Four Steps to Bounce Back Faster

4 Steps to Bounce Back Faster

4 Steps to Bounce Back Faster

According to, a resilient family “is able to thrive and remain strong through deployments, reassignments, and adversity.”  There’s training for that.  But what about the day-to-day setbacks that knock you down?  Like when you go to your first hair appointment at a new duty station and you walk out with disastrous results and lots of first impressions to make?  Sure, we have the big military lifestyle things to worry about, so sometimes we feel silly getting upset over some of the smaller things.  But, those smaller things can accumulate over time, and if left unchecked, can suck us into an avalanche that takes us to a place where we’re not thriving anymore.

Last weekend, I tried out a beauty school because prices at the salons in my new town are outrageous.  Haircuts alone start at $75!  So I told the student I wanted an allover color that would be easy and inexpensive to touch up, but if she tried to match my roots it would turn out black.  Well it turned out black.  And at my age, black feels more Howard Stern than Katy Perry.  Not exactly the first impression I wanted to make and I was upset.  I may or may not have shed some tears in a busy restaurant.

The question becomes, how can we deal with the little things that knock us down so we can bounce back faster and be better prepared to handle the bigger things that arise?  Here are four steps to help:

  1. Allow time for a pity party. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. Acknowledging that you are upset is the first step toward feeling better. If you hold in emotions like anger, sadness, disappointment, and hurt they can fester. After time they can grow into hate, contempt, or a sour disposition.

  2. Identify the true problem. Are you mostly upset about what just happened, or was it a trigger that exploded into a bigger problem? In talking with my husband, my issue wasn’t so much that my hair was black, it was more about not wanting one more knock to my self-esteem.

  3. Be open to input from others. Sometimes when we’re upset we just want to vent. But sometimes, it can be really great to have someone step in with some helpful solutions. Be open to accepting help. The morning after the bad dye job, my husband said he had researched some ideas for me. I asked him if the ideas involved washing my hair with baking soda. They did not, but he had been proactive in finding some local resources to help with the issues identified in Step 2.

  4. Do what you can to feel better. The pity party is over. It’s time to bounce back. Make a plan to follow some of the suggestions made in Step 3, get some exercise to release stress and take advantage of feel-good endorphins, lose yourself in a good book, get some extra sleep, and/or schedule a coffee date with a friend.

I think I’ll go spend some time on Pinterest looking for makeup ideas to accompany black hair.  What is the last non-emergency thing you got upset about?  How did you bounce back?