STRONGER TOGETHER: Building your personal resilience

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Last updated: 20/03/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses building your personal resilience.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

There is no questioning that life is full of ups and downs. But why is it that some of us give into adversity and fall at the first hurdle while others are more easily able to overcome similar challenges and continue to thrive?

The answer lies in personal resilience.

Resilience is having the emotional strength to cope effectively with adversity, hardship and trauma. People who are resilient have the capacity to recovery quickly from or withstand difficulties that life throws at us, like financial stress, health worries, troubled relationships or relationship breakdowns, loss of a loved one or perhaps security and safety concerns. They utilise their resources, strengths and skills to work through setbacks and overcome challenges.

The good news is that personal resilience is something we can build over time. Think of resilience like a muscle – the more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes.

There are some great strategies we can use to help build our personal resilience. Building your personal cheer squad can be a powerful way to build up your resilience. Think of your friends and family, and make yourself a list:

  • People I can cry with (who will help me pick up the pieces)
  • People I can laugh with (who will help me keep things light)
  • People I can be with (who will simply hold a judgement free space for me)
  • People I can talk with (who will challenge me and help me figure things out)

I also encourage you to think about your lifestyle, and to consider what habits and rituals you can create to boost your resilience and wellbeing.  You can break your habits and rituals down into these sections

  • Social (play, social interactions, games and connections)
  • Physical (sleep, movement, nourishment and breathwork)
  • Emotional (downtime, self-awareness, gratitude and mindfulness)
  • Mental (stimulation, challenge, growth, learning and reflection)

Finally, you can also zone in on your thoughts. What key attitudes and beliefs do you want to change? Think about what you want to focus on and what skill this will strengthen. For example,  I will focus on  … to strengthen ….

When it comes to building your resilience, don’t give up! In the words of Nelson Mandela, “do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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