How To Build Resilience

By Brigitte Shipman | April 6, 2021. | Autism, Mother Guide, Resilience, Self-Compassion

I do not believe that when Joseph was diagnosed with autism that I had the resilience that I have today. My resilience was built one breath at a time.

I have read research of what resilience is and what the key skills are of resilient people. I have come to the conclusion that we are all resilient. If we are breathing we are resilient. I also believe that our resilience grows when our love for self grows.

Resilience is defined in Oxford Languages as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. My recovery from difficulties has gotten quicker over the past 28 years. When I was at the beginning of my autism journey, I had not built up my ability to recover and bounce back. I stayed in fight rather than flight for many years, which depleted my entire being.

What was the key skill in getting my power back or building my resilience?

Self-Compassion is the answer that encompasses all of the key skills or characteristics of building resilience. I have discovered that as I have learned to take care of myself that I have become more resilient. This is important to know, but it is difficult to practice this skill.

There is a great deal of resistance to put yourself first when you have a family, friends, career, and a child on the spectrum. I used to have a sarcastic smile when I heard anyone speaking about caring for oneself. I thought “Yeah right, like that’s gonna happen.”

I didn't even give this idea a chance to evolve into a reality. I shut it down before I could consider the thought of filling myself up before anyone else. If you are like me and you are shutting it down, take a breath. Just stay with me.

Many of us believe consciously or subconsciously that mothers are supposed to be exhausted and last in line to eat and sleep. I, too, believed this thought, which became a way of life for me.

The idea of self-compassion at first seems selfish to us but there is a bigger picture when it comes to loving yourself as a woman, and even deeper as a mother. I am not saying do not care for others. I am saying just include yourself.

When you nurture and care for yourself as you do everyone else, you will change your life. You will not only build resilience, but you will also build balance and feel joy in your life again.

You like everyone else that you care for deserve to feel love and cared for in this life.

We all do!

I hope you have not shut down the idea of including yourself and giving self-compassion a try. Take another breath and stay with me just a little bit longer.

If you do not know where to begin then I am going to give a few tiny steps to begin your resilience building practice.

Self-Compassion 101:

  • You know you are worthy of this practice if you are breathing. Take 3 deep breaths to remind yourself.
  • Make a list of all the self-love (care) things you miss in your life. What are you daydreaming about? Write any thought that pops up.
  • Look at your list and do not judge it. Every item on your list is possible.
  • Pick one. Now pretend you are going to do this for someone else. Feel this energy.
  • In this energy of giving to someone else turn it around to yourself.

Now go do it!

If you are not resisting this idea of self-compassion, enjoy and choose another item off your list to practice your self-love. Repeat these simple steps each week.

If this sounds nice but you are still resisting the act of self-love, make the self-love item smaller. For example, if you picked a hot meal, make it smaller by consuming a hot cup of coffee or tea. The most important piece to this exercise is that you take a breath and begin to nurture yourself.

In the big picture of how to build your reliance, this is the key skill. I know because I have done it.

Congratulations on staying with me to the end, and to beginning your self-compassion journey into deeper resilience. Go get your power back!

Autism Guide Brigitte Shipman Coach

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