Build your Caregiver Resiliency for Overall Wellness

by Dr. Marla E. Jirak, Owner, CoachSmart Consulting, LLC

We need to be an active participant in developing our own resiliency, which is our capacity to bounce back and return to equilibrium.

Put another way, it is to feel centered again. It is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. We are more attuned to what our body, emotions, thoughts and reactions are telling us, without judgment.



According to Daniel Goleman, a leader in “emotional intelligence,” self-awareness is reading one’s own emotions and understanding their impact. This is essential for identifying your behaviors, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses.

Especially as a caregiver, it will allow you make changes that support, not sabotage, the care you provide. Check your emotions at the door, so to speak, as you enter any situation.


The best self-care practices depend on self-compassion; letting go of perfection and self-guilt by being comfortable with doing the best you can. For example, practice being attuned to your body — when it feels tense know you need 15 minutes for yourself. Check in with your emotions and recognize when you need to move, stretch or take deep breaths.

Resourceful thoughts

Somatic practices create an elevated level of self-awareness. This involves focusing on your entire body, not just thoughts and emotions. Daily mindfulness helps you notice your body sensations and emotional responses. Eckhart Tolle is known for practices on how we can “live in the now” by feeling our bodies and presence in what we are currently doing, rather than being in our heads.

Maintaining a bigger perspective

Two approaches to life’s challenges are doing things just to get by or by wanting to do things perfectly. However, like most things, dealing with life challenges is on a continuum. Maria Connolly with Neways Somatic Psychotherapy and Coaching, indicates these individuals sustain a more balanced approach:

  • Simplifiers. They do everything the easiest way possible even when adding a little extra would produce better results
  • Optimizers. This type of person looks for the best solution even if it’s more complex and increases the odds for complications
  • Maximizers. They continue to educate themselves and learn from others so they can excel at what is important

When we care for another the days can be long and challenging. The daily practice of the components that make up our resiliency can ensure optimal health and wellness.