Making Time for Resiliency

Imagine you’re stranded on a deserted island with limited resources. What would you do? Your strength, experience, persistence, and ability to survive would kick in to keep you safe, healthy and alive as long as possible. That’s what resilience is all about. Keeping you safe, healthy and alive by tackling life’s challenges and overcoming them to become a better version of yourself.

Life doesn’t play fair, but you don’t have to become victim to unexpected changes and challenges that hit you out of nowhere. This is why learning and taking time to build your resiliency skills is important. If you want to succeed through an adverse time then resiliency is your lifeline.

How much time a week are you putting into building you resiliency? Do you meditate? Do you workout? Do you grab dinner with friends? Do you reflect on your purpose? If you do, then you’re building your resilience to some degree.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being resilient is that resiliency isn’t a program, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a choice to use specific techniques and smart decisions to live strong, rested, mindful and purposeful. It is in no way, shape or form a program or a mandatory training that you attend on a scheduled basis. Resiliency is proven to help people recover from any kind of stressful situation or event.

I typically workout three days a week if I’m able to finish up work and head out of the office. Many people workout during the duty day as an individual or with their office or squadron. It’s great! We need to be fit, right? It’s a part of our mission! It’s necessary that we are able to invest in our fitness wellness. 

On a normal day a few months ago I finished up what I needed to at work and since it was my ‘PT’ day, I left the office to get a run in. That’s my go to workout. I love running! I went home to change into my gear and thought to myself, “I ran Monday, what I really need is mental time.” I felt I needed time to gather my thoughts and emotions. Have you ever felt that you just needed time to think? It was one of those moments. 

This sparked another thought. “What if I needed spiritual time? What if I needed social time?” Why is it always PT time and not other parts of resiliency? I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m going to mental, spiritual or social time,” during the day. I believe we’ve created a standard to being fit is more important than other areas and have forgotten that we need to be fit in other areas such as mental, spiritual and social.

Instead of running that afternoon I sat on my couch and decompressed by working on some breathing techniques. I didn’t turn on music or the television. I sat in silence as I simply rested and eased my conscience. It was a much needed mental break.

Since then I have made an effort to make time for the other areas of resilience that often go undeveloped and strengthened. If we want to build a culture of resilience we have to practice it consistently(daily/weekly) rather than in an intensive(down days) manner.

“Cultivate resilience.” – Brene Brown

I want to challenge you as you use your ‘PT’ time to think about the other areas of resiliency that we typically don’t set time aside for. We all need to be at the top of our game and to be well rounded we need to build strength in our physical, social, mental and spiritual areas. So if you are good with physical fitness think about other areas you could spend time on in order to build up your resiliency. After all, isn’t resiliency a part of the mission too?