Text Box: Wellness
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Text Box: Transitions in your life are inevitable.  As Judith Viorst writes in Necessary Losses, “we live by losing and leaving and letting go.”  Don’t fight life’s normal, healthy transitions.  Be ready for some changes in your life.  Adapt to transitions quickly.

Many people react to such circumstances with a flood of strong emotions and a sense of uncertainty.  You may have more trouble coping with loss or change if you are physically or mentally ill, dealing with a suicide, had a relationship with a partner that was dependent or ambivalent, do not have a good support system, or are very young.
How do people cope with difficult events that change their lives?  What enables people to do this?  Resilience.  Resilience is “bouncing back” from difficult experiences. Resilience involves behaviors , thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.  Primary Factors In Resilience
Support Network:  It is important to have  caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family.  Love, trust, encouragement and reassurance act as a buffer against stress.  Others affirm our sense of self-worth and sense of hope and give us a positive view of life.
Make connections with close family members, friends and others.  Get involved in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups. Assist others.
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems:  Act on adverse situations as much as you can instead of avoiding them.  Look beyond the present to see how future circumText Box: stances may be a little better.  Make the most of the changes—enjoy what you can.  Start thinking differently.
Accept that change is part of living: You may need to change your goals.  Accept things you cannot change.  Change expectations.  We won’t always be safe, be loved, be in control, not suffer, have losses or disappointments.
Make realistic plans and goals and carry them out:  Start out small by asking yourself “What is one thing I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”  Determine your sense of meaning and purpose.
Have a positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities: Look at the way you have grown and changed as a result of your struggles.  Try to visualizie what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.  Realize what you have done to solve your problems.  Trust in your instincts.  Hone your skills in communication and problem solving. 
The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses: Don’t blow things out of proportion and maintain an optimistic outlook.  Optimistic people have better health, higher immune systems, stronger cardiovascular systems, heal quicker, have better coping strategies and better health habits, are more persistent, and are more likely to recover from addictions.
Take care of yourself: Pay attention to your needs and feelings.  Do things you enjoy and in which you find relaxing.  Exercise regularly.  Eat healthy.
Text Box: Life’s Transitions
Text Box: Finding sources of strength can be as simple as exploring past successes.  By asking yourself the following questions, you may find a well spring of resiliency you were unaware you possessed.

What kinds of events are most stressful for me?
How have those events typically affected me?
Have I found it helpful to think of important people in my life when I am distressed?
To whom have I reached out for support in working through a traumatic or stressful experience?
What Have I learned about myself and my interactions with others during difficult times?
Has it been helpful for me to assist someone else going through a similar experience?
Have I been able to overcome obstacles, and if so how?
What has helped me make me feel more hopeful about the future?
Excerpt from The Road to Resilience   brochure ;The American Psychological Association and Discovery Health Channel

Learning From the Past

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