A lot of research has already gone into building resilience in children. But adults, especially the ones knocking on midlife, also needs a lot of resilience. Midlife comes with its unique set of challenges, from failed relationships and loneliness to career setbacks and financial instability.
Resilience is an essential skill that’ll help such adults navigate the muddy waters of this life stage. Do you feel like you’re drowning under the waves of midlife? Here are some tips to help you build the resilience you need to thrive and achieve your dreams. It’s never too late!
5 Ways To Build Resilience After 50
1. Learn to be optimistic
Yes, it is difficult to see any light when you feel trapped in a dark, long tunnel. Practicing optimism does not mean ignoring your current struggles; it only means remaining positive that things will get better as long as you keep putting in the effort. The last thing you want to do is allow what people say or your circumstances to control how you see things. Being optimistic also requires speaking positively and channeling positivity from within into the circumstances around you. It may sound ‘preachy,’ but it works.
You may have to make some hard decisions about who and what you have in your life too. It is so easy to get down on life when you have negative nellies around you or people that poo poo your vision for your life. I know it is not easy, especially if those people are relatives. If you can’t remove these people from your life, consider limiting contact and learning communication skills that will keep you safe from too much negativity. Life has so many obstacles, surround yourself with people that will support you and enrich your life.
2. Change your perspective and the opportunities in any situation
According to a Harvard University study, people who considered stressful situations a challenge, perform better and became better equipped to deal with the stress. They also tend to excel in comparison to those who only complained about the stressful situation.
One of the quickest ways to turn your situation from bad to worse is to worry and complain about what you’re going through. In every situation, you need to learn to change your perspective and look for opportunities (you can call it “the silver lining”). Doing this will help you better cope with the situation and find solutions to it.
To change your perspective, don’t dwell on what happened, how it happened or who’s fault it is. Focus your energy on solutions and problem solving. That will make you feel more in control in otherwise uncontrollable circumstances. Control gives you power to change the outcome and see the opportunities to better no matter what is over-whelming you at the moment.
3. Don’t take things too personally
It is very easy to blame and look down on yourself when your world seems to be falling apart. You end up with a heavy burden of regret and “what ifs.” What if you had done this thing differently, or not had done that thing at all?
What ifs do not make things better.
So, instead of wallowing in a pit of regret and reminding yourself of your mistakes, get up, dust yourself, climb out of your self-pity, and start looking around for solutions. Start paying more attention to what you can do to turn your current situation around.
And never be too proud to ask for help or seek support. You do not have to try to solve everything by yourself. That is what your friends and family are for! If you had a friend in need, wouldn’t you help them? Give them an opportunity to do the same for you.
4. Don’t ignore your bad habits
Not taking things too personally does not mean ignoring your bad habits or wrong choices. For instance, if you keep making bad decisions because of alcohol addiction, there’s little chance you’ll be able to turn things around. In this case, take care of your addiction problem through alcohol treatment and be sober enough to make the right calls in your life.
Same goes for eating, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle, etc. Don’t do it alone. Reach out to others that have overcome their bad habits or hire a professional to help you. Kicking bad habits to the curb is hard work and you need the right support to help you be successful.
If you want to have a long and healthy life after 50, you have to take care of yourself now. I’m not going to mince words, time is ticking when speaking of your physical body. The sooner you start, the better and more happier life you will lead.
5. Now, rewrite your story
With a clearer head, you’re better placed to turn things around. As mentioned earlier, it’s never too late to change your mindset, even in midlife. Identify the dreams you once had, determine what it takes to achieve them, and set yourself on the path to achieving them.
There are many, many examples of people that have gone on to become writers, artists, athletes, etc., after the age of 50. If they can do it, so can you. Maybe that means moving to another country, taking up a new sport or hobby, or immersing yourself in a cause you are passionate about. Now is the time to evaluate what you want to do and just do it.
Life is going to throw a lot of stuff at you in midlife. And it can become very over-whelming. Building up your resilience and keeping a positive attitude will help you over a lot of hurdles. Give yourself the best life possible by embracing the tips above.