— Skylight Trust

Resilience is a remarkable feature that helps us to cope when we are facing hard times.​

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to adapt well, in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or distressing events such as family or relationship problems, health issues or workplace and financial problems. It means "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, learning from the experience and facing new challenges in life. Resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary, as we all commonly demonstrate resilience without being aware of it.

Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are a part of life, and you can see it in people even if they have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives, as they have learned behaviour, thoughts and actions that make them resilient.

There is a combination of factors that can contribute to build resilience, but the first and most important one seems to be having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the whanau, as these relationships provide a stable network and offer encouragement and reassurance to a person.

Each person will build up their resilience differently, but some strategies you can try are:

Connect with others. As said previously, whānau and friend relationships are key, but it is also important to be able to accept help and support from those who care about you. Some people may find it useful to participate in community groups or volunteering in a NGO, as that can be a source of social support and hope.

See crisis as something you can manage. Stressful events will happen, and you cannot control them, but you can control how you will respond to these events. Try focusing on the future, this situation will pass eventually, and you will be in a different place.

Accept that change is a part of living. Accepting that some things have changed for you, and that you may no longer achieve some of your goals due to this change, will help you focus on what you can achieve and helps you persevere.

Stay focused in your goals. Instead of focusing on things that may seem unachievable, do something regularly - no matter how small it may seem - that moves you closer to your goals.

Take action. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than ignoring the problems and situations completely and wishing they would just go away.

See the opportunities. You may learn something about yourself and may find that you have grown in some way, because of facing a difficult time.

Think positively about yourself. Be confident in your ability to solve problems, trust yourself.

Keep things in perspective. Even if the situation feels too difficult to manage, try to consider it in a broader context, and avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

Be optimistic. A hopeful approach will help you to expect that good things will happen in your life.

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings.

Resources Available at Skylight

Skylight is here to help you through difficult times. We can assist you in a variety of ways with information appropriate for your situation. You are welcome to visit us and receive free information and a support pack from our resource centre and borrow books from the specialist library. We also facilitate Professional Development training and offer Counselling support services for children, young people, family/whānau and individuals who are experiencing tough times.

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