“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” Gever Tulley.

During our lives, we will all often experience times when things become challenging or difficult. It can be said that many of these experiences help us to grow. However, some of these times can prove to be more difficult than others. It’s during these times that being resilient can help us to recover and push through. Being resilient is the ability for us to recover quickly or bounce back from difficulties we may experience. If you know a friend who is resilient, you may notice that they seem to be more positive than others or may appear to be more optimistic.

Recently, my mum had a fall while she was doing some gardening. At first, she found out that she had broken a few bones in her wrist and a couple of bones in her hip. It was later discovered that she had also broken some bones in her spine. Although her recovery was slower than she would have liked, Mum was able to push through the tough times. She organised to stay with different friends during her recovery before eventually moving back home.

Some other benefits of being resilient could include remaining focused on a task when faced with challenges or setbacks. It may also help us to understand that struggles in life can help us to grow, rather than looking at them and thinking “Why me?”

Try one of these together with the family to help build resilience.

  • Name something bad that happened to you in your past and then say something good that happened from of it.
  • What have you learned in your life by taking risks and making mistakes? How did you keep going when the going got tough?
  • Create and act out a short play about a time when someone failed at something or found the going tough. In the play, show how the character bounced back from the challenging situation.
  • Think about a time when the going was tough. After a few minutes of thinking about that time, notice how your body is. Now, stand up tall and lift your shoulders. Take a few deep breaths. What do you notice?
  • Discuss challenges in your life that you have found difficult and how you overcame these challenges.
  • Play a board game or card game together. When finished, talk about how it felt to win or how losing made you feel.
  • Go on a long walk together where you are all pushed out of your comfort zones.
  • Talk about the different areas in your life that you are resilient. Are there any areas that you are not so resilient? Why do you think this is? How could you change this?
  • How important is winning to you? Talk about things that are really important to win and other things that don’t really matter. Why do you feel differently about these different activities? How do you feel when you don’t win?
  • When you are feeling a little unhappy or a bit down, sit around and tell each other jokes or talk about funny things that have happened to you. What do you notice?

Many years ago, I knew a builder called Tim. He did this for many years until he decided on a career change. Tim studied and worked hard before eventually earning his helicopter licence. After flying for some time, Tim had an accident in his helicopter, which ended his new career and changed his life forever. The doctors told him that he would never walk again. After a lot of hard work, Tim managed to regain the use of his legs. He also decided on another career change; this time Tim went back to university to study architecture. I haven’t seen Tim for a long time, but the last I heard, he had graduated and is now working as an architect. Can you imagine a better person qualified to design your building than someone who understands building construction and can make it accessible for all?

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” Mahatma Gandhi.

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