by Diana Parafiniuk, founder of E-Therapy
I had the pleasure of attending the ASCD Virtual Symposium, Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools, last week. The keynote speaker, Elena Aguilar’s presentation was timely and important. Elena presented on resilience and resilience building strategies. Resilience, by definition, is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In other words: toughness.
Right now, during this tumultuous environment that we find ourselves in, implementing resilience building strategies in our daily life is key to how we cope and move forward.
Elena outlined 12 strategies in her presentation and they all rang true for me. They are simple, yet, we forget to implement them. Her talk was a necessary reminder of what we can do for ourselves to become more resilient, strategies to keep in your pocket and use so you can be stronger.
The few resilience building strategies that stuck out were:
#4 Recognize, name and accept emotions
Recognize, name and accept emotions was new for me personally. Time moves fast, there is always so much required of us, and it’s always a race to the finish line, so not being in touch with my emotions or tending to them later, is normal practice. However, a reminder to take that moment, to “set a date” with my emotions, pause, listen to them, and ask myself about my feelings, made me realize how little I take the time to check in with myself!
By checking in with your emotions, you become able to deal with how you feel, confront the emotion, accept it, and become more whole. Once you do this, you are available to share your emotions, which others may need from you. Sharing your own feelings is an important strategy to build resilience and support yourself and others.
#5 Stay connected to people
Staying connected to others: During this pandemic, that is so challenging and yet so essential to building resilience. Elena encouraged me to nourish my connections. She had creative suggestions such as:
- writing old-fashioned letters
- taking that extra moment for a “happy hour” with friends and family
- organizing social distance get togethers safely
Even when you are feeling low, those connections and ties keep you strong.
#10 Look for the bright spots
Look for the bright spots! WOW! Remember in your day to look for the small stuff that brings joy or provides comfort. Looking for the bright spots does not mean you deny your sadness or difficult times, but it allows you to incorporate those bright spots as well. By doing this, you build up your resilience, get reminded of what you are grateful for, and it brings you back to center.
Need more strategies to manage your mental health? Check out Ten Tips to Keep You From Falling Apart This School Year.
About Elena Aguilar
Elena is the founder and president of Bright Morning, an international education, coaching and consulting firm. She offers training in coaching, education consulting, and professional development to educators and mission-driven leaders across the United States and abroad. In her role as a consultant, she has partnered with leaders in public and private organizations across the United States and abroad.
About the ASCD
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is a unique educational organization because of its service to educators across the professional spectrum, from teachers to superintendents. Find out more at http://www.ascd.org/