A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life Discover Yourself

‘R’ is for Resilience – Why you need it in the good times and bad

April 20, 2018


ResilienceWhat makes the human spirit resilient? What makes us get up when we are knocked down? Resilience can be learned and built upon each day to make us stronger and more capable of coping with trauma and problems.

How resilient are you?  Can you take on the challenges of life when they come or do you feel overwhelmed and collapse at the first sign of difficulty?  What makes communities who have been devastated by natural forces, pull together and rebuild?  The good news is that we can learn resilience and build upon it in everyday life.

Life will never run smoothly so in order to Thrive we need to build Resilience to be able to cope with the more difficult times in life.

I’ve recently taken a course “Professional Resilience” provided by FutureLearn and Deakin University.  Whilst some of the discussion was based around careers, the course could also be relevant to everyday life and I would like to share some of my main learnings you in this post.

What is Resilience?

  • the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  • the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity

The above two definitions are the more common thoughts about how we view the term ‘resilience’, however studies have shown that being resilient is more complex.  There are many views on what resilience is:

  • Resilience is not a permanent state.  We can learn resilience and it is a process we work towards
  • Resilience requires supportive relationships and not just relying on our individual efforts
  • Resilience is about being able to ‘bounce back’ after difficult times.
  • Resilience is also about the ability to problem solve and find creative solutions during the good times
  • Resilience is about being open, flexible and the ability to adapt.  If we can learn to respond positively to everyday situations we are more likely to be able to handle larger problems more effectively.

Self-care practices to build Resilience


Being mindful on a daily basis helps us to take care of ourselves during the ‘busyness’ of each day.  It is about being in the present moment but not necessarily trying to achieve an empty mind.


Having a bad day?  Incorporating Spot Meditations into your day will reduce anxiety and stress.  Spot Meditations can be done anywhere at anytime during the day and they are just a few seconds or minutes rather than a 20 minutes Meditation.


Most of us don’t get enough sleep or the sleep we have is not quality.  Professor Matthew Walker is a leading neuroscientist and ‘sleep expert’.  He suggests that we are experiencing a ‘catastrophic global sleep epidemic’ with ‘many people walking through life in an under-slept state without realising it’.

Sleep is a vital part of keeping healthy but is also essential for learning and emotional well-being.  Sleep is the time when our bodies and minds can regenerate.

Listen in order to communicate

Most of us would automatically think that communication is verbal, however listening and the way we listen is also important.  Equally important is to listen whilst speaking.  That means becoming aware of the body language of the person(s) you are talking to.  Because part of becoming resilient relies on social interaction and receiving support of friends during times of stress, good communication which includes listening, is another area that helps in building resilience.

Create your Own Resilience Plan

During the course we were provided with a worksheet to create our own Resilience Plan.  Starting with what our definition of resilience is, setting a short term goal to build our resilience, listing the support required and where we would find that support and finally building a resilience framework.  I have included  the link below if you would like to try to build your own Resilience plan.

My Resilience Plan Worksheet

Do you feel you are resilient?  Will you create your own resilience plan?


This was a fascinating subject which I’ve only touched on in this post.  However, here is the link if you would like to take the FREE online course.  Please note:  I have no affiliation with FutureLearn or Deakin University,  I found the course interesting and informative and wanted to share my thoughts.


In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘S’ is for Self Care, Self Respect and Self-Investment.I do hope you will join me.

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

Want practical and motivational ways to learn to Thrive rather than just Survive in life?  Click here and Subscribe to receive my daily posts as they publish plus a FREE COPY of my E-Book ’10 Ways you can start Thriving Today’.

Let’s Start Thriving Today!




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  • Reply Candi Randolph April 20, 2018 at 04:28

    I agree that while resilience certainly applies to life changing events, it is also a part of our everyday living as you pointed out so well. We all have times that we must go to ‘Plan B’ when unexpected things happen. The more we adapt to these types of situations, the more prepared we’ll be when something of great significance occurs. Great post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2018 at 11:23

      That is so right, Candi. The more we can adapt to situations the more resilient we become. Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections April 20, 2018 at 04:36

    I agree that resilience is aided by the ability to step away from what has happened (past), honour our present and maintain an open mind of how we can move forward. Another very helpful post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2018 at 11:23

      We all have the ability to be resilient don’t we Donna? Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply patwdoyle11 April 20, 2018 at 04:48

    I believe that practicing positivity has improved my resilience. Being more emotionally aware and choosing to be more positive about life. Having an attitude of gratitude. Daily journalling to help do both of those things. Creating a support network, too. All that helped when I was hit with one of the big things that can test resilience (cancer). Some longer term friends were actually surprised at how resilient I was! It was not the same person of the past. It still is an area I practice though … its the “R” in my SOAR!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2018 at 11:22

      I love that you have words for each letter of SOAR, Pat. I didn’t realise you had cancer but it certainly makes you appreciate life doesn’t it. I think the stronger and more resilient you are the better you are at fighting diseases like the big ‘C’. Keep SOARing my friend!

  • Reply Leanne April 20, 2018 at 16:22

    I remember when I hit a really low point in my life, my husband commented that he felt I’d lost my resilience – and that summed it up exactly. I’d lost the ability to bounce back. Fortunately with time (and a little bit of medication) I got myself back on track, but those days of being stuck in the bottom of the well were ones I don’t want to revisit any time soon! Resilience is one of my favourite words these days.

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    R for Remember Silence

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 13:30

      It is hard sometimes to draw on our inner strength isn’t it, Leanne? I’m so pleased you feel more resilient these days and have your mojo back. x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 20, 2018 at 19:19

    We do need resilience to cope with what life throws at us. I plan to come back to the link to build a resilience plan Sue,!Over the last few days I’ve needed every bit of resilience I could muster to get my #AtoZ posts published on time,

  • Reply Victoria April 20, 2018 at 20:03

    I feel I have spent most of my life being resilient for one reason then another. There have been times I just didn’t want to bounce back but for whatever reason my thoughts changed and I did. I am a Christian and prayer keeps me going knowing there is a higher power that has my best interests can be very calming.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 14:37

      Yes faith can play a huge part in being resilient Victoria. I know my mother had great faith when she battled cancer for 10 years back in the late 70s. Her faith gave her the courage to withstand the struggle. xx

  • Reply Weekends in Maine April 20, 2018 at 22:42

    Resilience is so important in life. I just finished reading “Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World” by Ama and Stephanie Marston. It was excellent. I like to think I”m resilient, but it’s a work in progress like most things. Weekends In Maine

  • Reply Ally Bean April 20, 2018 at 22:44

    I am resilient. I’m good at getting the bounce back in my pounce. I’m a good problem solver which is a blessed thing– considering how many things I’m not good at that require solutions!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 14:35

      Oh I like that ‘getting the bounce back in my pounce’! Have a great weekend x

  • Reply doreeweller April 21, 2018 at 02:22

    You make good points about resilience. Right now, my primary goal is to try to get enough sleep. I’m terrible about going to bed at “bedtime,” and I know I’m not at my best when I don’t! I consider myself to be pretty resilient, but I think there’s always room for improvement. The resilience worksheet is pretty useful.
    R is for Books About Regret

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 14:35

      Many of us don’t get enough sleep. I feel tired, go to bed and then find I’m wide awake!!

  • Reply Heather Erickson April 21, 2018 at 04:05

    Wow! Excellent post, Sue. You hit so many important points. The suggestions you give are very applicable to professionals, of course, but also to caregivers. I wonder, sometimes about bouncing back. It can feel like we don’t always return to the shape we were before. We’ve been stretched to the max and because of that, lose a bit of our original form. I think the more resilient we are, though, the more we are able to find some way of excelling, despite being different. This is interesting to ponder for me. I don’t always feel resilient. Thank you for this. I will be sharing it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 14:30

      You are so resilient Heather. I’ve only known you a few weeks through the AtoZ but you and your husband have certainly shown your relience. Enjoy your weekend xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 21, 2018 at 06:56

    Really interesting Sue! When I was working t was pointed out to me that had to become more resilient if I was to progress further up the corporate ladder. It is something you can learn and doesn’t just mean we need to toughen up as your post points out. The future learn courses are a great idea and this one sounds very useful for you. Thanks for sharing your resilience 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 21, 2018 at 13:35

      Yes I enjoy the Future Learn courses and I’ve done several now. They are short and sharp and provide some great information. I did one on positive aging last year which was really good.

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid May 5, 2018 at 21:31

    Everything you say here is so true. With my illness I’ve had to take on challenges and learn how to cope by finding solutions to help me feel better. Shared x 4 ♥

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 6, 2018 at 11:21

      You would know first hand wouldn’t you Dee. It isn’t until we are hit with something that we realise how strong we are. Thanks for sharing and take care xx

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