The Right Time for Resilience

What if someone offered to make you a stronger, more resilient person before you took off for that new duty station? What if you had the opportunity to participate in a program that could help you with problem solving and maintaining a positive outlook at whatever life (and the chaos of a move with kids and pets) can throw at you?

Take a minute and think about the PCS checklist you have at this time of year.

It is most likely crammed full of important to-do items ranging from picking up school records to making travel reservations and arrangements of every conceivable kind. Now imagine someone asking you to commit to 80+ hours (in the two weeks prior to “pack out”) to take a class that could essentially give you the training and skills to become more resilient?

If you have even a sliver of my personality, your first reaction would be to tell them:

“GO POUND SAND!”

But after the shock wore off of fitting another task in my “16-day countdown to the packers,” I decided that an opportunity to learn how to become “Ready and Resilient” was just too good to turn down.

Besides, there were 23 other insane military spouses (who also had packers at the door) that had signed up as well… What could be better than that?

As it turned out, NOTHING could have been better than the training. It was ten days of intense (but rewarding) instruction, discussion, collaboration, a comprehensive exam, and teaching back the skills learned. As a student in the program, I learned that through self-awareness and regulation, I could learn to cope with and handle the things life throws at me.

Resiliency is often defined as the ability to “bounce back,” but after taking this course, I realized that there is so much more to it than that. In all honesty, before taking the course, I thought I was pretty resilient. But after taking an inventory of my strengths and carefully looking at some of my “icebergs,” I found that I had some things I could work on to become even more resilient.

Our instructors were at the height of professionalism. They were a diverse group with varied backgrounds that gave them a wide scope of experience and knowledge. They were connected and inspiring to all of us.

The Master Resiliency Program is a course that has been traditionally offered to service members since 2009. But more opportunities are opening up for spouses and family members to participate in the program. Check out the websites that accompany this article for more information about the program.

Still not convinced you need this course? Let me ask you a few questions…

  • Are you aware of your strengths?
  • Can you regulate your actions and reactions?
  • Do you look for the joy in everyday events?
  • Are you connected to your unit or neighborhood?

If you answered NO to any of those questions, MRT training might be for you!

MRT training can help you put things in a new frame and give you a chance to train your mind (just as important as training our bodies). The topics range from self-awareness and optimism to identifying character strengths in yourself and in others, and the topics in between are even better!

But most importantly, the Resiliency Course helps strengthen relationships within our communities. That is really what we are all about in the military.

The military is a people business. We can all benefit from learning how to communicate more clearly with one another!

 

You can find more information at the links below:

http://www.aschq.army.mil/home/MRT.aspx

https://www.sas.upenn.edu/psych/seligman/mrtinarmyjan2011.pdf

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/master-resilience-training-mrt/#what

https://www.army.mil/article/147614/Master_Resilience_Training_preps_leaders_for_success

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About Kathleen Palmer

I have been an Army wife for over 21 years. It is a role that I never had envisioned for myself, but now couldn’t imagine not being a part of the Army life. I call myself many other titles: teacher, coach, adoptive parent, writer, volunteer, and a lover of the Lord, my family, and my friends. Always ready with a patient ear, a big heart, and a strong cup of coffee! I have been writing for many years, but just recently decided to share my ideas. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop me a line anytime!

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