I have one son speeding towards the end of his final year at primary school and the other nearly at the end of year 8 at secondary, I really don’t know where the time went from them being those little ones who would sit on my lap for a cuddle (sometimes) and just want to run around and play.
So, I want to talk a bit about resilience, a term with which you may or may not be familiar.
Over the years that I have been a mum, an employee and a business owner, I have required huge amounts of resilience to help me cope with the everyday demands of what life likes to throw at us.
I have learnt that I built up my resilience at a young age, developing coping strategies to help manage a move to a secondary school where I didn’t know anyone, subsequent bullying and then working in a hugely pressurised social work environment.
What helped me through?
One word, diversification. What that means is that I did not put all my eggs in one basket. I developed friendships outside of school, people who lived close to me but I didn’t see at school. I did things which I enjoyed, drama productions in the village where I lived, attended Girl Guides and generally got involved in things which did not include the girls I was having to spend my school days with.
And it helped masses.
Because it gave my mind time out from wondering what was going to happen next. Would I be laughed at, would someone stop talking to me ‘just for fun’ and I would be left out in the cold, or would I just have a day where everything was relatively ‘normal’.
I have realised that as an adult, I am still doing the same thing, and it helps me when coping with everyday life.
So I have different friendships, from different parts of my life. I have no friends from school, and not even from university because life moves on and sometimes, we have to let go of our past to move forward. My friendships are with people I have met through having my children, lovely ladies I have met through running my business, plus those who have come into my life when I have been educating them through using essential oils.
I am probably been more guarded with friendships because I have been hurt and upset so much in the past, but I have learnt to let that go. What I do now is spend time with people who, in their company I feel good, listened to, heard and understood. It makes a massive difference when you spend time with people who respect your time and energy as much as you respect their’s, and you come away feeling lighter and more energised.
Does this resonate with you?
Are there times in your life where you do not know which way to turn and who to talk to just because you have something to share or just because you want to be in the company of someone who is completely non-judgmental, non-critical and kind?
Activities we do can also build resilience, whether it is a class, a workshop or just something you love doing but have stopped giving yourself time to do, all these activities build resilience.
One of my children struggles with an aspect of school, and the tendency has been to focus in on what he needs to ‘improve’. This has meant he doubts himself and feels that he is ‘not good enough’ leading to him dreading any task which needs to use the area he struggles with. We therfore switched our approach, encouraged his passion for running and he now belongs to a local athletics club doing something he loves.
What has that got to do with learning?
It has given him something which builds his confidence in himself, his appreciation that he can do well in something he enjoys, it is not just pushing him to get better and feeling ‘stuck’ in the process. He is much happier and I don’t have that knot of fear and sadness in my stomach when I see my boy struggling.
My message for May. Focus on the aspects of life which you truly enjoy, truly lift you up. Find the one thing in your world which you have promising yourself to do for ages, and DO IT. Even if it is one small step forward, one little part of that journey, contacting a friend who you love to spend time with and getting a date in the diary to meet in 3 months time, even the act of booking it in can really lift you up.
Love Clare x
About Clare Cogan – Creating Calm
Clare Cogan is a Marlow-based practitioner and therapist. Here to offer tailored therapeutic support and advice to ease the anxiety in your life. Know that you or your child do not need to suffer. Reach out.