March 23

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5 Ways to Be Happy During Adversity

By Karen Robinson

March 23, 2020


Document Daily Gratitude

Gratitude practiced daily is life changing. There is a famous book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, that I recommend you purchase or borrow from the library. You then take your journal and write 3-5 things/people/situations that you are thankful for each day. To make it more powerful, try not to document the same thing twice. Early on, you may list the people in your life that you are thankful for, but later, try to select something that they did or said that you are grateful for on that day. For example, one day, I listed my son Gideon. Several days later, I listed that I’m grateful for Gideon’s smile because it lights up my day. Mom calls Gideon her “sunshine.” I think it’s because he isn’t old enough yet to be snarky like the girls 😊. Try remembering that we feel better when we focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. We have a journal in our store that you can consider using to track your daily gratitude: https://healthrivedream.com/product/journal-with-prompts-and-affirmations

Strengthen Your Resiliency

My favorite guru on the vast topic of resiliency is Dr. Robert Brooks. I spent a week in training a few years ago in Cape Cod. He’s a gifted psychologist, writer, and speaker on topics of resiliency, motivation, and relationships. You can subscribe to his monthly newsletter at: https://www.drrobertbrooks.com/. I will mention his work in future blogs as children and adults with high ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores can have challenges with their resiliency muscle. Dr. Brooks has an abundant list of resources on his site, but in summary, what is cool about resiliency is that there is hope in making your ability to “bounce back” from life’s adversity despite having a dysfunctional childhood. Our brain has a superpower called plasticity that allows us to overcome and recover. We see this happen when a child has a supportive adult that comes into their life or when therapy starts. Bouncing back is possible with self-work, working on mindset, and having healthy habits.

Lean on Your Faith

There are unlimited ways for us to practice our spiritual disciplines. If you don’t consider yourself to be spiritual or religious, I encourage you to explore your options. Faith if often a key factor in both recovery and resiliency. If you can’t find anything that aligns with your belief schematic, consider spending time with trees, flowers, birds, and other wildlife. Think about meditative or mindful walking and notice if peace settles in. The most common spiritual disciplines that we can lean on include prayer, worship through music, bible/Torah/Koran, reading or studying, and community service. One of my spiritual disciplines is bible journaling or bible crafting. My bible study hub (SoJo Academy) right now is giving women free membership during this current crisis (until the end of March). Check it out https://sojoacademy.com/. I am one of the original members and it has been a source of encouragement and comfort in my faith journey. Membership includes study halls, prayer and study workshops, paper crafts, and a new bible study each month. 

Practice a Healthy Mindset

Allow yourself to dream and then pursue. Open your mind to what you will receive. Your dreams actualize once you take steps forward, even if they are baby steps. You don’t need all your steps mapped out, just take the first step, and then the next step. The first step to any path is how we visualize it in our mind. If we think we are not deserving, we can become “stuck”. Affirmations and counters are vital when we want to improve our life, to be abundant in every way. “I deserve abundance in love, money, blessings, and so forth.” There are two distinct ways to work on your mindset: 1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 2. Transformational Coaching (studying and applying universal laws). To me, they are the same thing! Transformational Coaching makes CBT more powerful since it emphasizes energy and cognitions as we work on first visioning and then creating a life we would love to live. I have a wisdom library from my coach Mary Morrisey that I study from. I am also a student of Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi’s coaching program.  Know that when you hire me for coaching, you have hired a change agent that has invested both time and money working with the best coaches in the WORLD. 

Follow a Routine

Start with a morning and evening routine. You may find that everything else will fall into line when the structure is in place. Routines don’t have to be rigid and cause additional stress. Consider starting a bedtime routine two hours before bed where you get your clothes ready for the next morning, your lunch packed, all of your work items ready by the door, make some tea and take a warm bubble bath before reading and then meditating to ease into sleep. If you have small children, I know your routine will be different, but routine also helps young children to know what to expect each evening. When we regularly sleep soundly, it sets up to have energy for the following day. A productive morning routine would be to get up earlier than everyone else in your home. You ease into the morning by drinking coffee, reading a spiritual book, and journaling your intentions for the day. Include exercise, breakfast and a shower before going to work charged up and ready to be both productive and efficient. (Why don’t I do this!?, Sigh). This is what I desire for my routine. One day I will practice what I preach, so don’t hold that against me. Unless you do all the things you tell your children to do consistently. This is an example that you can have a ton of knowledge, but it means crap if not PRACTICED, and practiced consistently. 

Disclaimer:  Even though there are links in my blog above, none of them are affiliate links, which means I don’t receive money or kickbacks for hooking you up to awesome resources. The journal listed in Gratitude is from the Healing Boutique, my e-commerce market. https://healthrivedream.com/product/journal-with-prompts-and-affirmations

Karen Robinson

About the author

I am a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Virginia. I work full time with the DOD at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital on an Inpatient Adult Behavioral Health Unit. I recently started a new company with my daughters called Healthrivedream.com. My daughters will help design products geared towards healing while I will be offering coaching and counseling services. I earned both my Bachelor’s (1996) and Master’s (1998) in Social Work at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. I have served in Community Mental Health in Washington, DC; as a school social worker; adoption services (primarily home studies); personal therapist, and a Federal Government Social Worker (16 years). My full career experience can be found on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karen-robinson-1277a22b

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