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Resilience Practices

You Can Start Doing Today to Ease Stress and Feel Better


Make your physical and emotional health a top priority during times of uncertainty and stress. Keep in mind that research has shown that people who experience life's challenges can emerge from them with a greater sense of psychological well-being, greater connectedness, and a renewed appreciation of life. It may not be easy, but it is possible. Here are some ideas to get started, but you can get creative with your own ideas too! Take the time to reflect on what fills you up, what nourishes you, and see if you can implement one or two of these things daily in your own life.

Maintain social connections with friends, family, and your community

  • Play games with your family

  • Use social media to chat with relatives and friends

  • Post comments that are supportive of others on your social sites

  • Join online groups so you can speak to people in your community

  • Schedule regular video chats with friends and family

  • Attend an online church service or spiritual meeting if it's aligned with your beliefs

  • Drop a note in the mailbox to reach out to a friend

  • Reach out to an elderly neighbor

  • Smile at a safe distance at a stranger

Maintain perspective by keeping the big picture in mind

  • Yes, things feel uncertain and scary. Do what you can to prepare and know that this pandemic will pass, just as pandemics historically have passed as well.

Be selective about your use of news media

  • Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news!

  • Be selective about listening to credible news sources

  • Be selective about how much time you spend on social media

  • Find and follow on social media people who inspire you

  • Be selective with the content that you take in

Take the time to notice and express what you are grateful for

  • Over time, a daily or weekly gratitude practice can reduce stress, promote resilience, and change our brain for the better

Image by Thought Catalog
Image by Gabrielle Henderson

Focus on the things in your life that you have some control over

  • Choose things to do to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy

  • Wash your hands

  • Maintain physical distance from people if you go out for a walk or head to the grocery store

  • Stock up on needed food and supplies in a calm way

  • Choose how well you take care of yourself

  • Choose how often you talk to your friends, family, and co-workers

  • Make choices about how much media you will consume

  • Plan a new routine/schedule that connects you to what matters in your life

  • Seek professional support if you are needing it

  • Practice healthy coping skills (see below)

Taking the time to explore different things that nourish you and help you feel better is a great way to practice healthy coping skills. What's most important is to find what works for you!

  • Do anything that expresses your creative self

  • Spend time gardening

  • Write in a journal

  • Take a walk

  • Practice breathing slowly and mindfully

  • Watch a movie or TV series as a family

  • Share a humorous joke with friends

  • Take a relaxing bath

  • Play a board game

  • Listen to music

  • Play with a pet

  • Meditate

  • Learn ways that work for you that help you relax

  • Spend time in nature, even if it's just in your backyard

  • Work on managing your time/create a to-do list

  • Ask for support

  • Clean out your closet

  • Read a book or listen to an audiobook

  • Try a new recipe

  • Pray to something or someone greater than yourself that aligns with your beliefs

  • Get creative with anything you like to do:  knit, paint, draw, write a song

  • Learn a new skill online (guitar, a new language, how to braid hair, or just about anything that you've been wanting to explore!)

  • Teach your child a new skill (cooking, laundry, painting the living room)

  • Do an online exercise class

  • Reframe the way you are thinking about a problem

  • Squeeze a stress ball

  • Do a puzzle

  • Put on lotion that smells good

  • Look at pictures of nature that help you feel relaxed

  • Look at pictures of loved ones

  • Take care of your body in a way that makes you feel good (do your hair, paint your nails, do a face mask)

  • Stay away from unhealthy coping skills (overeating, excessive alcohol/drugs, avoidance, overspending, over-consumption of media)

  • Schedule time to worry (rather than worry all day long, choose a 15-minute time-frame daily to sit and worry. Write in a journal, talk to someone or just think about your concerns. After 15 minutes, do a different distracting activity. If you worry later in the day, remind yourself that it's not time to worry right now and that you can worry about that later).

  • Be kind to yourself and others

  • Notice some of the gifts of staying at home

Image by CDC
Image by National Cancer Institute
Image by Tamas Pap
Image by Donovan Valdivia
Image by Robert Collins

What's Your Own Best Path To De-Stressing, Feeling Connected, Restoring Balance, Feeling Nourished, and Finding Calm?

Ideas To Promote Resilience

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