Editorial / Health & Wellbeing

5 Things You Can Do to Build Your Resilience Daily

Resilience, the ability to bounce forward from adversity and adapt positively to challenges, is a skill that can be nurtured and strengthened daily. With life’s uncertainties and pressures, developing resilience is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.

While occasional setbacks are inevitable, these five daily practices can help you build and maintain your resilience, enabling you to face life’s ups and downs with greater strength and optimism.

Practise mindfulness and self-awareness

Starting your day with mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or deep breathing, can set a positive tone. Mindfulness helps you become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions, allowing you to manage them more effectively.

Regular self-reflection can help you understand your triggers, fears, and sources of stress. When implemented daily, these practices help you cultivate a more composed response to stressors, promoting better resilience and well-being.

Try: 5 breaths of transition

When you get upset, nervous, or anxious, it’s possible for you to trigger your nervous system to calm your body and mind down. 

  1. Inhale very slowly through your nose for 5 seconds 
  2. Exhale very slowly through your nose or mouth for 5 seconds 
  3. Pause for 5 seconds 
  4. Repeat the process three more times (1 minute total). 

Set realistic goals and priorities

Establishing daily goals and priorities is a foundational practice for building resilience. While having realistic goals provide a sense of purpose and clear direction, priorities act as guiding principles that help individuals allocate their time and energy effectively. 

Successfully identifying priorities enables individuals to focus on what truly matters, creating a framework for decision-making amidst life’s complexities and reducing feelings of chaos and uncertainty. By aligning daily actions with overarching priorities, individuals not only navigate challenges with purpose but also build a robust foundation for long-term resilience.

Try: Eisenhower Matrix

If you’ve ever asked yourself questions like ‘how can I get more done?’, or ‘how can I feel less swamped?’, the Eisenhower Matrix is a simple task management tool that will help you get on top of your to-do list by ranking each task by urgency and importance. 

  1. Draw a two-by-two matrix with the x-axis representing the task’s importance and the y-axis representing the task’s urgency.
  2. Divide your tasks into four boxes:
    • Low Importance, High Urgency
    • High Importance, High Urgency
    • Low Importance, Low Urgency
    • High importance, Low Urgency 
  3. Consider all the things you do in a workday, where these tasks fit in the matrix and action accordingly.  Taking the time to consider the importance of each task will help you re-evaluate what is essential and what can wait. 

Cultivate Positive Relationships

Nurturing positive relationships with friends, family, and colleagues is vital for daily resilience. Research shows that spending time with friends and family can improve heart, brain, hormonal and immune health. These relationships serve as a source of emotional strength and a reminder that you have a support system available to help you cope during difficult times.

Try: Quality time

Organising a family dinner, out of work drinks with colleagues, or a walk with friends is a great way to connect and strengthen the positive relationships already in your life. 

Embrace change and adaptability

Learning to adapt to the inevitable changes that life brings is a cornerstone of resilience. Instead of resisting change or trying to control the uncontrollable, approach the unexpected with an open mind and as an opportunity for growth.  Doing so will enable you to successfully navigate life’s inevitable transitions and challenges.

Try: A random challenge routine

Integrate a daily “random challenge” into your routine. This could involve doing a task in a different way, trying something new, or intentionally exposing yourself to minor discomfort. The key is to introduce a small element of unpredictability into your day.

  1. Each morning, pick a small challenge for the day. It could be as simple as taking a different route to work, changing the order of your routine, or initiating a conversation with someone you don’t know well.
  2. At the end of the day, reflect on how you adapted to the challenge. Consider your initial feelings, the adjustments you made, and the outcomes. This process reinforces your ability to handle unexpected situations and builds resilience over time.

This practice helps condition your mind to be more flexible and responsive in the face of change.  By intentionally seeking out and embracing small challenges, you’ll develop the resilience needed to navigate larger, unforeseen changes with greater ease.

Practise self-compassion

It’s important to be kind to yourself daily. We often hold ourselves to high standards, and when we don’t meet them, self-criticism can take a toll on our resilience. Practising self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a friend when faced with setbacks. When you treat yourself with kindness, you build a more positive self-image and reinforce your emotional resilience.

Try: Daily self-compassion affirmation 

This practice serves as a gentle reminder to approach setbacks with self-compassion rather than harsh self-criticism, contributing to the development of a more positive self-image and reinforcing emotional resilience over time.

  1. Find a quiet space where you can reflect without distractions.
  2. Read aloud or recite a personalised affirmation. For example: “Today, I will be kind to myself, acknowledging that I am deserving of compassion. When faced with challenges, I will treat myself with the same kindness and understanding that I would offer to a friend. I recognise that setbacks are a part of life, and they do not define my worth. In moments of difficulty, I choose self-compassion over self-criticism.”
  3. Repeat this affirmation daily, either in the morning as part of your routine or whenever you find a quiet moment. 
  4. Customise the affirmation to address specific challenges or situations you anticipate in your day. This personalisation makes the affirmation more relevant and impactful.
  5. This affirmation can also be used as part of ‘Catch, Check, Change’, a technique designed to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns. By ‘catching’ negative thoughts, ‘checking’ if what you’re thinking is true, and ‘changing’ the thought by replacing it with a more balanced or positive perspective, individuals can develop more adaptive thought patterns, leading to improved emotional well-being and coping mechanisms.

Resilience isn’t an innate trait; it’s a resource that can be developed through daily practice. By incorporating mindfulness, setting achievable goals, fostering positive relationships, embracing change, and practising self-compassion, you can build your resilience and face life’s challenges with a greater sense of strength and adaptability. These habits empower you to thrive in the face of adversity and maintain your well-being in a constantly changing world.

About Author

Peta Sigley is the CEO and Co-founder of Springfox, Australia’s leading providers of evidence-based resilience training for individuals and organisations. Peta has a background in psychology and education, and works extensively with individuals, teams and organisations to help build resilience and enhance performance and wellbeing – both in the workplace and outside it.