Become a Resilience Influencer

Plants growing out of soil

Healthcare organizations today are struggling to retain staff and resources to meet the growing demands of patient needs. In my work leading self-care groups for health professionals and people experiencing chronic pain, I often hear self-care emphasized as a Band-aid, promoting resilience to health professionals experiencing burnout, which can feel like a corporate cop-out.

While I consider these perspectives valid, I also see value in another possibility. After decades of clinical practice as a physical therapist, I believe influencing people to value building resilience via self-care is the single most important service I can provide. Why? A resilient person positively adapts to their health, work, and life challengesultimately, surviving adversity.

Resilience is fundamental to healing!

Resilience Through the Ages

Hippocrates advised the physicians of his time, “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.”1

Relating this to inspiring self-care for resilience, it is essential to:

  • Understand the past and present adversity of our patients
  • Learn what has meaning, purpose, and value in their lives now that could be a source of inspiration
  • Determine what resources are available to support their self-care practices

Yoga: The Original DIY Home Improvement

Yoga-related, mind-body approaches are associated with building resilience.2 At its foundation, yoga involves self-regulation of the nervous system through breath practices, mindful observation of the senses and emotions, and meditation. Its ethics and disciplines promote stewardship of body and planet, contentment, and nonviolence as steps toward global resilience. The Five Koshas, or Five Treasures, model demonstrates this in yoga therapy through inclusivity of the physical body, the energies that operate all body systems, mind and emotions, a witnessing faculty of all thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and an animating spirit. 

An estimated 13.8 percent of people in the U.S. practice yoga1—each utilizing it for various benefits, including treating chronic pain and substance abuse as well as reversing heart disease and other chronic illnesses.1,3  

Having Skin in the Game

Our lifestyle choices and exposome builds or erodes our resilience. As health professionals, we bear witness to suffering daily. Working with contemplative and mindful movement practices as part of our self-care regime can support our emotional well-being and promote compassion for ourselves and others.

As yoga principles demonstrate, authenticity in supporting our own resilience is influential when we are encouraging others to do the same. The teachings of yoga begin with the instruction, “Now is the time.” I encourage you to take the first step along your path to rehabilitating yourself and others for resilience.

Learn more about adding resilience into your patients’ rehabilitation programs through my certification program: Rehabilitating for Resilience With Self-Care Practices Informed by Yoga.

  1. Dr. Dean Ornish Lifestyle Medicine
  2. Wu, Y. C., Shen, S. F., Lee, S. Y., Chen, L. K., & Tung, H. H. (2023). The effectiveness of mind-body approaches for enhancing resilience in older adults: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 109, 104949. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2023.104949.
  3. National Institute of Health Center for complementary and Integrative Health
  4. Valentino, M. & Pavlica, P. (2016). Medical ethics. Journal of Ultrasound, 19(1), 73 – 6. doi: 10.1007/s40477-015-0189-7
  5. Center for Healthy Minds