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Home > A Note from Tonya: Seasons of Resilience

A Note from Tonya: Seasons of Resilience

by | Sep 8, 2022

In the span of just one week, my community in Texas (DFW) has gone from being in a severe drought to the Governor declaring both Dallas and Tarrant Counties disasters due to extensive flooding.  It made me think of life, and how we are continually building our resilience to help us manage stress. Resilience is the process of adapting while facing adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or other sources of stress.

Sometimes we feel that our resilience waters are flowing like a river; we have the tools, know how to use them, and really feel like we have a healthy approach to our mental health and stress management.  Then there are those other times.  Other times, we feel that we are in a resilience drought- we thirst for just a drop of encouragement, support, or anything that can help us change our perspective and “bounce” back.  We truly don’t know how much longer we will be able to survive.

There are so many things that have an impact on our sense of well-being and resilience.  Some of these things are out of our control, and others we cause ourselves.  Over-thinking, being in our head too much, unrealistic expectations, lack of social interaction, and so many more.

What are some ways that we can focus on building resilience?

1. Make connections. Our ALS Texas Connection and Support Groups are the perfect places to start! (insert link to groups on website here). It’s easy to feel alone in your worries and other reactions. Connecting with others can be a source of strength and support. By discussing some of the challenges you are experiencing, you may discover you are not alone. You may also learn how others are managing similar experiences and incorporate some of those strategies.

2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems.You can’t stop the damaging flood waters, but you can change how you interpret and respond to them.

Dr. Viktor Frankl, was an Austrian neurologist, psychologist and Holocaust survivor and in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, he shared that, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  Our resilience.

3. Take an information overload break. Stop focusing on the issue for a bit, stop researching, stop being in your head, stop worrying, stop planning. Take a break.

4. Accept that change is a part of living.Certain goals may no longer be attainable because of your situation-but what goals ARE available.

5. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality, and heightened appreciation for life.

6. Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors that will enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Be patient in the midst of the chaos. If you experience difficulties sleeping, you may be able to find some relief through relaxation techniques.


Join me on Tuesday, September 27 for Stress Less on Purpose! A workshop about self-care and direction in the midst of ALL of life’s curveballs. Participants will receive an easy and effective first aid kit of exercises for easing your body’s reaction to stress, gain a renewed or clarified understanding of your personal “why”, and how trauma can help guide you in living life more PurposeFULLy. Register Today!

Persevere and trust in your ability to get through the challenging days ahead.  Remember you are not alone, and there is an ALS Texas community locking arms to help each other through!

-Tonya Hitschmann, Director of Community Programs

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