Build Resilience: #bouncebackNAU
Everyone has strengths Accordion Closed
Instead of worrying about your weaknesses and questioning your worth, try to focus on your strengths. Knowing your strengths and further developing them helps to foster a more optimistic outlook which can be beneficial in many ways. Explore your strengths and find ways to apply them in difficult situations. Identifying your strengths can help you better respond to adversity and helps foster self-confidence.
- Everyone has strengths! When life has you down, remember your strongest qualities. For example, is kindness a strength of yours, or maybe love of learning? Find ways to incorporate these into your daily life and academics.
- Remember what you have overcome. Reflect on a time of adversity and recall personal qualities and strategies that you used to overcome that hard time. Look for ways to apply that strength now. You made it to college so don’t forget that accomplishment!
- Foster a positive view of yourself. Building confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts, helps build resilience. What is one thing you have accomplished in this past year that you are proud of? It is important to celebrate victories, no matter how small!
- Grow your strengths and move toward your goals. Develop some realistic, achievable goals. Do something regularly, even if it is small, that enables you to move toward your goals. What is one small step you could take now to help move you toward your goals? Look for opportunities that will help you reach these goals like taking a training, attending a tutoring session or finding a friend who will hold you accountable.
It’s okay to fail Accordion Closed
Failure, it happens. It is never ideal and it can throw a wrench in plans, but it can help us grow and can be a wonderful learning opportunity. Do you know how to ride a bike? Well, you didn’t always and you probably had a few scary moments when learning. Learning to embrace failure and bouncing back when it happens ensures that you get outside your comfort zone and reach your goals.
- Don’t let failure stop you. Have you experienced a recent break-up with a romantic partner or failed your mid-term? Show yourself the same compassion you would show a close friend and remind yourself that failure happens, but is not forever.
- Make a plan. It is what we do after a failure that is most important. Will your failure stop you from moving forward or motivate you to figure out a new plan and push on? Take control of what you can, and let go of the things you cannot change. Learning from failure is imperative to growth.
- Remember, you are not alone in your failure. Many very successful people have had setbacks. For instance, J.K. Rowling, professors here at NAU, and even your friends and family have experienced setbacks. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to keep going.
- Perfection is an illusion. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect and set unrealistically high expectations, but perfection is impossible. Remind yourself that you are human. Without change and failure, there would be no growth. Take some time to reevaluate your goals and expectations you have set for yourself.
- Take the chance; get outside of your comfort zone! Sometimes the fear of failure stops us from taking chances like applying for a job you really want, switching to a major you have dreamed of, or trying a new hobby. Don’t let fear stop you from getting the most out of life.
Surround yourself with supportive people Accordion Closed
Social support is a very important part of being resilient and bouncing back. Social connections can increase our wellness, provide us with a sense of belonging, and allow us to feel supported by others, during the joyful times as well as the hard times. When we have strong, healthy relationships, we add value to our lives. Being able to ask for help, lean on others, and build social connections is key to bouncing back! You don’t have to have a huge crew, just a few strong social connections can make a big difference in your long term mental and physical health outcomes.
Ways to build stronger connections in your life:
- Develop strong social skills. Work on being an attentive listener, asking open-ended questions, finding things in common (favorite foods, major, hobbies, hometown), and using good eye contact (when culturally appropriate) – these can make connecting with others easier! Avoid interrupting others when they are talking. Express genuine interest in other people.
- Join a student organization – NAU has over 300! Connect with other students who have common interests.
- Be present. When you are out with friends or in class with peers, refrain from using tech and really relish in that time together. Be mindful that social media can sometimes give us a false sense of a connection and can be a distracting when spending time with people in real life.
- Make a difference. Volunteer on campus or in the community – help others, build your resume, and meet new people.
- Find a new hobby. Try something you have never done before and look for other newbies around so you can learn together.
- Find an on-campus job. Consider applying for a job on campus to meet new people, make some extra money, and build better communication skills. Developing these “soft skills” can help you land that dream job after college!
- This TED talk will explore the three requirements for healthy friendships. Watch Frientimacy and then take a moment to reflect on friendships in your life.
- How is your social capital? Check out this quiz and see if there are any improvements you can make.
- Learn more about the benefits of social connection here.
Develop a self-care plan Accordion Closed
Stress is our body’s reaction to something we perceive as a challenge or a threat. Some stress is normal and can actually be good for us (motivates us to study for an exam), but we want to be mindful of prolonged, chronic stress that can be harmful to our health, wellbeing, and academic success. When we regularly engage in self-care and stress management practices, our body is better primed and prepared to respond to stressors. For example, think of responding to stress when you’re sleep deprived vs. when you’re well rested. Engaging in regular self-care, prioritizes your well-being and contributes to better emotional health, physical health and academic performance.
- Strive for Balance. Find a balance between academics, social time, work, responsibilities, and self-care. When we devote all of our time to one thing, we begin to neglect other areas of our life causing stress and imbalance. Try to build a schedule (and stick to it) that includes a time each day for movement, studying, and at least one day/night of fun in your week. Avoid over committing when you can.
- Be aware of your stress triggers. Our body gives us subtle signs when we are starting to get stressed (tension, appetite changes, anxiousness, etc.). When you feel stress coming on, take some extra time to engage in self-care. Call a friend, take a walk, make sure you’ve eaten, or just find a few minutes to chill.
- Learn ways to relax without technology. While Netflix can feel relaxing and enjoyable, there are ways to relax that create a relaxation response in our body. We can elicit this by engaging in deep-breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery. Consider stopping into Meditation Monday in Health Promotion, taking a few deep breathes outside, and being mindful of how tech affects your stress levels.
- Seek support. Do not hesitate to seek support when stress becomes unmanageable. Students can get support through Counseling Services, Health Promotion, the Academic Success Centers, and more!
- Create a self-care routine. Find a plan that fits your schedule and needs!
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep most nights
- Maintain personal connections with others
- Organize your space
- Utilize tools to manage your time
- Find an exercise or movement you enjoy
- Spend time in nature
- Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Allow yourself to say “no” to unnecessary things when you are feeling overwhelmed
- The Stressbusters Wellness app offers rapid relaxation tracks, videos, and stress-reducing tools, and a calendar full of campus and community wellness events updates like PAWS Your Stress and Meditation Monday. NAU Students receive free access to this app!
- Kelly McGonigal explains how we can reframe our perception of the stress response and use it to our advantage, resulting in less harm to our health and wellbeing.
- The APA explains that self-care is not only for crisis situations, but for the day-to-day maintenance.
- Need some new self-care ideas? Check out Active Minds’ extensive list of activities to help you reenergize.