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How to build resilience in difficult times

In the face of life's inevitable challenges, the ability to bounce back and adapt is a crucial skill known as resilience. Whether you're dealing with personal setbacks, professional challenges, or global crises, developing resilience can empower you to navigate difficult times with strength and grace.

Resilience helps you deal with difficult issues such as job loss, illness, disasters, or the death of a loved one. Without it, you may obsess over problems, feel overwhelmed, and resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse or risky behaviors.

While resilience won't eliminate your problems, it can provide the ability to see beyond them, enjoy life, and better manage stress. If you feel your resilience could improve, you can develop and learn skills to enhance this valuable trait.

Resilience and Mental Health

Resilience can help protect you from different mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Resilience can also help offset factors that increase the risk of mental health disorders, such as bullying or previous trauma. If you already have a mental health disorder, resilience can improve your ability to cope with a difficult situation.

Tips to Increase Resilience:

  • Connect: Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can give you the support, guidance, and acceptance you need in good times and bad. Make other important connections by volunteering or participating in a religious or spiritual community.
  • Make Every Day Have Meaning: Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set clear and achievable goals that help you look toward the future with meaning.
  • Learn from Experience: Reflect on your past experiences dealing with difficulties. Recall the skills and strategies that helped you navigate tough times. Consider journaling about these experiences to identify positive and negative behavior patterns, guiding your future actions.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Do things you like. Stay active. Get enough sleep and have a bedtime routine. Eat well. Manage stress with activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
  • Be Proactive: Don't ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. Although it may take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event, or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work on it.
  • Keep the Hope: You can't change the past, but you can always look to the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.


When things get tough, building resilience isn't just about surviving – it's a way to grow personally and feel more empowered. Get the hang of resilience by understanding it, keeping up positive relationships, having a growth mindset, taking care of yourself, setting achievable goals, staying flexible, and reaching out for professional help when needed. That way, you can handle life's challenges and come out even stronger.


  1. The American Psychological Association (APA)
  2. The Mayo Clinic: Valuable resource for health information
  3. NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health


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