Kate Keenan Beat austerity through resilience
Rumour has it that the UK economy may be turning the corner, but for many people whose living standards have been squeezed this may sound somewhat hollow. Living with long-term austerity makes us less resilient and reduces our ability to bounce back. It often appears that whatever we do, nothing we do changes things for the better. And it's this feeling of having little or no control over our lives that fuels our stress levels.
"You" are the most important asset that you possess, so looking after "you" as carefully as you would any other precious possession would seem to be sensible. By enhancing your resilience, your ability to bounce back positively when you are going through a rough patch, you can protect yourself from the worst ravages of stress. Essentially, being resilient means believing you are in control of your world, committed to what you want to do, and accepting that challenges and changes are part and parcel of normal everyday life.
My view is that the key to feeling in control is taking full responsibility for your own actions. By accepting that you are accountable for making things happen in your life, you can get on with it, rather than wasting time blaming others when things do not quite work out. Sometimes this can be hard, as events can overwhelm you, so you have to keep telling yourself that it is you who is in charge of 'you'.
I believe if you are clear about what it is you are aiming for, and are enthusiastic about your overall aspirations, you will find it's a great deal easier to sustain your level of commitment to achieving what you want from life.
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Being prepared for constantly shifting circumstances, and always expecting the unexpected, means that very little will surprise you or throw you off course. I think by developing such a mind-set you will find yourself so much more able to overcome most of the ups and downs that life throws at you.
By cultivating and nurturing resilience, you can ease the harshness of current austerity and prevent stress from getting in the way of your wellbeing and fulfilment. You can get on with your life and realise your ambitions.
Being resilient is a bit like being a buoy bobbing in the ocean. Sometimes the storms and the high breakers overwhelm you. Sometimes the sea is calm and gentle and you can bask in the sunshine. But whatever the weather, and it has been very stormy lately, you stay afloat, anchored and functioning, no matter what.