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9 Tools to Stay Resilient During Your Life’s Transitions

Tools to Stay Resilient

Resilience may help us deal with stress, overcome adversity, and look forward to brighter days ahead. Here are some tools to stay resilient during transitional times.

KEY POINTS

  • Transitions are stressful by their nature, but there are practical tools for addressing the worry that transitions stir up.
  • An essential part of moving through transitions is recognizing, and accepting, what you can and can’t control.
  • The ability that resilience gives us to regulate our emotions is key to navigating and landing intact on the other side of change.

If you have ever found yourself in a period of change that makes you feel uncertain and unsettled, then you know how it feels when worry—rather than resilience—is running the show.

Liminal periods, the times at the start of a new experience—a new job, say, or a new city—are challenging and can stir up a hornet’s nest of worry and “what if’s.” They can make you feel disconnected and disoriented. Unfettered worry about things we can’t control—and figuring out what we can control—leads to anxiety and, worse, helplessness.

It’s in these times of change and transition that resilience really matters. Resilience makes the difference between surrendering to angst and worry—versus seeing this time in your life as an opportunity for growth.

9 Tools to Stay Resilient During Your Life’s Transitions
9 Tools to Stay Resilient During Your Life’s Transitions

Resilience is largely a learned skill that helps us to manage stress, regulate our emotions, and respond positively to the kinds of setbacks we all experience at one time or another. Fortunately, there are specific, practical things we can do to keep ourselves from going off the emotional cliff and landing with a thud in a pit of despair. Consider these:

Here Are 9 Tools to Stay Resilient

Be Clear About What You Can And Can’t Control.

This means realistically thinking through the specifics of the situation you’re in, and sorting out “what is mine” and “what is not mine.” What do you need to do to take responsibility for what is yours? Do you need to push back against someone’s effort to make something yours that isn’t your responsibility?

Related: How To Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed With Tasks

Be Mindful.

Literally, stop and smell the roses (and other flowers). Hike (or just walk) in nature. Take a mental inventory of your senses. What are they telling you about your environment? Are there things you can do to make it more enjoyable and relaxing?

Name Your Emotions.

Loneliness, frustration, and disappointment are all-too-familiar emotions in the course of our lives. Identify your emotions and learn to differentiate among them to know what is really going on and how to deal with it.

Write About Your Feelings.

You’ve heard it a million times, but that’s because it’s true: journaling puts your feelings in black and white, which in turn helps you to turn the tables and limit their ability to hurt or undermine you.

Practice Gratitude.

Focusing on all you are grateful for is one of the quickest, and surest, ways to move your mind from worrying to a place of equanimity. This is really a remarkable weapon in your resilience arsenal of worry-busters.

Related: 10 Reminders When You Feel You’re Never Going To Be Enough

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John-Manuel Andriote

John-Manuel Andriote is an award-winning author, journalist, speaker, and health advocate. Since 1983 he has written about health and medicine, LGBT issues and popular culture. His latest book is Stonewall Strong: Gay Men's Heroic Fight for Resilience, Good Health, and a Strong Community. Drawing from his firsthand experience, as well as the research and interviews he has conducted on the subject of resilience, Andriote has developed a free online course called Becoming Stonewall Strong: Claim and Build Your Emotional Resilience. In early 2021, he expects to launch his new practice as a one-on-one personal resilience coach.View Author posts