Building Resilience as You Grow

Everyone struggles to deal with difficult times. The good news is that resilience is something you can learn and practice.

Life appears easy for young people in the movies, on TV and social media. But the reality is, it’s tough being a young person. There is pressure to do well in school, get into a good college, wear the right clothes, have the right friends and be happy. You may feel stressed and anxious from these and other pressures. Building resilience can help you bounce back quicker from difficult times.

Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change. It is not something you’re born with, but it can be learned.

10 Tips to Help Build resilience During Tough Times

1. Connect with others.
These can be your friends, parents or other trusted adults in your community. Even though it often seems as though they do not understand you, remember that your parents and other adults have more life experience than you. They probably have great advice or at least a listening ear.

2. Give yourself a break.
When we experience traumas, normal daily stress may heighten. Your emotions may be all over the place and feel extreme. Try to be aware of this and cut yourself, and others, some slack.

3. Create a stress free zone.
Make your bedroom a safe, comfortable place, free from stress and anxieties.

4. Stick to your routine.
When something bad happens in your life, your daily routine may get interrupted by new things. Stick to routines that give you comfort as much as you can.

5. Rest up.
Getting enough sleep and being well rested can help make it easier to face tough times.

6. Recognize what you can control.
Tough times can interfere with accomplishing goals and make us feel out of control. Focus on small achievements and take things one step at a time. Even getting out of bed and going to school during a tough time can be an accomplishment.

7. Express yourself.
If talking with others is too challenging, consider writing in a journal, creating some art or making music.

8. Do something nice for others.
Sometimes helping others can take your mind off your own problems. Consider helping a friend with something or volunteering your time for a good cause.

9. Focus on the positive.
While it may feel like the bad time you are experiencing will never end, bad times do not last forever. Remind yourself that you have overcome hard times before and you will get through this one too.

10. Unplug.
Sometimes the news can contribute to negative thoughts and feelings, especially if they are a result of a current event. Limit or avoid news outlets such as TV, newspapers, magazines or the Internet. Taking a break from social media can also help.

Remember that building resilience may help decrease feelings of stress and anxiety in tough times, but it does not completely eliminate these feelings. You may benefit from some of these tips, and building resilience skills can be helpful throughout your life.

If these tips are not helpful for you, you may want to consider talking to someone who can help, such as a therapist or other mental health professional. For mental health resources, visit our Resources page.

Source: American Psychological Association

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