What is Resilience?
Resilience is the capacity to adapt to hardships and recover quickly when faced with challenges. It is universal and inherent to all people. It translates to all cultures and languages.
You can learn more about why resiliency is important below, and don’t forget to visit the Resilience Toolkit page to learn about specific resources that can help you build resilience and manage stress during this challenging time.
Why is being resilient so important?
Being resilient leads to improved relationships, academic success, physical and mental health, and better job performance. It reduces risk-taking behaviors (such as excessive drinking or drug use), and strengthens your capacity to problem-solve and manage anxiety and stressful situations.
The tips presented above are great for everyone, regardless of age. See the sections below for suggestions for how people and caregivers of different age groups can increase resiliency.
What does it mean to demonstrate resilience?
To demonstrate resilience is to identify your individual strengths and abilities in developing a plan with specific steps to move to higher levels of resilience.
Self-directed resilience is to be aware of the opportunities and resources through a concentrated effort. It results in being focused on the resources for self-development and most importantly, the courage to take advantage of them.
What does resilience look like?
Resilient individuals often demonstrate the following traits:
- The ability to identify individual strengths, and regulate stress and anxiety
- An awareness of opportunities, services, and resources, and the courage to utilize them
- Optimism and a positive sense of self
- An appropriate life balance (between school, family, social, and employment responsibilities)
- Good health habits (sleep, exercise, nutrition)
- The ability to positively manage thoughts, emotions, and behavior
- Strong coping skills, with enhanced problem-solving
- Use of nurturing strategies through positive self-care
Children, teen, and youth resiliency
Children, teen, and youth resiliency prepares young people to tackle obstacles and adversity, and overcome challenges as they continue to grow and learn.
Why is resilience important to youth?
Resilience prepares our youth to tackle obstacles, adversity and overcome challenges as they continue to grow and learn. Resilience works to support youth, adolescents and young adults to build positive relationships, show acceptance, encourage independent thought, to know when to ask for help, and how to utilize resources. Resilience helps youth do better in school, reduces risky behaviors, and builds on strengths so they do not give up on themselves.
Parents, caregivers, and family members, you can help increase the resiliency of young people by:
- Providing structure with a daily schedule for meals, studying, and playing
- Sharing feelings openly
- Allowing children and teens to share how they are feeling (frustrations, anxiety) and listen. Listening does not mean you have to find solutions, but children need to know they are being heard
- Finding ways to spend quality time together, such as making dinner as a family
- Engaging with writing letters or drawing pictures for others
- Fostering creativity and making time for imaginary play
- Allowing them to help with chores and household duties – this can help give them a sense of purpose
- Encouraging them to reach out to friends and stay connected in safe ways
- Engaging them in developing relaxation techniques– consider making this a family event
- Exercising or taking walks whenever possible
- Encouraging the development of future goals and dreams