Tip Sheets

ResilienZe For Life

The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience (APA, 2018). This is correct for as research tells us each person, in each situation, has a different way of putting thier resilience into action.

The following tips are essential ingredients of the roadmap to resilience and serve as essential pathways to follow as you seek further valuable information.

Whilst there are many websites that offer strategies for resilience to date the only site that I have found with  comprehensive information is the American Psychological Association. The following information is provided on this website for people interested in understanding and developing greater awareness about resilience and those looking to find a reliable pathway to follow to resilience. Each tip offered by the APA can be further enhanced by reading more from the In addition APA website, I have added important information based on research that adds to each tip.

The Road to Resilience

Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: I agree however be careful not to overestimate the value of social connections. Whilst social connection is important, some people have experienced so much adversity or have no social connections, and lonliness is now a key issue.  Accepting self  and learning how to care for oneself is crucial to resilience and managing lonliness.  There is real value in the connection we make with others but also real value in the quality of the connection we make with ourselves.  More

Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can’t change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. Note any subtle ways in which you might already feel somewhat better as you deal with difficult situations.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: Self-awareness and self-care involve self-understanding and self-respect. Seeking and accepting reality is difficult, and incorporating  the ways that you have personally achieved and adapted as you are overcoming your adversity can be as important as advice from caring others. More

Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: Bouncing back as a definition of resilience is not really helpful because we change as life changes. Accepting change as part of living also means accepting that I do not bounce back, after adapting to change, to where I was before. I become a newer and often better version of myself as I adapt to change. More

Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: Realistic goals take into account the difficulties associated with living our lives. Realistic goals are based on our reality not our ideals. Letting go of goals that life has taken away from us and moving forward to new goals enhances self-acceptance, life-acceptance,  emotional flexibiility and a resilience based on balance in all the adversity that life throws our way.  More

Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: Resilience means taking life realistically, making plans and following through on plans. Many times adverse situations leave us totally unable to alter the situation however planning in adverse circumstances allows us a new direction.  Carrying plans through gives us a new purpose and knowledge which means  we do not have to push problems and stresses away. We can, deal with problems and stresses differently. More

Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: Many people believe that to feel negative is counterproductive to being resilient. Yet feeling vulnerable in tradgedy or adversity is normal. Loss and grief are also normal features of adversity.  Strength can build inspite of vulnerability.  Always be careful when helping others toward self-discovery as their struggle with loss and adversity is easily dismissed when a kind friend or family member suggests that the adversity is an opportunity for self-discovery.  Whilst I agree with the above that it is an opportunity for self-discovery empathy and compassion for yourself and others that takes into account the feelings of being vulnerable,  is the pathway that intensifies the possibility of self-discovery. More

Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: This positive view of self comes about by the awareness, preparedness and flexibility we initiate to manage both our comfortable and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings in a balanced and flexible manner and inturn this supports and improves our resilience. More

Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note:  Keeping things in perspective can be difficult especially if you are the type of person who worries or is anxious. Blowing an event out of proportion is known as catastrophising and we do this when we listen to our own internal media hype. That is, the negative thoughts that are biologically bound to appear in time of stress and adversity become our internal media hype. Media hype will only last while we feed it with worrying and self-defeating thoughts. More

Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: An optimistic outlook can also be difficult to achieve when we are flooded or overwhelmed by adverse events.  It is hard to be optimistic when we lose someone to a tradgedy and no amount of visualising will help change the circumstances of some adversities, but changing the way to think about these adverse events may improve hope. Worrying and fearing less gives hope a chance to develop. More

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note: All too often we are focused on helping others. We engage in activities they enjoy to help them relax, we offer assistance without realizing the consequences of emptying our own resources out in caring for others. One comment I have seen on the internet is “don’t light a fire to keep others warm.” I use the analogy of standing on a pier with your best friend drowning in a raging sea – I say don’t jump in when the life ring is at hand”. That is, their panic may well become your panic, and you lose focus of self care.  Looking after yourself  has added benefits and also goes much deeper than relaxing, exercising, eating and sleeping well. More

Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful. For example, some people write about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to trauma or other stressful events in their life. Meditation and spiritual practices help some people build connections and restore hope.

ResilienZe For LIfe – additonal note:  If you choose to write about your deepest feelings and thoughts do not overfocus on the painful traumatic events of life. Writing will be good but if you do not be careful, overfocus on your writing will be detrimental. Again balance and moderation in this task is recommenced. More

Adapted from information provided by the  American Psychological Association (2018). Copyright (2016) Judye Margetts and ResilienZe For LIfe exists for all information provided in this article that is offered in addition to the APA tips. Please contact Judye if you wish to copy or add to the Resilienze For Life comments.