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Resolve to be “resilient”

  • Published
  • By Glenn Garcia
  • 90th Medical Operations Squadron licensed clinical social worker/outreach manager

It’s late March, which is usually the time of year when people have given up on the goals and resolutions they set for themselves at the start of the new year. How are you doing with your goals? Are you staying focused? Are you thinking about giving up and settling for mediocrity?


Below are some thoughts and advice on how to stay the course, especially if you focus on developing your resilience by enhancing your personal protective factors.


“How do I do this?,” you ask.


First, understand that people become stressed, angry and even contemplate suicide or homicide when they believe they have been personally targeted or wronged.


As you go through life, you are going to have situations where somebody wrongs you or something bad happens. Focusing on blame and believing that you were personally targeted will only cause pain and resentment, which fuels anger and leads to unhealthy choices like smoking, over-eating or alcohol consumption.


For the majority of people, what happens with the economy and corporate downsizing is out of our control. When we come to realize that we cannot control the events that happen to us, we can better adapt and then chose to focus our energy on the things in our lives that we do control.


One of the primary things we do control is our attitude, which will allow us to stay positive and make informed decisions.


Protective factors are the foundation of resiliency. It can help to understand this concept by thinking of protective factors as building blocks. In order to not be easily blown over, especially in the Wyoming wind, you must have a solid foundation made up of solid building blocks.


Protective factors include:


  • Physical wellness – eating right, regular exercise and getting eight hours of sleep

  • Emotional wellness – having self-confidence, emotional control and resolving past trauma

  • Social wellness – enjoying hobbies, community involvement and healthy friends

  • Spiritual wellness – congregating, never losing hope and helping others in need

  • Financial wellness – living within your means and being involved in financial decisions

  • Educational wellness – being a life-long learner and achieving your educational goals

  • Workplace wellness – having the skills, training and knowledge for your specific job

  • Personal wellness – living with purpose, being grateful and setting goals for the future


When people become distraught or depressed, they tend to focus on only one area of wellness and become obsessed with what is happening in this area at the exclusion of everything else occurring in their life that provides balance and protection.


The foremost example is the young man who contemplates suicide when his first relationship ends because he is overly focused on the relationship being the only meaningful thing in his life.


There is also the returning military member who, instead of seeking counseling, isolates himself from his family and friends because he can’t stop dwelling on what happened during his deployment.



What both of these individuals fail to realize is that there are other people, interests, support and meaningful things in their lives that can fill the emotional void.

So, as spring approaches, resolve to focus your time and energy on what you have control over. Remember that, no matter what we do, sometimes bad things happen to good people. But these occurrences don’t have to break your spirit or ruin your life. Choose to live a balanced life and devote more time and energy to the people and factors that bring you happiness. Finally, don’t wait until you are old or sick to make your bucket list.

You will be amazed at what you can do when you set your mind to it and have a positive outlook.