Resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity or significant stress. It is a set of skills that can be developed by intentionally changing thoughts and behaviors.
It is important to experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you. Here are some of the top recommendations and strategies for practicing resilience.
How To Build Resilience
Being aware of your strengths, weaknesses, values/beliefs, motivation, emotions, and needs helps you understand the way you move through life, and the best way to pick yourself up during bad times.
Self-Care is doing thing by you, for you. Building the habits of taking care of yourself when you are at your best helps you know what to do when you need a little extra care or have trouble finding the time or motivation to take care of yourself. When facing difficult situations, it is easy to pour all of your attention and energy into solving the problem or worrying. But it is important to make sure you build in self care to create a healthy body and mind, building the foundation for you to overcome challenges.
Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress and negativity while increasing things like satisfaction, patience, focus and resiliency. There are many ways to build mindfulness into your daily life, whether it’s a 10 minute meditation before bed or paying attention to your surroundings on a daily walk.
Building practices of gratitude for what you have in life is a great way to improve your resilience. When you create a habit of finding the positive things in life every day, it is easier to remember them when things get difficult or some of the positive aspects are taken away. It has also been shown that people who regularly show gratitude are more creative, open to challenges, and likely to seek help and support.
When faced with adversity, having a growth mindset is an important part of being able to accept the challenge and persist through setbacks. Having a growth mindset means believing that intelligence and ability are not static, but can be developed. With a fixed mindset, when you are faced with a challenge that seems beyond your intelligence or abilities, you do not persevere because you believe you can never overcome it. A failure is heartbreaking because you believe that it is an unchangeable part of yourself, a negative characteristic. With a growth mindset, each challenge and failure becomes a learning opportunity that you can achieve and gain new experience and skills from.
Boundaries determine what you allow and don”t allow to have presence or control over your life. It is often difficult to say no to things like projects, hanging out with friends and more. But when you do not have clear boundaries for your time, emotions, and body, it is easy to stretch yourself too thin or stay in relationships that negatively affect you.
You can’t pour from an empty cup: boundaries are an important part of making sure you keep your cup full.
Showing compassion for both yourself and others is a vital part of resilience. When we get knocked down or experience a failure, we need to be understanding and compassionate with ourselves. Acknowledging and accepting our difficult thoughts and feelings is the first step in moving past them.
Resilience is not all about individual ‘toughness’: it is also important to have a solid support system. Having someone to reach out to in times of need greatly improves resilience. Positive relationships throughout life improve overall well-being, contributing to one’s ability to bounce back.
Tips and Resources
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- Identify fulfilling activities that you enjoy and benefit you emotionally, mentally and/or physically.
- Brainstorm how you can engage in these activities organically and throughout your daily life.
- Discover your strengths.
- Set goals to increase engagement gradually.
- Practice mindful gratitude. One of the best ways to start cultivating an attitude of mindfulness is to start thinking intentionally about things you’re grateful for.
- Write down what you are grateful for in a journal, on your phone, or even on the side of a to-do list.
- When times are tough, ground yourself by finding an aspect of life that is positive.
- Identify one thing you are grateful for each day and/or one thing you are looking forward to.
- 40 Simple ways to practice gratitude
Make it Routine
- Add self-care activities to your calendar and follow-through
- Take a group fitness class by signing up through the WellRec App.
- Sleep for 7-9 hours every night.
- Pack a healthy lunch and snacks for work or school.
- Drink water instead of drinks high in sugar.
- Take the long route. Walk the greenway or walk the trails around Lake Raleigh.
Improve Your Environmental Wellness
- Limit fluorescent lighting in your space.
- Take screen breaks.
- Keep your work/study space separate from your sleep space.
- Have at least one item in every space you frequent that brings you joy.