The Lifesaver of Resilience

Dr Michael E. Bernard

Founder, You Can Do It! Education

Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Former Professor, Melbourne Graduate School for Education, Melbourne University
Doctorate of Educational Psychology

The Lifesaver of Resilience

In these stressful days, there is a strength you can call on to help you cope – it’s your RESILIENCE.

Resilience protects us from the negative and painful feelings we can experience at these times, much like an umbrella protects us from the rain.

The good news is that everyone can be resilient, even if it’s been somewhat battered and bruised.

What exactly is resilience?

Simply, it means being aware of how you feel, staying calm when you get very upset, managing your behaviour so you don’t get too negative, calming down quickly and bouncing back.

When is it needed?

Whenever you face difficulty, changes could occur at work – cutbacks in hours of employment, working from home or being laid off. Or difficulties at home -forced proximity with immediate family, lack of opportunities to meet with friends, oversight of children’s distance learning, relationship difficulties.

The Resilient Lifesaver can help you stay afloat when faced with stress at home or work.

Suppose you are getting stressed out by your kids. If you want to be positive with them no matter how demanding they are. To do so, you must be very resilient, and The Resilient Lifesaver can help.

You’ll see the Lifesaver has four parts.

  • First, pick a specific situation where your child is doing your head in, and you are feeling out of control. Decide how you’d rather be reacting.
  • Second, use self-talk to stay positive: “This isn’t the worst thing that could be happening. I can cope. This won’t last forever. I won’t take this personally”.
  • Third, you decide to use relaxation breathing and chat with a friend to help you unwind, be patient and re-focus.
  • Fourth, you do not give up! Instead, you figure out the best way for your child to change their behaviour confidently. You put the plan into action. Then, you persist, including going to a different Plan B.
The Resilience Lifesaver. How to be resilient

Steps for Strengthening Your Resilience

  • Prepare means you are transparent about what event or person is stressing you out. You decide ahead of time on the positive ways you’d like to feel and behave to make the problem go away – if possible!
  • Self-talk is the private conversations you have with yourself. The key here is to eliminate negative thinking and replace it with healthier, more positive thoughts.
  • Coping skills are the little things you can do to keep calm and relaxed.
  • Action is how you deal with a stressful event and solve the problem so that it reduces in size or disappears altogether.

Resilience means being strong, positive and having self-belief. It’s not something you are born with. The good news is that we can all learn to be more resilient. The Resilience Lifesaver can help.

You can watch our video that explains RESILIENCE. Have a look and share with others at home and school:

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