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Choosing Life Quality through Resilience: A Proactive, Preventive Approach

Cyndy Dalton RN, BSN, CHPN, MSOL

Did you know that engaging in preventive healthcare and proactively investing in your own well-being are acts of resilience(2). Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences.

Studies have shown that building resilience corresponds with a better quality of life (1), which describes the level of our health, comfort, and ability to participate in or enjoy life events (4). And we all want a better life quality, but don’t always know how to achieve it.

With 33 years of experience in direct patient care, 23 of those years as a Registered Nurse and Hospice Nurse, I know first-hand that too many people remain reactive when it comes to a lot of their healthcare needs. They only rise to action when trauma or uncontrolled symptoms cause a crisis. 

If we have not experienced something firsthand, we often rationalize that emotionally hard topics do not pertain to us…even maintaining denial in the moments that the crisis occurs (3).  

Have you ever been in a situation where a fire alarm goes off and everyone looks around at each other and no one reacts? This is called normalcy bias (5). 

Our brains piece together past experiences to normalize the possible outcome to reach our comfort zone. We consider that we have had this experience before, and there wasn’t an actual fire, and we are worried about looking foolish being the only one to respond or react, so we stay in our comfort zone, and carry on.  Some of the most tragic examples of normalcy bias occurred during the 911 attacks.  

“I never imagined it would happen to me…or…I cannot believe this is happening…,” are all too familiar phrases I’ve heard spoken by patients and families during my nursing career. Some of the secondary struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic were fueled by pandemic levels of both fear and denial (6).

 So, why then isn’t everyone working on being preventive regarding their healthcare and building resilience?

There are many theories around why, but the human tendency is to believe what comforts us, and deny what discomforts us, and so we simply ignore unpleasant truths (3).  I challenge this way of thinking and I am here to offer a better way. 

When we disconnect from the hard stuff and choose denial, we cause suffering (7). We miss opportunities to live with intention, deepen relationships, and grow more resilient (1).  

Planning for healthcare crises, advanced disease, and understanding options for end of life are all topics of concern generally left until there is no other choice. It’s like heading to the store to buy a home fire extinguisher while the flames are lapping at your feet.  

I want to pose a challenge that in normalizing discussions around illness, dying, and death, at all ages, we will build resilience and improve quality of life.

Please join Jane Jansen and I on Holistic Healthline on July 15 as we take on the topics of Palliative Care, Hospice Care, and Advance Care Planning through the lens of prevention. With myth busting, explaining of some basic logistics regarding these specialties of care, and simplifying of how they may serve and impact you and those you love, I will provide options to move forward as you determine your own level of need to know more.   

Through compassionate guidance, through the lens of prevention, I hope to help bring new approaches to Palliative, Hospice, and Advance Directive care from reactive to proactive, from avoidance to acceptance and action, from resistance to resilience. 

The quality of your life is yours for the making!

For more information, to make an appointment for a virtual coaching session, or schedule an in-person group presentation, please visit: and click on Contact Us, or email: .

Please share your questions/concerns/needs related to Palliative Care, Hospice Care, Advance Care Planning, Life Quality Coaching/Consultation and Building Resilience.   

  1. IJERPH/Resilience and Quality of Life
  2. Mayo Clinic/Resilience
  3. JMLA/Avoidance vs Seeking
  4. Brittanica/Quality of Life
  5. P&T/Normalcy Bias
  6. Methods/COVID Acceptance Denial

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