With all the snow we’ve been getting in Philadelphia (and throughout the country), I have heard a lot about how different parts of the county are managing. There have been serious discussions about each city’s ability to clear out the snow and make the streets safe to drive on. I have also seen funny cartoons about areas in the South being paralyzed by an inch of snow while places in the North don’t start struggling until several feet have fallen. Most people have been impacted by the bad weather, whether it’s missed days of work or school, plans canceled or loss of free time due to hours of shoveling, only to be bombarded with more snow the next day. All of this bad weather has also impacted many people emotionally, causing stress, depression and cabin fever.

I began to wonder if the people who are used to harsh winters year after year are coping better than those of us in Philadelphia and south of here? For those who are, I assume that part of the reason is that they are more prepared to resolve the problems caused by the weather. Their attitude and ability to accept that which they cannot control probably plays a role, as well. But are there other factors that help them cope better?

Whether it’s a terrible winter, a traumatic life event or relationship difficulties, our ability to handle challenging situations depends on how resilient we are. Resiliency is defined by a person’s ability to cope with and bounce back after adversity. (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx) It includes many factors including having a good support network, good problem-solving skills and feeling confident. Regardless of how resilient you are today, resiliency is something that can be cultivated. You can improve your relationships, learn how to think about things differently and do things to take good care of yourself. When you think about difficult situations in your life, how well have you coped? Would it have been easier if you possessed more of these resiliency factors? I hope we’ve seen the last of the snow, but if there is more to come, I plan to focus on being resilient to help me through it all.

Wishing you peace and Serenity,

Alisa

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