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Mini-Blog: Building Resiliency

In the journey of life, few things are given. Inevitable, however, is failure.


In one way or another, you will experience set-backs, discouragement, or defeat. In these situations, the determining factor will be how you respond and move forward


The ability to bounce-back from setbacks is known as resiliency; a trait that has been tied to a decreased susceptibility to mental health conditions, as well as better social and emotional health.


In a way, resiliency is like a muscle, and it’s important to start training it from a young age. The stronger your resiliency, the more capable you are of facing and moving on from failure.


It is important to note that resiliency doesn’t protect you from set-backs, or ensure that you will never face challenges. Rather, it provides the tools to face them head head-on, grow, and bounce-back stronger than before.


So, if resiliency is a muscle, how can it be trained?


I’m glad you asked!


Connect with your Community


Having a community that supports you has been shown to have a significant impact on mental health and, subsequently, resiliency.


In this article from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), three specific benefits of community are outlined: belonging, support, and purpose.


This community will look different for everyone; it can be found in a friend group, club, church, or family. The bottom line is, the people that you experience a sense of belonging with will be there to support you when times get tough. Likewise, you will be there to support them.


Practice Self-Care


The importance of self-care is widely known, and can mean something different for each person. However, there are certain types of self-care that are more beneficial for resilience.


For example, it is important to attend to your own wants and needs, but it is also important to care for yourself by being healthy. So yes, eat the candy you’re craving, but make sure you get your veggies in too.


Similarly, allow yourself to rest when you need it, but get in an adequate amount of physical activity as well.


Self-care is the healthy balance of mental, physical, and emotional needs that will keep you in a ready state for practicing resiliency, should you experience any set-backs.


Go Easy on Yourself


When you make a mistake, it is important to own up to it; turning a blind eye to short-comings prevents you from experiencing personal growth.


However, it is also important to not over-analyze these situations or fixate on failure.


The next time you are going through something difficult, make sure to give yourself (and those around you) a little slack. Stress can build up fast and manifest in negative ways. We must recognize when this is happening so that we can intentionally implement resilience strategies.


For example, if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take a step back from the situation and practice self-care. Often, taking the time to cater to our needs is the kickstart we need to get back on track.


Teaching these strategies to youth (and implementing them yourself!) will not only increase your capacity for resilience, but also have a significant impact on your overall health and wellness. Resilience is a muscle, and there's no time like the present to start training!


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