Riding the Waves of Life: How to Build Resiliency
FROM CARRIE C. KUBACKI, POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT EXTENSION EDUCATOR, UW-MADISON DIVISION OF EXTENSION
The world continues to be a turbulent and stressful place. With ongoing challenges from COVID-19 and racial division, we may feel our daily lives are out of control. How can we manage the physical, mental and emotional impacts of all of these challenges for ourselves, our families and our communities? One opportunity we all have to face these stressful times is to build our resiliency.
Resiliency is the ability to “bounce back” from adversity, trauma and threats that we encounter throughout our lives. However, it is not only the ability to survive from these experiences—but also to thrive. Researchers from Harvard University use the analogy of a balance scale or seesaw. When we are overwhelmed from stress and adversity, the scale will drop to the negative side. However, by increasing our positive experiences and coping skills, we can bring the scale (and our lives) back into balance, and possibly even tilt the scale up to “thriving.”
What is helpful to know about resiliency is that it can be increased at any age. All of us can learn how to build our coping skills to help strengthen our thoughts, behaviors and overall quality of life. Throughout this summer, UW-Madison Division of Extension will be offering tips and activities on how to strengthen different aspects of resiliency for ourselves and others around us to help build our own capacity for stronger communities. Visit langlade.extension.wisc.edu or Facebook: Langlade County Division of Extension regularly to see new resiliency opportunities in your area. For additional information about resiliency please visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/resilient/index.htm or https://www.mindresilience.org/.