professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. According to Masten, surge capacity is our collection of mental and physical resources from which we draw for survival in stressful situations, such as natural disasters. 

Surge capacity springs us into action in a crisis, but it is not a bottomless pit. It must be refilled. When a stressor becomes chronic and is unresolved, we may feel depleted. “It’s different from a hurricane or tornado where you can look outside and see the damage. The destruction is, for most people, invisible and ongoing,” writes Haelle.  

However, the story doesn’t stop there. There are some concrete steps that you can take to feel better!

Playing and constructing help us rebound & build resilience.

1. Construct

We need to get in touch with our natural instincts to make things better. According to Maddaus, “There are two ways the brain deals with the world: the future and things we need to go after, and the here and now, seeing things and touching things…construct things to do that are good no matter what.”

This must be why it felt so good to me last weekend to install dimmer switches in various rooms throughout my house. I learned a new skill – working with electricity – and gleaned some beautiful results from it. As little as I can control in our current situation, I can still make something better in my home. 

The same goes for children. I have noticed that, lately, my son has gone back to building with his Legos and Keva planks. While his teacher was reading a story aloud, through virtual school, I caught him in his room listening to her while constructing a tower. Like us, our kids need to have the sensation of constructing and making things better. That’s what we do as humans.

2. Play Together

And, finally, I have one more thing I can do to help replenish my energy: Play. According to Brene Brown, play is the antidote to crisis mode. As defined by Dr. Stuart Brown: “Play is time spent without purpose.”  And play is essential to our well-being.

Play serves two purposes – it rejuvenates our spirit and it deepens our emotional connections with our loved ones.

I love the idea of a family playlist and we are going to make one tonight. In my head, I already know the top of my list: Riding bikes together, playing catch in the backyard, playing tennis, jumping on the trampoline, reading together on the trampoline, and hiking in the foothills. Just thinking about my family playlist is already rejuvenating my spirit. 

3. Think Like an Optimist

Learning to think like an optimist will make you happier, healthier, and more resilient. When we are optimistic, we are open and curious and new ideas, which allows our brain to flourish. Download or print our March “Get Lucky” Calendar to get even more ideas on how to nurture optimism.


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