Building resilience

Building resilience: 7 ways to recover from setbacks and THRIVE!

Life has its ups and downs. From time to time, we all experience stress, setbacks, and life-changing situations. Resilience can help us react to change in positive ways and emerge from difficult experiences stronger than before. Learning to become more resilient takes time and practice but following a few simple tips can help you build this essential life skill.

Develop and maintain strong relationships

Build connections with family members, friends, neighbours, and people who share your interests. If you can’t get together in person, find a group that hosts virtual meetings you can attend online. Strong relationships provide social support and can help you feel connected to something larger than yourself. Our friends and loved ones remind us that we’re not alone.

Change how you respond to situations

While you can’t change circumstances beyond your control – like a pandemic or a life-altering diagnosis – you can
change how you respond to difficult situations.
Be decisive and proactive. Sometimes it helps to break problems down into manageable pieces.

Turn setbacks into opportunities for growth

Experiencing a rough patch often reveals that you’re stronger than you thought. Resilience gives you the ability to rise to the occasion and learn new skills. Struggling with challenges and overcoming obstacles offers opportunities for self-discovery and growth. The experience can enhance your appreciation for life and remind you to be thankful for what you have.

Develop a positive outlook

It’s hard to feel hopeful when life isn’t going your way. Your mindset plays a key role in your capacity to get back on your feet after being knocked down. Resilient people are less likely to dwell on problems or feel victimised or overwhelmed. They’re more likely accept that change is part of life.

Maintain a healthy perspective

How you think plays a big role in how you feel. Try to identify areas of irrational thinking and avoid blowing events out of proportion. Resilience can help you adopt a more balanced, realistic thinking pattern and see today’s challenges in a broader context.
You may not be able to change events, but you can develop healthier ways to respond to stressful situations.

Take care of yourself

Stress affects us physically and emotionally. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can strengthen your body and help build a strong foundation for resilience and emotional wellbeing. Give yourself the resources you need to stay strong. Eat a healthy diet. Get enough sleep. Exercise regularly. Stay hydrated. And avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, like alcohol or other substances. It’s also important to find time to relax, whether through meditation, yoga, prayer, deep breathing exercises, or journaling.

Find ways to help others

Volunteering your time and supporting friends and loved ones can help cultivate a sense of purpose and self-worth that builds resilience. Helping others gives meaning to your life and contributes to positive mental health. Even small acts of kindness can make you feel grounded and more at peace. Building resilience takes time, patience, and practice. As you embark on your personal journey toward becoming more resilient, find strategies that work well for you. If stress or a traumatic experience makes it impossible for you to function in your daily life or perform basic activities, consider getting professional help such as contacting ICAS for 24/7 support.

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