10 tips on Building Resiliency

by Wren Hudgins, PhD, Supervisor, Disaster Mental Health, American Red Cross

1. Make connections

  • Traditional ways and new electronic ways
  • Planned and spontaneous
  • Biggest return on your resiliency investment

2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable

  • Focus on what you can control
  • Become aware of straying into territory you can’t control; manually re-focus
  • You can’t control disasters; only reactions to them

3. Accept that change is normal

  • choose not to focus on a past reality (how things were)
  • sameness = comfort because predictable
  • mastering change has potential to make you stronger

4. Move toward your goals

  • set small achievable goals in areas like self-care, reaching out, physical chores, exercise goals, etc. Clean a closet for example
  • break larger goals into doable objectives – cleaning the house starts with a closet

5. take decisive action

  • avoid passivity, make a plan for a day, an hour
  • stick with what you can control
  • check off accomplished goals so there is a record of accomplishment

6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery

  • review coping strategies that have worked for you in the past
  • consider trying out some new ones
  • maintain list of strategies that work for you

7. Nurture a positive view of self

  • recall bouncing back from prior hardship – divorce, being fired, health scare, etc.
  • see that historically you are resilient
  • do others see you as resilient? Listen to them

8. Keep things in perspective

  • current situation is small in the span of life
  • historically you have bounced back
  • historically the world has bounced back

9. CULTIVATE HOPE

  • recognize when thinking pessimistically, “force quit” and shift
  • plan a future trip or vacation, plant seeds, share hopeful stories, practice gratitude

10. PRACTICE SELF CARE

  • limit news exposure (quantity and quality), create C-19 free zones
  • be here and now; practice mindfulness; meditate; tune in to your senses
  • follow health guidelines, eat, sleep, exercise, connect, plan calming activities

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