We recently had the absolute pleasure of witnessing our son, Cory, being sworn in to serve in the military. It was the culmination of a long season of prayer, difficulties, adventure, heartbreak, tears, and laughter… all the words that seem to describe doing life with young adult children.
During Cory’s high school years to the present, I have dealt with the question of how to thrive while fighting off anxiety. There were days I could physically feel the stress in my body. My hands and shoulders would ache as if my nerves were jumping out of my skin.
I know I’m not alone.
This week I have had conversations with friends and family going through difficulties that include all of the following topics:
- A newborn baby in critical care
- Depression from losing a friend to death by suicide
- Extreme pain following a knee replacement surgery
- A son in the navy questioning if he has what it takes to become a navy seal
- Moving to another state
- A friend struggling through chemotherapy
- Disagreement with decisions adult children are making
- An elderly dad on hospice
- How to navigate the pressures of the holiday season
Is it possible to walk through a difficult season with your faith intact, and possibly even encouraged?
Can you learn from hardship and grow in your ability to recover on all levels? … emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually??
How do you bounce back and care for yourself during all kinds of transitions?
Self-care and resilience go hand in hand if we are to be successful in all life brings our way. What do those words really mean?
Obviously, self-care means caring for yourself.
Brilliant, I know.
But let’s flush that out a little bit more.
The dictionary describes caring as the practice of looking after those unable to care for themselves. It can also mean displaying kindness and concern for others, or giving watchful attention to others.
With that in mind, let’s define SELF-care as ‘kind concern for our own emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.’
I like to throw the word kind in there, because it’s so easy to think unkindly about ourselves.
Self-care starts with a commitment to nurture gracious and kind thoughts about ourselves as we walk through the busyness and difficulties of life.
Here’s our working definition:
Self-Care: A kind concern for our own well-being.
Synonyms for well-being are what make that statement so rich. Words like wellness, mental freedom, security, contentment, soundness, active strength of body and mind.
THAT’S the goal!
All of those words!
Now… let’s define resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, or the ability to spring back into shape, or to start back.
Let’s say it this way:
Resilience: coming back strong after hardship.
Some of my favorite synonyms include flexibility, strength, resolve, steadfastness, and courage.
Here are my very profound statements of the day.
- Self-care BUILDS resilience.
In other words— A kind concern for our well-being gives us the ability to come back strong after hardship.
- A lack of self-care LEADS to a lack of resilience.
Or— A lack of kind concern for our well-being results in an inability to come back strong after a hardship.
It’s a conversation I want to have with you. Self-care and resilience are part of the same game plan and I believe we can encourage each other in the journey. I’d love to have you subscribe to my blog so you never miss a post in this series.
For now, let the words of this beautiful verse bring hope to you in whatever you are facing. This was revealed to Jeremiah, a prophecy about God restoring his people.
“For I will help the tired ones and give strength to everyone who is weak.” Jeremiah 31:25 (NLV)
Life is hard AND God is incredible!