RETIREMENT COACHING – DEBBIE DRINKARD GROVUM-One of my running playlist favorites right now is “Carry On” by Fun. As they used to say on American Bandstand, “It has a good beat, and you can dance to it.” Beyond the catchiness of it are some great lines:
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on, carry on
Although I doubt Nate Ruess and gang had us Baby Boomers in mind when they wrote the song, those lines could be an anthem for us experienced adults whose pasts make us what we are today. Listening to this song reminds me that I did carry on through the great and not-so-great events of my life. One of the greatest gifts of the second half of life is the resilience we have developed though our experiences and what we have learned from them. We know we can experience tough times and bounce back.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a tough situation. Being resilient doesn’t mean your problems go away or you don’t feel anger or fear or anxiety. Being resilient allows you to continue to function during difficult situations and to know that you will get through. The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips to build resilience.
- Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by doing volunteer work, getting involved in your community, or joining a faith or spiritual community.
- Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
- Learn from experience. Think back on how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify both positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your behavior in the future.
- Remain hopeful. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. To restore an inner sense of peace or calm, practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.
- Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems or try to wish them away. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
Want to carry on and be more resilient?
- List three times in your life when you felt good about how you handled a tough situation?
- How did you approach each of these situations?