What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to adapt and to ‘bounce back’ when unexpected things happen.

What do we do when something doesn’t work out as we expect?

Perhaps we get upset, start yelling, hit out at someone…. or simply give up. However, none of these reactions will help us to overcome the challenges that we face.

Resilience means being able to adjust to changing circumstances, and to respond in a positive way.  Resilient people can handle change and think of ways to solve problems that happen in their lives.

Sometimes these problems may be small ones:

Lucy really wanted to wear her red t-shirt today, but it’s in the wash. She could get angry and feel that her whole day is ruined – or she could be disappointed, but then refocus on finding an alternative shirt to wear.

Some challenges might be bigger, and out of our control: Sam’s family is moving away to a different city. Sam and Josh have been friends all through school – they don’t want to be separated! Although they are sad and upset about it, they can make a strategy to make the best of their situation – perhaps it might be to email and phone each other, so they can still be in touch regularly.

We face challenges every day, in every area of our lives.

Not getting picked for a team at lunchtime; having rain cancel a Saturday morning sports game; being sick on the day of a friend’s birthday party; or not getting words right in a spelling test when we have studied – we face unexpected events all the time. And, while it is important to be mature and responsible in our reactions, it is also important to remember that it is OK to feel angry, or sad, or disappointed when things go wrong. If we can acknowledge our feelings while staying in control of our actions, we are acting in a resilient manner.

How can I be more resilient?

Now you have read through our Fact Sheet, have a go at Harold's quiz below:


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