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When we hear the phrase, “hindsight is 20/20”, it’s usually in reference to a difficult decision or phase of your life that made you stronger at the end of the day. Although it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, these periods where you feel you’re getting tested are ultimately good for us – they help us build resilience (*note* only if these situations are not harming you). Resilience is key for humans to tackle challenges with more ease rather than fighting against them. In Dr. Susan Biali Haas’s book, The Resilient Life: Manage Stress, Prevent Burnout, and Strengthen Your Mental and Physical Health, she breaks down the reason why resilience is important and how to build it in your daily life. Dr. Biali makes several important disclaimers throughout the book to ensure that this book is just a tool to inspire you and that you should always consult a professional before making any changes in your life that could affect your physical, mental, or financial health.
Dr. Biali elaborates on strategies that help readers improve their work life, their relationships, and personal wellness, which all contribute to building resilience. A few of the strategies make sense – eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, find parts of your work that give your purpose and the parts that you can let go of, and how to make time for the areas of your life that make you the happiest. She has worked with several clients who were on the brink of quitting their jobs due to burnout but then found ways to incorporate healthy coping strategies to find more balance and resilience in their lives.
I’m personally a big fan of this book and agree with her disclaimers that you should consult a professional before making any big changes in your life. Dr. Biali shares in the first part of the book that this book is meant to be a source of inspiration – then you can take the next steps with a professional as needed!
For me, the timing of this book was interesting. I think I could have benefited from reading it about a year ago, right before I quit my job and moved across the world. The time in my life that built up my resilience was the latter half of 2022 when I was unemployed and decided to make two big moves (one across the world, and one across the country) in the same 6 months. This was a period of time that I could have benefitted from hearing, “Hey! Don’t stop exercising! Make sure that you’re eating healthy foods! Keep going!”. But hey. Timing isn’t always on our side.
Still, I enjoyed reading this retroactively to a time in my life when I built that resilience. I feel like I am currently in a period of my life where my resilience is paying off. The habits that I formed, the perseverance that I felt, the challenges I overcame – it all contributed to the resilience I feel that I have today. I would recommend this book to anyone who is either going through a difficult time and feel they may need a source of inspiration to build that resilience or someone who just went through a tough time so you can experience what it’s like to reap the benefits of your resilience paying off. It feels good either way!
I only have one qualm with this book, and it’s about the writing style, not the content. Throughout the book, Dr. Biali will reference a certain idea or concept and then write, “I’ll cover that later.” I think that if this happened once or twice, it would make sense. But I felt that it happened so many times that I couldn’t keep track of what was coming up anymore. That may just be a personal pet peeve of mine but it made it hard to follow at times.
Content-wise, I loved this book. Personal development and self-help books are an all-time favorite of mine. But I’ve learned that you have to take it all with a grain of salt. Always, consult a professional whenever making big life changes. But if you’re looking for a good read that will inspire you to take the next steps – The Resilient Life is for you!