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About This Resource

What It Does

This article will teach you about:

Dealing with highs and low in our lives
The importance of resilience

How It Helps

This tool will help you:

Become more resilient
Create a stronger support system
Accept change & adversity in life

This article will teach you about:

Dealing with highs and low in our lives
The importance of resilience

This tool will help you:

Become more resilient
Create a stronger support system
Accept change & adversity in life

In addition to resources like this one, Homewood Health and Kids Help Phone also offer 24/7 confidential counselling at no cost.

If you'd like to speak to somebody, you can call or text the numbers below:

📞 Phone. Call 1-866-585-0445 (Adults) or 1-888-668-6810 (Youth) to speak with a counsellor.

📱 Text (SMS). Text WELLNESS to 741741 (Adult) or 686868 (Youth) to connect with a trained volunteer crisis responder for support.

However, If you’re interested in finding more resources like this one, including self-guided courses, webinars, peer-to-peer support groups, live counselling, mindfulness meditations, and more, you can create an account for free. You’ll also be able to complete a wellness assessment and track your progress towards your wellness goals.


We all experience great highs and great lows during our lives. While the highs are thrilling, the lows can bring us to our knees. Some people seem to have difficulty dealing with adversity. Others get up, dust themselves off and carry on. These are people who have more of what psychologists call "resilience."

Resilience is important in today’s fast-paced, stressful world. It’s the ability to face life’s challenges, cope with change, and rebound from setbacks.[1]

Being resilient doesn’t mean we don’t feel sad, angry, or upset. It simply means we find a way to deal with it.[2]

Building resilience

We all need this ability if we are to learn, get through tough times, and become stronger. Some people seem to be naturally resilient. This is thanks to their personality or upbringing. However, most of us have to build our resilience.[3] This can be done with a few changes to our lifestyle and outlook. If you feel you need to build your resilience, try the following:

  • Create a support system. It’s important to have people to share your feelings with and get advice from. This could be your family, friends, or someone else. Having support from others is essential for handling life's ups and downs.[4]

  • Be an optimist. Try to see the positive in every situation. Stay hopeful and excited about what life has to offer. When faced with a setback, know that you can and will get through it. Negativity is contagious, so try to surround yourself with positive people. They’ll help you remain upbeat and be ready to tackle challenges.[5]

  • Accept change. We can’t fight change. It’s part of life. It may be disruptive, but if you adapt rather than resist, you’ll feel happier and less stressed. Resilience involves finding creative solutions to difficult situations. It also includes keeping calm in times of turmoil.[6]

  • Adopt a survivor's view of life. Resilient people don’t blame others or see themselves as victims. They don’t say, “Why do things like this always happen to me?” Instead, they say, “I can, and will, get through this.”[7]

  • Develop your problem-solving and communication skills. When faced with a problem, learn to examine the situation and come up with solutions. Stay calm and remain focused on the problem instead of getting upset and lashing out at others.[8]

  • Have a sense of humour. Being able to laugh at yourself or the situation you’re in helps keep things in perspective. Resilient people don’t take themselves too seriously.[9]

  • Be in control. Take action. Don’t just wait for the problem to go away or for others to solve it. Feeling in control helps us cope and come up with creative solutions. [10]

  • Learn from failure. Use setbacks to develop better coping, problem-solving, or people skills. Be willing to take risks and learn from mistakes. Think about what you did right, what you could have done better, and what you will do next time. Learning from experience helps us become wiser, more capable people.[11]

  • Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your physical and emotional health. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and find time for things you enjoy. Find healthy ways to cope with stress and you’ll find it easier to get through tough times.[12]

  • Ask for help. A support system is great, but we have to know when to reach out for professional support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact your family doctor or your Employee Assistance Program. Ask if they can connect you with a counsellor. 

Resilience helps us in every aspect of our lives. It helps with both day-to-day challenges and coping with unexpected events. It’s more than bouncing back from adversity. Resilience is the ability to bounce forward and come back stronger, wiser, and better able to face future challenges.

References: 

  1. American Psychological Association / University of New Hampshire.

  2. PBS, This Emotional Life.

  3. Pick the Brain.

  4. American Psychological Association.

  5. Pick the Brain.

  6. American Psychological Association.

  7. About.com, Characteristics of Resilience.

  8. PBS, This Emotional Life.

  9. Canadian Mental Health Association.

  10. University of New Hampshire.

  11. Mayo Clinic.

  12. American Psychological Association / Canadian Mental Health
    Association / Mayo Clinic.