How do you build resilience?

It’s no lie that all the little things in life can begin to build up. You’ve got to pick up the kids, take them to sports practice, prepare dinner, fold the washing, help with homework – the list goes on.

So, building resilience to stay on top of things is vital.

a backpacker enjoying a hike over a stream in the woods
Resilience is not a trait. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s not something you just have
Meg Jane Clinical psychologist

But, how can you take care of your body to bounce back and simply keep going?

Keep reading for our 5 tips for building resilience.

1. Make time to eat well, move and get enough sleep

We all know this one. Make it your foundation for everything, all three will set you up to be able to handle stress, illness and injury with more efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Fuel your body with healthy nutrition that is free from inflammatory foods and includes plenty of vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds, proteins and healthy grains and fat.
  • Try physical exercise that is versatile, challenging and includes mobility and flexibility, aerobic activity and weight training. Building physical vitality and vigour will affect your ability to handle challenges, think clearly, stay positive and bounce back from adversity.
  • Ensure you get eight hours of restful sleep each night.

This foundation will help you begin to perceive everything in your life as fuel, enabling your body to thrive.

2. Problem solve

Break down the issue and figure out how to tackle it. Not everything can be fixed immediately but you can chip away to eventually solve a problem. Write a quick list of ways you can/could solve the problem. Try different strategies or figure out a logical way to work through.

3. Grab onto what you know to be your strengths and use it to your advantage

Resilient people work to their strengths and build on improving them. Your body’s ability to adapt to arising challenges can hinge on building on what you know. Try pushing a little bit harder to maintain strength and stamina. If something isn’t your strength, have a think about what your goal might be to improve and work on it every day.

4. Take a break

It can be for 5 minutes or a few hours but do something you love. Whether its coffee with a friend, going for a walk or taking a deep breath – take a break. Giving yourself proper time for rest and recovery will help your productivity go up everywhere else. Taking care of your own needs can help boost your overall well-being and health, so ensure it is a priority.

5. Don’t do it alone

Exercising with friends will motivate and inspire you to rise to a challenge. Plus, the added competition will help push you a bit further. Build a strong social network with supportive and caring friends or family to help you get out there and exercise and achieve more.

Most importantly be compassionate with yourself – you’re only human after all. No two humans are the same, which means that achieving optimal resilience will be different for everyone.

The key is to become fit in every way possible: Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

*Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist and an associate professor of education at the University of Virginia. Listen to her Ted Talk here.

By Nick Allen, Neurological health advocate and founder of Mastering Mountains

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