Being able to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks is key to bouncing back and not letting the stresses of life permanently affect your mood, physical health and outlook on life. While it’s true that some people can naturally be more adaptable, resilience is a skill that can be practiced and learned. This is an especially important skill to develop as healthcare professionals, as daily stresses can build up and begin to impact your daily life. Building resilience can help you adapt, cope and learn to overcome the challenging times that are inevitable at some points in life.

Resiliency can help you to:

  • tolerate feelings of stress and anxiety stemming from a specific event
  • bounce back after adversity
  • maintain a positive outlook
  • face an uncertain future with less fear

Whether you’re building your resiliency as a preventative tactic or a recovery measure, consider starting with these tips:

  1. Stay connected. Building strong connections with friends, coworkers and loved ones can help give you a sense of self, and ground you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Having someone to talk to and confide in about those feelings can help you work through them and come out on the other side feeling heard, positive, and ready to move forward.
  2. Take care of yourself on and off the clock. While you’re at work, it can be useful to give yourself small routines that help during tough times, like a short meditation, a light snack or some deep breathing. When you’re on your own time, take time to find your joy, whether it be getting outside for a walk, snuggling with your pet or chatting with a loved one.
  3. Get creative. Being resourceful and coming up with new ways to handle adversity can sometimes call for getting creative and thinking “outside the box.” Figure out what needs to be done to help you through the problem, and determine the best path in getting there.
  4. Accept your feelings. In some situations, it can be tempting to just “power through” or “put on a brave face.” This strategy often makes the problem worse, as you haven’t given yourself permission to actually feel your feelings and deal with them head-on instead of allowing them to fester and grow. Accepting how you feel and allowing yourself to face those feelings will then make space for gaining perspective and seeing a clearer path forward.
Whether or not it comes naturally to you to bounce back after a difficult experience, in the workplace or in your personal life, resiliency is a skill you can learn and enhance with practice.

Building skills to endure hardship