Stress, as we all are experiencing, is not one size fits all. Understanding the levels of the mind (i.e. Ayurveda’s model of the mind: Chitta, Buddhi, Manas, Ahamkara), observing how we engage in the world, and how we digest our own life experiences can be informative tools in cultivating a personal journey towards resiliency. Not only do each one of us have differences in resources, differences in physiology, as well as differences in the meanings associated with circumstances, but each one of us has the unique ability to nurture individualized resilience.
Resilience can be understood as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It involves intentional and conscious attunement to behaviors, thoughts, actions, and lifestyle. Resilience is not a trait that either you were born with or you were not. Resilience is a skill and or trait that can be learned and developed by all. The journey to resilience entails our ability to control our body, breath, senses, and mind.
Thus, in this adverse, unsettled, and stress-ridden time, here are a few simple ways we can continue to nurture resiliency.
When we prioritize self-care practices like asana, pranayama, movement, and meditation we are nurturing self-regulation and self-attunement. Through regulation and attunement, we have the ability to foster greater adaptability. For example, if I were to wake up every morning and not have a morning routine, I would have a lot of decisions to make. This will allow for a lot of room for vulnerability to the days/mornings stressors. Over time this lack of supportive consistency will create dysregulation. Whereas, if I were to have a specific routine each morning/day, these habitual actions will support regulation. There will be less room for rajas (movement) or tamas (negativity) in the mind. The action of creating regular patterns in our lives creates a container for adaptability. With intentional daily practices, we inspire moving the mind towards sattva (clarity). Lastly, understanding the Ayurvedic clock (circadian rhythms and how to align our elemental selves with the rhythms of nature) as well as establishing dinacharya (daily routine) around these oscillating rhythms is the first and foremost the sustainable way to enrich our own ability to foster greater resiliency.
- Wake between 5:00–6:00 am (sattvic time of day).
- Go to bed prior to 10:00 pm (prior to entering into the pitta time of night).
- Eat lunch as the largest meal (between 12:00–1:00 pm).
- Engage in pranayama and asana practices daily.
- Lastly, additional anchor points to consider for regulation are “wake and sleep hygiene” (aka. dinacharya).
Creating a daily routine is like giving yourself a giant supportive hug. These rituals become wrap-around, self-care practices assisting in the nourishment and sustainability of the mind, body, and spirit. It is time to enliven your individual resiliency through intentional self-care.
Honor Social Support
This is the WE in WEllness. When we face adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant stress, it is ok and healthy to seek social or community support. This does not mean you are less resilient. Community helps to nourish resiliency. To summarize even what the American Psychological Association wrote in a recent resilience report, “Relationships that create love and trust, offer encouragement, mentorship, and reassurance, help to bolster an individual’s resilience.” This is perhaps inherently why even the National Wellness Institute’s Seven Dimensions of Wellness contains a social dimension of well-being.
Honor social wellness by building and maintaining positive relationships that add value to your life. Seek community not only in times of hardship but also in times of joy! Set healthy boundaries, accept and honor support, and make a commitment to stay connected.