Behavioral Fitness as resilience is the capacity to plan and make full use of the resources we have discussed developing in previous.
Behavioral fitness is about developing a plan or routine for your day to day life so that you have time to do the things you need to do for work and school, while also making time for your physical and mental health, and for connecting with loved ones. Your day to day routine is likely to be different on work days than on days off or for when the kids are in school or on break.
It’s not about being rigid and inflexible in these plans either. If the morning routine you had last year when the kids were in school does not seem to be meeting everyone’s needs this school year, you don’t keep trying to make the old routine work, you try out something new until you find what works best for you and your family.
It is also about having a plan for when there is more stress and being able to anticipate these times. If you know it is difficult for you when you visit family, then it would benefit you to make a plan for how best to take care of yourself while visiting. Do you need to ensure you have alone time in the morning to do you exercise? Do you need to have an exit strategy for what to do if family won’t respect your name and pronouns? Do you need to have an exit strategy for what to do if a former abuser shows up to a family gathering?
It is also about knowing yourself and your limits. Get curious, be a student of you and your emotions. If you know you tend to get out of control when there is drinking, then avoiding those gatherings where you are likely to drink, or those people who tend to encourage you to make bad decisions.
It’s about making good choices in the type and amount of news and social media you take in. Evaluate how you feel before and after the news. If starting the morning by watching news sets a negative tone for you the rest of the day, then make an adjustment – adjust when you watch, how much you watch, etc. In this day and age of round the clock news coverage, you are not going to miss anything important because everything is repeated so often.