Congratulations! You made it through the hardest part of the year. Between getting back to your school routine, taking on extracurriculars, crushing your homework, staying close with your friends and fam, and keeping your head on straight, getting through fall is no easy feat. But here you are, and you’re doing great.
But if the last couple of weeks—or even months—have left your head spinning, you’re not alone! Getting through stressful times can feel like a task in and of itself, but we’ve got some tips and tricks for becoming your most resilient self. So if you’re feeling like a not-so-great version of yourself, read on for 5 ways to get your shine back.
First things first, what even is resilience?
According to the trusty dictionary, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or toughness. So basically, it’s that little voice inside your head that says, “You can do hard things.”
Now, how do we get it?
If you’re thinking, “Umm, I’m not sure if I have that voice in my head!” don’t worry. There are a few trusty ways to find that inner voice (and turn it up when things feel especially out of control).
#1: Challenge Yourself
Though it might sound like the opposite of what you should do when you’re already feeling overwhelmed, there’s no better way to remind yourself of what you can do than, well, just doing it! Think of it this way: You already have lots of stuff on your to-do list that has to get done. Those are what we call external pressures.
Now if you set specific goals for yourself on top of that to-do list (for example, instead of “I need to finish that paper,” you might decide, “I want to get an A on that paper.”) that’s some good self motivation to give yourself a reason to not just step up to the plate—but knock it out of the park.
If you’re having a hard time getting motivated for not-so-exciting tasks (we get it), add some fun challenges to your routine, like taking up a new sport, learning to cook a new recipe, or finishing a book just for fun. You got this!
#2: Take Breaks
Part of being resilient is knowing that it’s time to hit pause before you absolutely have to. Like if you knew you were going to a sleepover tonight, you would probably take a nap this afternoon even if you aren’t super tired so that your body doesn’t zonk out at 10 pm when all your friends are still up. The same theory applies to just about everything. If you know you’ve got a busy week ahead, plan your breaks and fun activities just like you plan everything else on your schedule. This will keep you energized and fueled up—both physically and mentally—so you can keep on keepin’ on without an unexpected crash.
#3: Hype Yourself Up
Like we mentioned in Tip #1, the most reliable form of self motivation is YOU. When things feel like too much, it can be tempting to just tune out and turn to TikTok or Netflix to take your mind off of things.
But before you do that, practice some positive self talk. It may sound (and even feel) silly at first, but positive self-talk is actually proven to boost confidence and curb negative emotions. So march yourself in front of the mirror and tell yourself just how awesome you are.
Too weird? Start with a mantra, like our favorite, “I can do hard things.” The more you say it, the truer it becomes! Still too weird? Turn up your favorite feel good song and sing it to yourself. You’re a rockstar—and don’t you forget it!
#4: Okay, Check Out
So you’ve tried all the things and you’re still totally exhausted, overwhelmed, and generally BLAH? While we don’t recommend hitting pause as your first line of defense, it’s sometimes totally necessary. But before you head to your bedroom for a weekend of introverted bliss, make a list of things to do that will help you feel better about yourself when you re-emerge. For example, instead of re-watching your old favorite show for the 17th time, keep a list of shows you want to watch, books you want to read, and other relaxing activities (manicure, anyone?) you keep meaning to do, so your down-time can serve as a serious pick-me-up.
#5: Talk to Your Friends
Most importantly, through all of this, remember you’re never alone in your struggles. Instead of keeping everything bottled up inside, talk to your closest friends. Not only will this help you get some stress off your chest, but it’ll probably also help bring you even closer together. Oh—and if being your own hype woman didn’t work out, you know your friends are always there to step up to the plate and make you feel your best, even when it’s not easy.