Written by: Courtney Kershaw
Whether you tend to identify more as an introvert or as an extrovert, it’s part of the human experience to navigate some level of balance between relying on others and relying on yourself. Some people have learned to depend on themselves first and only ask for help or support in times of dire need, others have a different level of comfort seeking support from others for any number of needs.
While reaching out to your network in a time of need is something that I highly recommend (it’s kind of my thing as a therapist), it’s also important to highlight how people can self-resource.
Self-resourcing is a way of emotional, physical, and mental regulation that can help build confidence and reinforce a sense of inner strength or control over yourself and your life. And let’s be honest, most of us might like to feel a little more in control sometimes.
Feeling confident in your ability to manage your experience despite environmental factors can be an important asset when it comes to moving you through challenges, and it can also help allow you to access the awareness to ask for help when you’re experiencing something that doesn’t need to be managed alone.
Let’s look at some stages to self-resourcing.
When to self-resource:
- Heightened stress: Are you experiencing a stressor that no one else can really change or impact for you?
- Transition: Are a lot of things changing at once? Do you feel overwhelmed by the change or in control of the change?
- Relational disruption: Was there a rupture in a relationship? Are you building a new relationship and you’re not yet comfortable or confident in it?
- When trauma is triggered: Are you safe but feeling unsafe because of past experiences that gave you similar emotional or physical responses?
- Combination: Often these are not clearly defined categories, and several stressors can be happening at one time.
Next, we identify what your resources are.
What are your resources:
These can be character qualities, personality traits, physical skills—anything that you can access that has helped support you for one reason or another.
- Internal resources: patience, energetic, sense of humor, flexibility, tenacity, determination, versatility, etc.
- External resources: physical activities, body engagement, expending energy, slowing your body/resting, ect.
Last, we put then “when” and the “what” together and we get the “how”.
How to be a resource for yourself:
- Body attunement: whatever you find the most peace and resilience in with your body, whether it’s breath work, rigorous exercise, lying facedown on the floor for ten minutes…whatever it is, incorporate this into your day when you can to give your body a physical release and re-alignment.
- Environment: Don’t underestimate the power of a delicious and/or nutritious meal, looking at or engaging with nature (even just touching a leaf), keeping a photo on your phone that soothes you or brings you joy, listening to music that relaxes you or energizes you—the list of external stimulation to help you reset is endless. Find what works for you!
- Memory: You have done hard things before. Remind yourself of a time you’re proud of how you handled a situation, or when you felt in control, and it worked out. Remind yourself it’s possible again.
Trust yourself to have the capacity to be your own resource and trust yourself to reach out for help when you need it. Like we identified earlier, it’s all a balance.
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