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The Art of being Resilient

According to the American Psychologist Association, resilience is "the process o adapting well in the event of a trauma, adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress - such as family problems or serious health issues.

In my case it is the family tragedy with health issues. When my partner Mark was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2016, it felt as if a bomb has fallen into our lives. Him and me have been dealing with the harsh reality that there is no cure for motor neurone disease. I have been fighting with him the impossible battle to keep him alive. Since 2016 I have been written off work for stress. I dealt with heart palpitations that lasted five days. I sometimes suffer from extreme high blood sugar levels and insomnia. I also have had a full time job and dealt with sick notes from the doctor's surgery to keep the disability allowance for Mark active.

When such a tragedy hits two people like Mark and me, it is often difficult to be resilient. Life can go out of balance and it would be too easy to not give up completely. But you keep going. During the time I have developed a strong resilience to the situation Mark and I are in, and I am going to share the coping mechanisms with you.

1. Focus on the situation. No matter how tough it is to focus, but taking it one day at a time helps to just deal with what is happening on that day. Do not look further that the day you have in front of you.

2. Don't overthink. Overthinking is one of the most dangerous things to do. When you overthink the situation at hand, you easily overeat and begin to drink more alcohol than you normally would do. It is called the toxic triangle. When overthinking leads to another and suddenly you end up eating more fast food and drink more red wine than you anticipate. This leads to weight gain and mood swings.

3. Talk to a friend. My biggest and best support network used to be my colleagues and my manager at work. They were absolutely the best ones to speak to. My mother is the other person I entrusted with all that is going on with Mark's MND, the hospital stay, the issues with doctors and nurses. Sometimes the issues did not stop.

Speak to a friend, a neighbour or a club member. Maybe there is someone who has been through the same situation and can lend you a helping hand if needed.

4. Try not to worry. I have adapted a positive approach to worries. I always think that when I worry, I ask myself can I solve the problem? How to I solve it and what needs to be actively done to move forward. If I cannot solve it, I cannot worry. Another way will be found at some point.

5. Spirituality. I am not a religious person, but deeply spiritual. I believe in Karma and reincarnation. I believe that we meet people in this life time who we have unfinished business with. However, in case in being more resilient I connect with the Divine on a daily basis. For you it may be the meditation, going for a walk in a park or by a lake. This can be anything that helps you to connect with your inner self.

And last but not least I have a few questions for you to ponder on:

1) How would your friends and family describe how you deal with setbacks?

2) What challenges did you have to deal with in your early years?

3) What helped you to deal with those challenges?

4) How you ever been blown sideways by a life event?

5) Who were the people who helped you to believe in your potential?

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