Building and developing resilience during tough times – 5 simple techniques

Since having completed our Resilience Practitioner Training we have found the tools and techniques invaluable and we are delighted to be able to share with you some free techniques that we hope will support you right now, and in your future work and life. We’ve been using these techniques ourselves and have found them so incredibly helpful and we hope you will too.

Here we are sharing just 5 simple techniques to get you started and we encourage you to give them a try and use them as often as you like or need and let us know how you get on. Feel free to share this with family, friends and colleagues.

Dr Chris Johnstone says; “Resilience is something you do rather than something you have”. It’s so empowering to think that resilience is not something we are just born with, or not, it is something we can do, therefore it is something we can learn and develop and build, and these tools are a great way to “do” resilience…so important in these times.

1. Here’s me facing…. what I find helps is….

On a blank sheet of paper simply write down and complete the two sentences above, for example:

Here’s me facing….this out of control situation that’s causing me to feel anxious….”

What I find helps is….listing all the things I have control over that I can do something about, talking to friends and family, creating a routine, limiting news, structuring my day, writing in my journal, walking in the fresh air, writing a plan …” etc.

This exercise can help you to identify the things you know help you when you are facing a challenge, so think about what you know works for you, what always helps you in challenging times, and focus on doing those things.

2. Train track thinking – is thinking like this helping me or harming me? Choose to divert down a different track.

Ask yourself the key question; “is thinking like this helping me or harming me?”

Challenge your own thinking in this way whenever you catch yourself going down an unhelpful thinking track and explore a new thinking track instead.

Our trains of thought often follow deeply ingrained thinking tracks that influence our mood and behaviour. We know that when we think in a certain way, we will tend to feel a certain way and therefore behave in a certain way. But what if we choose to think differently, if we choose a different thinking track to go down, how might we then feel and behave?

3. Hunt the good stuff

Hold an appreciative gaze and hunt the good stuff in the small and big things.

Take time to consciously make a note of the ‘good stuff’ that is around you or that you have noticed has happened during the day.

Pause during your day to ask yourself “what do I value and appreciate here?” or you could…

…look back over your day and remember…what were your best moments from the day? What did you really value and appreciate? Take yourself back there and remember how you felt.

4. Create a moment of calm – five sense check in

This can really help to bring you back to the present, by focusing on our senses it can bring us out of our heads and the ongoing rumination and worry.

Simply ask yourself these 5 questions, take your time and breathe deeply as you do it.

  • What am I seeing around me?
  • What am I hearing right now?
  • Can I smell anything? If so what?
  • Can I taste anything? If so what?
  • What do I feel in my body? Scan your body and notice what you feel.

5. Hoped for outcome – what will make the best outcome more likely

Begin with the end in mind and ask yourself; “what do I hope will happen here?” Then consider; “what is the best outcome for me in this current situation and what can I do?” “What is within my control, to make that best outcome more likely?”

Your expectations and goals may have changed in recent times so you may find this a helpful check in….

Different techniques may help at different times and as you become more familiar with them you can choose the right one for you. For now, try choosing one of these techniques to focus on each day and consciously practice it…see how it helps.

Sending our very best wishes to you all, our clients, colleagues, friends and all of your families.

Emma & Jenny

The information shared in this blog is inspired by and drawn from our Resilience Practitioner Training with Dr Chris Johnstone from and we highly recommend his book Seven Ways to Build Resilience.

As well as coaching workshops for women we also offer One to One Coaching via Zoom from £60 per session (£51 when you book 3 sessions). Please note, prices listed are offered in line with our social values and our desire to make coaching more accessible. If you are looking for coaching within an organisation please get in touch.

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