As retiring is a major lifestyle change that comes with all sorts of challenges, resilience is a cornerstone of adapting to this new chapter of life. The impact of resilience cannot be understated: it is an attitude of perseverance in the face of adversity, and the ability to be positive and productive despite unfamiliar circumstances. Resilience is not just being able to tolerate a difficult situation, but to actively engage with it. When you analyze and reflect on a stressful situation, you develop the skills to deal with it and become stronger in the future. The impact of resilience when you age is thus that it contributes to a stronger and happier mentality.
What does resilience look like?
Resilience does not necessarily have to be an aggressive show of strength. It looks like healthy coping mechanisms that enable you to live life to the best of your ability. Being resilient involves things like practicing gratitude, courtesy, and appreciation towards the people around you. It also means having a positive and open attitude towards your environment, like being willing to try something new.
Social characteristics of resilience could include an eagerness to remain in contact with your family and the openness towards new people. Physical forms of resilience can be the dedication to maintaining good health and physical strength. Mental resilience is being able to have a reasonable and gracious mindset towards difficult circumstances, whether it be dealing with difficult people, tasks or situations.
Resilience can be cultivated over time through developing good habits and adopting healthy attitudes. Some behavior you can adopt to cultivate resilience includes:
- Try out new activities
- Making productive use of your time
- Building new friendships and joining new social groups
- Developing stress-management habits
- Reflect and learn from experiences
- Taking care of your health and wellness
- Practicing self-care (a healthy diet, regular sleep, a routine exercise schedule, etc)
- Be there for others
- Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it
Essentially, you are practicing behavior that actively engages with difficult circumstances. Instead of avoiding or complaining about stressors, that would lead to negative emotions and further frustration, you are problem-solving. This leads to a stronger mindset and the ability to overcome challenges. As you practise resilience more and more, it will become increasingly easy for you to automatically turn to these healthy coping mechanisms.
Developing resilience means being able to see the bigger picture and to be the bigger person. You can do this by being an active member of your community and being willing to treat others the way that you would want to be treated yourself. By giving yourself the opportunity to interact with the people around you, such as by volunteering at community events, you get to meet many different types of people and learn from them. You also get to learn how to manage expectations and relationships. By extending openness and kindness to those around you, you can develop an empowering resilience based on understanding and happiness.