Building Resilience

Building Resilience

Stress is a part of our lives. Unmanaged stress, however, can take a serious physical toll on the body. Most of us have experienced first-hand, at some point, the effects of stress such as fatigue, tension, nervousness, and loss of appetite. Resilience, the ability to adapt to adversity and setbacks, is key to minimizing the negative effects of stress and keeping it in check. Improving self-esteem, developing a strong support system, and taking care of your physical and mental health also play a critical role in combating stress and facing hardships.

Here are some important steps and strategies to help build your resilience:

  • Cultivate Strong Connections. Having strong, positive relationships with family and friends provides a cushion of acceptance and support that can help you weather tough times.
  • Believe You Will Overcome. You have probably handled and survived difficult situations in the past. Look back at the road you traveled, think about your strength, and be confident that you will get through current struggles too.
  • Accept that Change is Part of Living. The reality is that certain things cannot be controlled. What’s important is how you respond to the situation. Acknowledge your concerns and trust your ability to grow, adapt, and move forward in your life.
  • Keep a Long-Term and Hopeful Outlook. Even though your feelings may be overwhelming at times, think ahead to things you are looking forward to in the future. Consider creating long-term goals and work backwards by setting intermediate goals for yourself so that you can feel productive and purposeful every day.
  • Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health. It’s especially important when you are feeling stressed to continue to eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and regular exercise. Since alcohol and caffeine can increase stress levels, try to avoid or reduce their consumption.

Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Help

If you need help dealing with a personal crisis, or would like additional resources and strategies for improving your resilience, contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential counseling and other services. The EAP provides you and your eligible family members with someone to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services are provided at no cost to you. For help or more information, contact your Component EAP or send an email to worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

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