Tuesday Beauty Tips: Being Resilient

Published in: Beauty Tips

Like sailing, life has its ups and downs. One minute you’re cruising along at a good clip, the wind at your back; next minute it’s like you’re beating back a storm, flailing with your arms and legs just to tread water!


Because the seas aren’t always smooth sailing, it pays to be resilient.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that word lately — resilient — because it’s something I’d like to be. Why are some folks able to bounce back so easily from challenges while others (I’m talking about myself here) have a much tougher time?

Being resilient means being able to roll with the punches. When something throws off their juju — stress, tragedy, adversity, trauma — resilient people thrive, making the adjustments necessary to keep chugging right along.

Let me be the first to admit that I am NOT a naturally resilient person. Left to my own devices, I tend to short circuit, or feel like a victim of one of life’s cruel jokes. I’ll overindulge in junk food, or in some expensive habit [COUGH!] makeup [COUGH!], and curl up in a ball to cry.

It happened last week! I had a meltdown about writer’s block, and it was not a pretty sight (consumed WAY too much Nutella).


I want to handle adversity better. I want to adapt and thrive, not fall apart. I want to advocate the consumption of Nutella on MY terms, in moderation, and not as a knee-jerk reaction to stress. πŸ™‚

Are you with me?

If you are, first, the good news: Most experts believe that resiliency can be learned. I did some reading last weekend, and the following resources are beginning to help:

Are you resilient? Does it come natural to you (lucky!), or is it something you have to work on like I do? If you have any advice that may help others, please share in the comments. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 43 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Hafsa says:

    I hear ya Karen, I’m not a natural “bounce back” type of girl. What I find that helps is the understanding that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So cliche, but its so true! I have found myself in similar bad situations, and remembering the first time it happened I completely broke apart, but the second time it happened, I bounced back quicker and faster. Its all about learning from your weaknesses and bouncing back, hence becoming “resilient.”

    I hope you continue to grow and become a better, stronger, Karen!
    .-= Hafsa’s last blog post… Excuse Me While I Lick You =-.

  2. Iben says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, Karen.
    It’s insanely relevant to me right in this moment and it really helped to have this post

  3. HC says:

    Love love this post! πŸ™‚
    .-= HC’s last blog post… Chanel takes you to Bondi Beach =-.

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling a bit beat down. I totally get that. We are all there sometimes! So, please don’t take this as preaching, but seriously, the below Bible verses are a HUGE help and reminder to me when I feel down, or just like “What am I doing with my life!?” I hope they help regardless of what you believe!

    The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)

    The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27: 1, 3)

    You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7-8)

    I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

    So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

    Hope you feel better soon!

  5. Michelle says:

    I can totally relate. Two months ago, my husband found out he will be laid off sometime soon from his job. It has been really hard emotionally — I mean, hello, you have to have a job to support a family. I have faith that it will all work out — but I still have my days where I just want to cry! I am also trying to handle adversity with a better attitude!

  6. Julia says:

    This is such a good topic. I should definitely work on being more resilient. I try to put on a brave face, but inside I tend to panic. There’s this type of therapy that is based on the theory that our thoughts determine our feelings and behaviors. My psych professor in college summed it up by saying, if you want to be something, then just pretend you are that thing and you’ll become it. (Obviously, I don’t mean if you pretend you are an elephant that you’ll become an elephant.) It means if you pretend you’re brave and think you’re brave, eventually you’ll become brave. This should work for resiliency too. That’s definitely something I should work on.

  7. Catherine says:

    I totally need this right now! I’ve actually been attending a workshop run by my school’s Psych Services called “Peace of Mind” and yesterday was all about ways to manage stress. I’m hoping I can practice more of them this coming finals. =)
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… SunGod Festival =-.

  8. Nina says:

    First, thank you for posting this Karen. It really came in a time of need. I’ve been through some hard times lately and since I’m not a naturally resilient person, I ran around like crazy and cried a lot. but, in a way it helped me to become a better human being because it showed me my wrong sides and I’m still trying to correct them. good news, I’ve done a lot of good work correcting most of them. bad news, my bad self still tries to fall apart sometimes. but as I’ve learned my lesson, I’m trying very hard not to surrender. I try to do whatever keeps me calm; praying, changing negative thoughts for positive ones, thinking of my beloved ones and sometimes just taking a deep breath and drinking a big glass of cold water. and they really help. also, my fiance is a naturally calm man and I really look up to him, because I learned half the stuff I said from him! he taught me to be grateful of what I have and who I have, and now I know as long as they’re with me, I can pull myself together and laugh again. one more thing, if you think with strong sentences like “I’m gonna do this and nothing can keep me from it” etc, soon you’ll notice real differences around you because I think when we don’t want to be sad, the universe itself listens and does things to make us happy, you only need to look better! so focus on the good and see the changes for yourself =) (I’m sorry it’s a little long, but I hope it helps. big hugs to you.)

  9. Em C says:

    This is the perfect post for my life right now! I’m home from college for the summer and, as I like to call, am having a “mid-life crisis”–I’m thinking about changing majors! And I’m a rising junior! AH! I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be an elementary teacher my entire life, but recently I have beend drawn to become most speficially an ESL teacher. The past 2 semesers have been so hard grade-wise and life threw way too many punches at me. It was rough, but I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out there that has a hard time bouncing back after a tough hit from life πŸ™‚ It’s at the top of my to-do list: learn to roll with life’s punches and everything is going to be ok! Thank you for posting those articles, too!

  10. Amber says:

    Avalanche Lake?? πŸ™‚
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Chocolate chip cookie quest: round 1 =-.

  11. Megan says:

    Hey Karen…I’m sorry to hear about your stress. I am typically pretty resilient, and I think it is tied strongly to my faith. I’m not saying that faith or religion is the only thing that can make you resilient, but to have a belief that God is out there watching over you and that he will not give you more than you can handle, just reinforces that you can make it. More than anything faith reassures you that you are not alone in this fight.

    One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 10:13 – which essentially states that we have no temptation which is not common to man, and that God always provides us with a way out. The same applies to trials and difficulties – there is nothing that we suffer which someone has not sufferred before, and there is always a way through it. Just thinking of that often helps me keep my perspective.

    In the last year One uncle fell and cracked two ribs and broke his arm, and then months later had to have a triple bypass, my grandmother fell and broke her hip and had to have a partial hip replacement, had to go to rehab, physical therapy, and also moved so that she was closer to us because travelling two hours to help her all the time was getting too much, Another uncle diagnosed with lymphoma, A niece who was hospitalized due to seizures, my sister had to have a hysterectomy, and my brother developed bell’s palsy – which led to his diagnosis of a meningioma which is essentially a non-cancerous tumor on the brain, and then months later her was diagnosed with bladder cancer – And these are really only the main events…not counting getting rear-ended, my laptop breaking, my cell phone breaking etc. The thing is that worry, anxiety and panic do nothing to help our situation that we are worrying about, and there is always someone who has it worse than we do. When I get frustrated with all of the issues in my family I have in the past thought I wish I didn’t have to deal with this, but then I consider…what if I had no family? and it snaps me back to being grateful for what I do have.

    Romans 12:21 is another favorite verse – Do something good…for someone else. That will always make you feel better in ANY situation.

  12. Thanks for this post πŸ™‚ I am not good at coping with stress, but my solution this year (which has been by far the most stressful of my life) is to get it all out with a giant sobbing meltdown and move on. I find that getting the emotions out helps me, and then I don’t go down the bad road of depression and overindulging in makeup etc.
    .-= makeup morsels’s last blog post… Miscellaneous Monday Morsels 5/17 =-.

  13. Elaine says:

    I’m going to have to say that the phrase “what doesnt kill you makes you stronger” drives me crazy. I hate it. I much prefer the quote my great-aunt always says… “What doesnt kill you just doesnt ****ing kill you.” Ha ha!

  14. Molly says:

    Thank you for this post. I was just commenting today that I need to learn to be more calm and resilient. I am stressed out at work, and luckily, I tip more toward “flight” on the “fight or flight” scale, though a screaming freak-out has seemed more and more like a realistic option.

    I want to be more in-control of my life, but some days, it just seems like the universe is conspiring against me. HereÒ€ℒs to hoping for better days, and pass the Nutella!

  15. Nina says:

    I wouldnt call it resiliency but I do tend to just slog on and forge forward. Even during the toughtest of situations, I just call on my inner strong woman and live. The closest ive had to just wallowing was when my mom died. I just stopped functioning for a few weeks. Luckily, my boss understood and just let me take as much time as I want.

    Being the youngest child, I realized early on that I need to learn to fend for myself. I guess thats where all this so called strength comes from. What ive learned through the years though is that … its okay to stop. And cry. And wallow for a bit. Ive found that giving in to the crybaby in me helps me come out stronger and better able to face adversity.

    Plus — isnt that what chocolate is for? πŸ™‚

    Smile, Karen!

  16. Steph B says:

    I’m sporadically resilient. I seem to be less able to deal with setbacks when things are otherwise going well. When facing problems on multiple fronts or just a massive cloud hanging over me, then I tend to roll with it. I guess if you have no other choice, you do what you have to do. Lean on friends when you need to. Find small things — hobbies, movies, makeup, whatever — that give you joy and are completely separate from whatever is stressing you out. One of mine is baking. Not only do I enjoy the process, I get such a lift from seeing everyone else happy eating whatever I bring. Knowing that I can do something so simple to bring people joy reminds me of the potential of bigger, harder actions.

  17. Elle says:

    I’m not the most resilient person in the world…especially not mentally, because I honestly rememeber a lot of bad stuff that has been said to me that I should just let go…but I gotta say that being laid off last year and having a LOT of time to think and marinate on things and why they happen has made me a bit more resilient. I’m a little less likely to take things as personally as I used to…and I’ve kinda acknowledged that there are (obviously) tons of things that are completely outta control. Thanks for this post, Karen!

  18. Juliana says:

    Hi Karen!!!

    Im here to say that you have a big fan here in Brazil!!
    I love your blog, is very helpful!!

    Thanks for the tips!
    I learned a lot from you!!!


  19. Melissa says:

    hey karen-thanks for the tips! i always look forward to these little “self help” posts-it helps to know that i’m not alone in my vices! i think it’s okay to not be resilient. it’s all right to crumble under stress, panic in a bad situation, and let the worst of a situation get the best of you, as long as you learn from it, or come out on top in the long run, or whatever. everything happens for a reason, and our experiences, good or bad, are who we are. it’s hard to not be super-hard on yourself when you disappoint yourself by reacting in a less than desirable way, but just keep up the love for yourself, and make sure you have backup! (cats, friends, family, SO, etc) just my 2 cents. hang in there!

  20. Karen B says:

    For myself I think I’m pretty resilient to just about anything really. It might take me a moment (or fourty) to get myself together but I usually get there. Sometimes that’s with the help of a big piece of chocolate or sometimes some tears will flow but I usually get past that stage pretty quickly. I’ve always been convinced that crying over something doesn’t really help you any further in your life, even though it might feel really good sometimes. So I guess I’m a bit of a middle ground: take a moment and then just go on.
    .-= Karen B’s last blog post… Get the Look: Little Boots at Live Lounge =-.

  21. Ida says:

    This nicest blogpost of all..
    nowadays is so difficult to remain calm and go on..
    Thanks Karen for your words..

  22. Jessica says:

    I love your blog, Karen, even if you are struggling with writer’s block.
    You are feeling the weight of expectations- just to let you know- I appreciate whatever you put out here, whether it’s daily or not.

    How about this- accept that it’s OK to not react “perfectly” to a stressful situation. If you are feeling like you are on the edge of a breakdown because of trauma, stress, whathaveyou- then just break down.
    Then move on.
    I think it’s best to just feel those emotions as it happens, instead of expecting oneself to compensate in a way that isn’t true to oneself.
    I am not advocating “losing your shit” on a regular basis over trivialities- but sometimes, you just have to feel to get it out, and it may help clarify a solution.

    Much love…

  23. Mariah says:

    Oh Karen, this is EXACTLY what I needed right now. If you remember nothing else from today, remember that you seriously helped me with this post. I am feeling exactly as you described. I have 4 weeks left in my final term of college, and have to also be getting ready for the biggest move of my life, down to San Francisco. All while dealing with my boyfriend of 3 years being away in SF for the last 3 months.

    I feel like my stress level is at horrendous heights right now, and it also doesn’t help that I am a serious procrastinator. In recent years I found out that I’m not just lazy or wimpy, I actually have serious adult ADD, and that’s why it’s so hard for me to get started on things I need to do. But the resiliency thing is probably the hardest for me. After working SO HARD to get myself out of a funk and get going on things, there eventually comes a time when I derail again, and that’s when it’s hardest! Like you said, it’s more in my nature to want to go curl up and try to forget about the problem.

    I have to say, it’s really hard right now. Everything is riding on me passing every class, but I get so distracted by my messy house or by diet goals. Really, I should just be getting my butt in gear! That 3rd article said some of the best things I needed to hear. Especially the part about what to do when you’ve already made bad decisions (like wait 7 weeks to start animating a film!!!!) I do feel, as they said, “busy, stressed, worried, anxious, and suffering from guilt”, but with the help of these articles I think I can get myself though it! I know I can! YES! Positive self-talk!!

  24. Kim says:

    I find the best way to be resilient is to focus on something positive until enough time has passed that you can look at the painful/stressful event with some objectivity. For me, the worst thing is not the actual bad event happening, it’s going over it again and again and thinking of how it could have been different. Don’t let those thoughts enter your mind… as soon as they do (which will be about 100 times per day), consciously push them away and focus on what you love about your life… like how many people you inspire or how lucky you are to have Tabs. πŸ™‚ There will be plenty of time to reflect and learn from the situation when it’s not so fresh and painful. Dwelling on the negative is the enemy. And also remember that some people who seem resilient are really just better at outwardly masking their emotions. It’s like public speaking. Many of the people we’re in awe of because they seem so comfortable in front of a crowd are the ones that are backstage trying not to throw up from nerves before they get out there. And I agree with what Julia said above about what you believe becoming your reality. For good or bad, we can pretty much talk ourselves into anything. πŸ™‚

  25. Kat says:

    Oh yeah, I know how you feel. I feel like lately life is a boxer with his gloves off, throwing punches one after another. Thanks for posting those links. I just put on my headphones, listen to my favorite music and wait for my mood to improve usually. Its cheaper than therapy, lol.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Wow! It’s so great to hear I’m not the only one. I like to think I’m flexible and a go-with-the-flow type person but the older I get, the more I turn into a control freak. And adversity? I’m dreading the return of one of the attorneys I work for. She’s been out for the last 4 1/2 months on maternity leave. She seems to have superior/subordinate issues and tends to take great pleasure in exerting her authority. We clash at every turn. I’m vowing to not let her get under my skin so we can work more as a team, rather than opponents. Helping me reach that elusive goal is exercise for stress reduction. That sounds so pollyanna’ish but it does wonders. πŸ™‚

  27. cloudburst says:

    Sleep always helps. When the chips are down I can usually bare down and get through anything no matter what -but I need the help and support of a friend or two to cope.

  28. Michele DiCola says:

    Karen- I spent my whole spring break ranting and raving about out new governor and the cuts he made in NJ. It caused 26 cuts in our district over all.
    Many of my good friends. Some 40 have retired since.
    We all need to talk about this topic. Although, I do not think teachers are the problem in NJ, we should not have to live in debt forever. He could have laid his plan out over 5 years instead.
    Not shotgun style.
    Think about it.

    I used Aloette cream cleanser all up.

  29. Joy says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! This is going to sound odd but bear with me. I’m a naturally resilient person and pretty optimistic. I’ve had a really bad year so far though. I won’t go into details but a number of deaths, right now being threatened with court over one of the wills, two more family members not expected to make it through this week, five friends in this immediate month period will have been diagnosed with cancer or may be after their tests this week, a whole slew of very personal things going on at home/marriage, a puppy that could die any moment, plus normal stresses in every facet of my life with the added stresser of people looking to me to keep everything going. Anyway, I was having a horrible Monday. I don’t think I have ever felt so downtrodden in my life. I was working a soup kitchen with some friends that evening and one said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in anything but a cheerful mood. How do you do it?” All I could think was, this is the lowest day of my life. You’ve got to be kidding me. I sort of ignored his question and turned to another friend and asked if I was really that cheerful all the time. And he agreed. It almost made me mad that here, on my worst day of self-doubt, people were commenting on that. It was almost like I was a failure that I wasn’t embodying this aspect of myself.

    In the last two days, I’ve been doing a lot better emotionally. I finally got around this morning to catching up on blogs and saw this. And I looked at the links. And then I thought about it over my coffee. Almost every one of the things listed, I’ve done in the past two days. I had hit rock bottom (for me) but had bounced back. Seeing what I’ve done, outlined some completely, has really restored my confidence, in both my faith and my nature. So thank you! Oh, and I just realized how ridiculous is sounds that my name’s Joy. But it is. And, oddly, I’ve met some very grumpy Joys in my life so I don’t think it’s just my name. πŸ™‚

  30. JillyB says:

    Thank you for these articles on resiliency and the other ones on self-esteem. You do the research and I reap the rewards. Lipstick can only do so much (although that’s my first choice.)

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