Be Gentle with Yourself

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Be Gentle with Yourself

What does resilience look like? Get up, move through, stand strong? I often think of resilience as being active and engaged. Recovering from a difficult event or moving through a stressful time with energy and purpose. But what if that is not what is called for right now? 

A huge part of resilience is healing. Recovering from a devastating experience, struggling through unimaginable stress. What does resilience look like then? Then it looks like being gentle with yourself. Tune in and do what you need to do to heal, take care, and rest before beginning the work of rebuilding. 

Being Gentle


Ask for help, share your vulnerability with someone who can be trusted. Acknowledge what you have been through. Cry, or talk (or both at the same time). Tend to any physical injuries or stress-related illnesses that have come about due to your experience.  

Take Care

Buy soft tissues because you cry so often that your nose is sore. Stop at a park while running errands to take a break. Tell your story to kindhearted people who will listen. Only watch comedies or movies with happy endings. Get together with friends and choose not to tell your story – spend an evening playing board games with no mention of your troubles.  


Go to bed earlier than usual or take a nap. Put aside those heavy-duty projects you don’t have energy for right now. Curl up in bed with a book you have read 20 times. Pack a bag and go somewhere to walk and listen to nature. Sit and breathe. 

Be Kind to Yourself

Listen to your internal voice and use kindness. Tell the internal critic that you have had enough “should” and criticism. Be emotionally gentle with yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you love you. Love the imperfect, trying, tired, wonderful, unique person you are.  

Be Gentle with Yourself. Some days you may have more energy and are able to get stuff done. Other days – nope. Know that this is a journey and there will be ups and downs. Don’t push yourself to meet certain timelines. Shower yourself with compassion.  

Sometimes resilience looks like standing up and moving forward. Sometimes resilience means laying on the floor and doing belly breaths, indulging in simple pleasures, or going to bed early. Trust yourself to know what you need.   

Take care,

Laura A. Gaines

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