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If you’ve heard the word “diversification,” it was probably in the context of financial strategies to achieve wealth. But these strategies can also be useful when utilized in our day to day health.

Dr. Margarita Bobonis, section chief of Behavioral Medicine in the Supportive Care Medicine Department at Moffitt Cancer Center

None of us are exempt from experiencing sadness, loss, disappointment, stress or illness. However, being able to manage unpleasant emotions when facing adversity and working through ideas while problem-solving helps us build our toolkit to better cope with hardship and become resilient. Resilience is the process of being able to adapt to difficulties, tragedy, adversity or other sources of distress. Strong and healthy physical and mental health helps us be resilient and “bounce back” or adapt better to difficult times. 

Here are tips to diversify your life:

Find your purpose
This is a lifelong task, and no matter the outcome, it is an invaluable journey. Just like how we pursue happiness every day, we should strive to find our purpose regardless of our life circumstances. Engage in work or activities that will challenge your present boundaries. Be creative, help someone, volunteer or work on something that makes you feel productive.

Be flexible
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” — Alexander Graham Bell

We all have the power to learn from every circumstance and every person we encounter in life — good or bad. However, in order to gain insight, achieve a balance and grow, we must remain flexible and open to adapt and mold ourselves to changes. Accepting changes can help us move on.

Build relationships — a lot of them!
You could be shy or outgoing, but the truth is that many of us have difficulties meeting new people. Our social brains however want to connect with others and build fulfilling relationships.  What could you do to improve your supportive network? Make it a priority to acknowledge those around you. Join an interest group, travel or visit unfamiliar places and learn about them. Invite a neighbor for coffee, call an old friend you’ve not heard from in years or even smile and say hello to a stranger.

Know your worth and love yourself
Caring for you has to always be a priority, otherwise there will be no “YOU” to care for others tomorrow. Having a positive, healthy and confident view of self helps us all thrive. Self-reflect on your habits and seek to change or modify those that are unhealthy for you. Changes are not always easy, but try to commit to it and plan to execute modifications gradually. That might include heathier eating habits, physical activities, relationships and improved spirituality and appreciation for life. Surround yourself with people that enhance your talents and help you be stronger and happier.

Ask for help
We might not always feel our best, which is OK. Sometimes we might need to reach out to a professional for additional guidance on how to activate ourselves and better improve our personal circumstances or cope with adversity. The Behavioral Medicine Department at Moffitt Cancer Center is here to assist and help through your cancer journey when you need it.

This article was written by Dr. Margarita Bobonis, section head of Behavioral Medicine in the Supportive Care Medicine Department at Moffitt.