Resiliency Zone During the Holidays (and After)

Our Resiliency Zone is our “ok” zone– our place where we’re in control of our emotions and our emotions aren’t in control of us. In other words, we are calm, alert, and engaged (ie. regulated) and we can function optimally.

Other terms to describe this place include the Window of Tolerance and the Optimum Zone of Arousal. I am a Level-2 trained Trauma Resiliency Model therapist, so I’m going to use the term this model uses, “Resiliency Zone.”

Regardless of the name that we use to describe this zone, a big take-away is that when we are functioning within this space, we can experience any emotion and not be overwhelmed by it . For example, we can experience anxiety or sadness or anger but not be bumped out to a state of hyperarousal (our “high zone”) or a state of hypoarousal (our “low zone.”)

Looking at the Holidays through the lens of our Resiliency Zone, some things that might help:

  • Identify a handful of things that help you stay in your Resiliency Zone ( and are accessible to you during the next two weeks)– and intentionally do them proactively and/or intentionally do them when you want or need them. Maybe walking, maybe writing, maybe singing, maybe baking, maybe waking up early to get coffee by yourself, maybe staying up late to watch a show, maybe eating protein or drinking water. Or maybe something else!
  • Know that what helps you stay in your Resiliency Zone is unique to you (and may absolutely not be what helps your partner or family member or friend stay in their Resiliency Zone).
  • Give people grace and try to allow others to stay in their Resiliency Zone and give them space when they need it.
  • Remind yourself that you can choose to pause and breathe, then identify a next step.

A few other key “good news” points about our Resiliency Zone:

  • Everybody gets bumped out of their Resiliency Zone. There are so many reasons why people can get bumped out, especially during the Holidays.
  • When we are bumped out, we have the opportunity to find what works for us so that we can get back within our Zone.
  • We can all expand our Resiliency Zone. (Eg. perhaps our past experiences have caused us to have a narrow Resiliency Zone. However, we can widen our Zone. It is not static throughout life. There is hope).
  • The narrowness or spaciousness of the Zone can fluctuate throughout the day. (Eg: some people have a more spacious zone in the morning and others in the evening).

May we let ourselves be surrounded by– as way as reach for– the things that will help us stay in, or help us get back to, our Resiliency Zone.

Warmly, Robyn

Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash

For More: To learn and practice specific techniques that might help you get back into your Resiliency Zone, check out the last three posts or the Self-Care category:

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