Stress, challenge and hardships are a part of life, and eventually everyone will experience these at some point. Different challenges from traumatic events, death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness affects people differently, bringing a unique flood of thoughts, strong emotions and uncertainty. Resilience is one’s ability to overcome these challenges and hardships, emerging stronger on the other side. By using your inner strengths, skills and support networks you are able to face difficult situations and maintain good mental health.
Building your resilience
Connections – work on building healthy relationships with those who genuinely have your best interests at heart
Wellness – manage stress and anxiety levels through self-care such as proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration, and regular exercise which can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression. Strengthen your mind by practising mindfulness.
Building your self-esteem – embrace healthy thoughts and keep things in perspective. People often find that they have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle. For example, after a tragedy or hardship, people have reported better relationships and a greater sense of strength, even while feeling vulnerable. That can increase their sense of self-worth and heighten their appreciation for life.
Know your strengths – when faced with a new challenge reflect on what was helpful in previous times of distress, you may discover how you can respond effectively to new difficult situations. Remind yourself of where you’ve been able to find strength and ask yourself what you’ve learned from those experiences.
Know when to ask for help – A mental health professional such as an occupational therapist, psychologist or social worker can assist people in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function as well as you would like or perform basic activities of daily living as a result of a traumatic or other stressful life experience.
How can I build resilience in my child?
Beyond Blue’s latest research has found that there are five areas that offer the best chance for building resilience in children. As a parent, carer, or significant adult, you can help to develop essential skills, habits and attitudes for building resilience at home by helping your child to:
- build good relationships with others including adults and peers
- build their independence
- learn to identify, express and manage their emotions
- build their confidence by taking on personal challenges
Where to get help
If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:
- SANE Australia (people living with a mental illness) — call 1800 18 7263
- Beyond Blue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online
- Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) — online help
- Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) — call 13 11 14 or chat online
- Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) — call 1300 659 467