Build Your Resilience

Meet life’s challenges!

Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity.  As we return to campus and find our “new” normal, creating and building resiliency is going to be such an important component.

Creating Your Resilience Action Plan

Maintaining structure can work wonders for your mental well-being. Routines help you increase your sense of control and defuse feelings of overwhelm. As many faculty and staff will be shifting back from working remotely, starting a planning practice may be just what ids needed.

  • Schedule regular breaks. Take time to mindfully drink your coffee, tea or water. Or focus on your breathing — Bookmark this Calm page.
  • Write a weekly goals list. Identify what you need to do to achieve your weekly goals. Break tasks down into smaller steps and cross them off as you go to maintain a sense of progress throughout the day.
  • Identify 1-3 “Most Important Tasks”. Creating a daily “MIT” list helps you prioritize your most important and urgent tasks.
  • Review your crossed off items at the end of the day. Taking stock of your achievements can help boost mental well-being.
  • Try a to do list app. You may prefer a digital format such as Google Keep.
  • Write your daily to do list the night before. You might find that being able to start work straight away helps increase your productivity. Also, this practice can help you clear your mind and switch off in the evening.
  • Tidy your workspace at the end of the day. Research finds that cluttered environments interfere with your ability to focus.
  • Decide on a regular sleep schedule. When it comes to improving sleep, research suggests that maintaining a regular sleep schedule is of high importance.
  • Create weekly family traditions. Strengthen family routines through traditions such as “Board Game Fridays” and “Movie Night Mondays”.
  • Be kind to yourself. You might suddenly have a lot more on your plate. Be mindful of your inner critic, and remind yourself that you can only do the best you can

Exercise reduces the overall activation of your amygdala and sympathetic nervous system — the parts of your brain and body that generate your stress response.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provide physical activity guidelines, which are based on current scientific evidence supporting the connection between physical activity,  overall health and well-being, disease prevention and quality of life.

It’s important to find something that you enjoy when it comes to building an exercise habit.

American Heart Association Fitness 

6 Ways To Find Exercise You Love & Actually Stick With It

Exercise reorganizes the brain to be more resilient to stress

“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

Research shows that cultivating gratitude has a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Boosting mood
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Improving sleep

A simple way to cultivate gratitude is to keep a gratitude log. Each day at a set time in your daily routine, write down one thing you’re grateful.

13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities

How to Start a Gratitude Practice to Change Your Life

How to Start a Gratitude Practice to Make your Life Better

There is some truth to “you are what you eat,” because what you eat affects how you feel. Making healthful, “real food” choices is so beneficial for maintaining physical and mental health.

Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. Start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy.

Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime. This means:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
    • Focus on whole fruits
    • Vary your veggies (dark leafy greens, red and orange, etc)
  • Make half your grains whole grains
  • Move to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt
  • Vary your protein routine
  • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Can Eating Healthy Food Make You More Resilient?

Action plan for becoming more resilient to stress

Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. There are simple, but effective breathing techniques you can practice that can make a big difference.

Some tips to keep in mind—choose a comfortable position, wear comfortable clothes, try to do it the same time once or twice a day, and don’t force it (let it happen naturally).

Belly breathing

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

Six count breathing —Inhale for six counts, then exhale for six counts:

  1. Sit upright or lie down and place your hands on your belly.
  2. Slowly breathe in, expanding your belly, to the count of six.
  3. Pause
  4. Slowly breathe out to the count of six.

New York Times: Breathe. Exhale. Repeat

Stop. Breathe. Think

Take a deep breath

10 Breathing Techniques