Each year I have a word for the year.

Last year, my word was “Courage”.

Little did I know that 2021 was the year I needed a whole heap of courage. Not only was I running a face-to-face business during a global pandemic, dodging snap lock-downs and managing all the uncertainty, it was also the year I suffered a lot of loss. My husband lost his mother and stepfather, I lost 4 friends to cancer, my sister-in-law lost her cousin and many close friends lost loved ones as well. I have never experienced so much loss in a year, and it had a significant impact on me. And then in July, I was given the news that I had breast cancer for the second time. Yet another experience that required a whole heap of courage.  

When I look back on 2021, the word ‘Courage’ seemed a very appropriate word which helped me get through a really tough year and helped me end the year with an incredible amount of grace and gratitude. And the thing that got me through such a tough year was resilience.

So, I thought my first blog for the year would be on how to build resilience in the face of continued uncertainty, worry, stress and overwhelm.  

As women, we tend to carry a very heavy emotional load. Constantly meeting the needs of others, needing to be resilient for our kids and often not having very much left for ourselves. Pandemic depletion is real, and many women are feeling less resilient in the face of uncertainty, leading to increased stress and worry and having a negative impact on our overall wellbeing.

Resilience is like a muscle you can build over time. With practice and dedication, anybody can become more resilient. I like to think of resilience as a state of being. 

So, when we talk about what we can do to build our resilience, it’s not as simple as saying: Do these 10 things every day and you will become more resilient. Instead, it’s about doing a variety of things consistently over time.

When we are more resilient in the face of uncertainty, it can lead to incredible personal growth. Challenges often presents themselves as necessary roadblocks in life to challenge our personal growth. My terrible year actually turned out to be an incredible year of profound growth.

So here are some ways that helped me build my resilience muscle over the last year and these are things that I will continue to prioritise over the coming year.


1. Connection with others 

If the last 2 years have shown us anything, it’s the importance of connection. Isolation has meant that we have felt very disconnected and lost. Our sense of belonging has been threatened in more ways than one. Belonging is one of our basic human needs so when that is taken away from us, it creates a great amount of stress and fear in the body. One of the best predictors of how we go in the face of adversity is the connection we have with others. So, this year, make it a priority to connect more with others. The more connected you are to other people—the more people you care about and who care about you—the more resilient you’re likely to be.

2. Self-Love

Self-love was something that I really learnt to cultivate in 2021 and has had an incredible impact on my life after my breast cancer diagnosis. Self-love is key to building resilience, but it’s also one of the things that tends to fall by the wayside when we’re feeling stressed or depleted.

When you love yourself unconditionally, which means the way you talk to yourself and treat yourself, the more resilient you will feel because when you have a bucket load of self-love, you are telling yourself that you are worth it. Lack of self-worth is a huge problem for women, feeling like we are never enough. The more you can cultivate self-love and telling yourself that you are worth getting through the tough seasons, the more resilient you will become. So, this year find ways to shine the light on yourself and shower yourself with love every day.

 3. Self Care

This follows on from self-love. When we love ourselves, self-care becomes easier and we learn to prioritise ourselves better, because we know we’re worth it. When it comes to self-care, there’s so much we could talk about. So, let’s focus on the core three: sleeping, eating, and moving. There’s a lot we know about how taking care of our bodies through proper sleep, movement, and nourishment can impact our mental health. This is about focusing on the mind-body connection. If we’re not taking care of our bodies, it impacts us not just physically but mentally and emotionally, and that impacts our resilience. Self-care is not selfish, nowadays it is absolutely necessary!

4. Acknowledge opportunities for personal growth

We didn’t experience everything from the last 2 years for nothing. Every situation has the ability to teach us a lesson, remind us why we’re here and further our growth. Even traumatic experiences can teach us how to cope when bad things happen.

 I’ve managed to learn many valuable lessons about myself through my experiences. I have healed the trauma from some very deep wounds that I had ignored for years. All the experiences over the last couple of years have enabled me to have some significant personal growth. So, take some time to reflect on the growth you have experienced over the last couple of years. You are not the same person you were a year ago. Think about how you have changed into the person you are today.  

When we are forced to exist outside of our comfort zone, it forces us to change. Your life is a cycle and if you think about the life cycle of a caterpillar and the changes it endures over a period of time to eventually emerge as a beautiful butterfly, the change we are going through doesn’t seem so bad.

Sometimes stress, pain and worry can create beauty on the other side of it all. Let 2022 be the year that you rise above it all. When we start to see our hardships as opportunities for self-growth, this will help build your resilience muscle.

5. Have things to look forward to

All the uncertainty of the pandemic has made it difficult to plan for the future, which means it’s extra important to plan things that you can look forward to. Even little things to look forward to can go a long way. Whether that’s regular catch up with friends, a weekend away, family over for a dinner, a trip to the beach or a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up, having things to look forward to can help us make it through the day.

6. Cultivate more joy in your life 

It might feel strange to find moments of joy in your life when there is so much suffering in the world right now, but one way to build resilience is to redirect your focus from the outside world and put more focus on your internal world. Focusing on those small moments that bring joy to your life. That could be laughing with your kids on the playroom floor, watching a sunrise or a sunset, cuddles with your pet on the lounge. There are so many ways to cultivate joy and enjoy the precious moments that make up each day, which ultimately make up your life. If we are constantly distracted by all the noise of the outside world, we will miss those opportunities that can bring so much joy into our life.

7. Connect with your passion and purpose

Having a strong sense of meaning or purpose is another key in helping build resilience. This year, spend more time focusing on what gives meaning to your life. This can be small things or big things. If you’re not sure what gives you a sense of meaning, now is a good time to start trying to figure it out. A global pandemic can really put things in perspective. Now is the time to think about what is really important to you and what are the things that you value most in life. Write it down in a journal and take time to reflect on whether your life reflects those things. If not, now is the time to make some changes so that your life feels more in alignment with your passion and purpose.

8. Re-frame your negative thoughts

It’s very easy to get caught up in a negative thought spiral and this can severely impact your resilience. Your mind does not control you; you have the ability to control your mind so when you feel yourself spiraling with negative thought patterns, awareness is key. Having a mediation and mindfulness practice to help bring your awareness back to the present moment will help turn those negative thoughts into more positive ones. As humans we are incredibly skilled at ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. It’s time to take back control of your mind and stop focusing on the negativity around you and focus more on the positive things in your life – this is key to building resilience!

9. Practice gratitude

It’s a tiny habit to pick up, but a little gratitude goes a long way in feeling content and emotionally and mentally healthy. Find a way to practice gratitude each day, whether that’s ending each day by writing a sentence in a gratitude journal or committing to running through a list of three things you’re grateful for while having a shower. Gratitude is the golden key to happiness and when you’re happier, you’re going to be more resilient.

10. Practice self-compassion

You’re going to have bad days, days when you don’t feel very strong or resilient and want to stay in bed and hide from the world. That’s not only okay; it’s completely necessary. When we give ourselves some space to have a bad day, take time to acknowledge our feelings and emotions, by the following day we’re probably able to do a little bit better. But if we keep pushing through and being hard on ourselves, we can find ourselves in a deeper hole. So it’s time to be kinder to yourself and learn how to talk back to that inner mean girl that loves to put you down. Every time you hear that voice in your head telling you you’re not doing enough,  stand tall and take a moment to breathe. Say to yourself, ‘Yes this is really difficult for me right now, so how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment to help me through this time?’ Remind yourself daily that you are worthy of self-compassion.

While this time in our lives is an opportunity to build skills that support our resilience, the last thing we want to do is put pressure on ourselves. Part of being resilient is being forgiving of yourself and allowing yourself to not always be the most productive or always on top of it all.

Sometimes all we need is the chance to just be.  

If you’re looking for an opportunity to build more resilience this year, why not join us on retreat. A retreat is a unique experience that allows you to go on a beautifull journey of self-discovery. You can check out our retreat offerings at www.hartretreats.com/retreats



As we near the end of another year, this time can get really busy. We are trying to wrap up work, juggling kids and the start of school holidays, lots of Christmas parties and family get togethers, shopping lists and to do lists a mile long. This time of year can feel really stressful and busy. When the busyness of the season takes over, we spiral into a state of total overwhelm and we push ourselves to our limits trying to get everything done before the year comes to an end. It’s like there is this magic finish line that we need to reach and we just have to get “all the things done” before then. 

I used to feel this way too until a couple of year ago and I decided to see out the end of the year differently. I found  that the more stressed I got at the end of the year, the less things I got done that were actually meaningful and important to me. So I decided to slow down in the last couple of weeks of the year instead and the more I slowed down, the more I was able to enjoy the magic of this season. 

 So here are 5 ways you can thrive through to the end of the year. 

1.  Make You The Priority

I am a big advocate for self love and reminding women to make themselves the priority. It might feel strange to put your needs first because you’re used to putting everyone’s needs before your own, but I promise you it doesn’t need to be time consuming. Especially at this time of year, it’s so important to avoid getting irritable, resentful, angry and frustrated. Find something that calms your mind and meets your needs. For me that’s first thing in the morning, I sit up in bed and put one hand on my heart and one hand on my tummy and I take 10 long intentionally deep breaths in. It helps me connect to my breath and my body and gives me time to set an intention and feel gratitude for the day ahead. 

I also like to check in with myself throughout the day by asking myself how I’m feeling. I like to call these check ins energetic resets. It helps me release any tension I may be carrying and ensures I don’t get to the end of the day frazzled and exhausted. My energetic resets including a few deep breaths as I transition to different things throughout the day, a cup of tea in my favourite chair, standing barefoot on the grass or a couple of yoga poses in my lounge room. It only needs to take a few minutes and ensures my energy stays high vibe throughout the day. 

2.  Get Good at Saying “No”

If you are one for saying “yes” to everything then now is the time to embrace a different way, because saying “yes” to everything, especially at this time of year, will leave you feeling stressed and anxious and wondering why there’s no time left for you.

You don’t need to say yes to everything, you don’t need to attend every event or say yes to every request for help.  You don’t need to be a super woman and do “all the things”. It is OK to say “no thank you” as well.

 3. Delete Half Your To Do List

This is in line with saying no, but more about taking the pressure off yourself to get everything ticked off your to do list.  If you’re anything like me, I love lists and I love nothing more then ticking things off that list. It can be easy to write down a massive list of everything we want to get done before the end of the year and think we can achieve it… and we probably can… but at what cost?

It is great to push ourselves and strive for perfectionism (recovering perfectionist here), just make sure you’re not creating an unachievable list that will burn you out or send you into a spiral of stress and overwhelm. 

Delete things from your list that are just not that important or you can delegate to someone else, and don’t weigh yourself down with massive responsibility to get everything done.  Recognise what is truly important to you and what really needs to get done and delete the rest.

 4.  Resist The Urge To Splurge

This time of year is notorious for overindulging in everything. When it comes to presents, I have chosen a minimalist approach. My kids will be getting a few presents each – something to wear, something they need and something they want. My husband and I have chosen not to give physical presents but rather we’re gifting ourselves a couple of experiences next year.  I also like to take the minimliast approach to food and drinks. My health has been at the top of my priority list the last few months after recovering from my cancer diagnosis so I am a lot more intentional with what I’m putting in my mouth these days. Start to think about where you can make some simple and healthy alternatives to try and balance out the festive food and drinks.

5. Create Meaningful Connections  

If there is one thing we have been reminded of this year, it’s how important connections are. Many of us have been separated from family for many months or even years, so if you’re fortunate to be reunited with family this season, make this time and the people you share it with really count. Be present in your conversations, be mindful and cherish this special time. Christmas can be a testing time with families as well, so although the connections are special, be clear on your boundaries and your needs during this time and communicate these with your loved ones.