Rebuilding Resilience


Emotional resilience is the ability to adapt to stressful situations and to overcome adversity. I’m recently experiencing a recurrence of depression that had been well managed for many years. I’m grieving, living with health problems, and dealing with major stressors at home and work. I think it’s the combination of those factors all happening together that’s capsized me. I know that I’ll be okay eventually, but I’m finding the depression very hard to deal with. I feel my resilience has become exhausted.

I believe resilience can be restored and grown. Here are some commitments I’m making to myself based on common factors that build emotional resilience:

Resilience: I will make a conscious effort to cultivate resilience in myself and to acknowledge the resilience that I have.

Acceptance: I will accept these struggles, hard times, and losses. I will accept myself and those around me as we are. I will accept that this is an incredibly painful and difficult time. I will not expect myself to bounce back immediately. This will take some time.

Faith: I will have faith in future possibilities and joys that are to come. I may not know what they are yet, but I know they will come.

Perspective: I will strive to remember that this acute pain is temporary. I will feel better. I will also remember that these problems are not me. I am having to reshape my identity, but I will not be defined by my problems. I will practice mindfulness to help maintain perspective.

Perseverance: I will let go of many things, but I will never give up on myself. Even if I have to let go of some hopes and dreams, I will try everything in my power to achieve them. I will overcome obstacles if possible using faith and creativity. I will shape new hopes and dreams. I will get through this.

Responsibility for Myself: Although I am not in control of anything except myself, I will be in control of myself even when it feels like I can’t. I will take responsibility for myself, my actions, and my responses. I will not blame myself for things beyond my control and I will not be a victim. I will identify the choices available to me and will change the things I can with courage and wisdom.

Self-care: I will take incredible care of myself. I will meet all of my basic needs for sleep, food, water, and exercise. I will seek the medical care I need. I will read and write about my challenges and find healthy ways to release the pain I feel. I will find ways to have fun and pamper myself.

Support: I will seek support from friends and family. I will be more open about my challenges and I will be more direct about asking for support. I will continue to reach out through blogging and other online resources. I will reach out through my faith.

Emotional Awareness: I will do my best to identify my feelings and why I feel that way.

Humor: I will continue to laugh at myself and life’s difficulties as a way of coping.

Care for Others: I will tend my important relationships, especially with my husband who is living through these challenges with me and experiencing his own hard times. I will find ways to get out of my own head and my own problems by providing care and support for others.

Image: Weeping willow (Salix babylonica) by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, public domain. I chose a weeping willow because of the weeping (obviously!), but also because of the resilience willows show to bend in winds and floods without breaking.

Text copyright Snowdroplets, 2015

7 responses to “Rebuilding Resilience

  1. Wow, this really speaks to me. I’ve been trying to incorporate some of these into my life as well, especially acceptance and perseverance. But you wrote it so eloquently, I’ll save this post and re-read it when I’m feeling hopeless. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. snowdroplets, this was a well written blog post and broke down specific steps that someone can take to be resilient. I’d like to post on my blog, Jackie’s Heart, giving you the credit as a guest blogger. Would that be okay?


  3. Reblogged this on Jackie's Heart and commented:
    Here is a great blog post on Rebuilding Resilience in adversity, including the symptoms and emotions that accompany chronic illness. It’s from a WordPress blog called “snowdroplets.”

    I like this article because it lists specific things we can do to rebuild resilience in our lives and live at peace with our illnesses. In addition to the ideas listed by “snowdroplets,” I would add that my faith in Jesus Christ gives me courage and strength to move forward that I don’t have in my own human strength, and I am grateful for the grace and mercy God gives me every day.


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