Resilience Building Strategies for Tumultuous Times

Resilience Building Strategies for Tumultuous Times

young woman standing in a field

by Diana Parafiniuk, founder of E-Therapy

I had the pleasure of attending the ASCD Virtual Symposium, Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools, last week. The keynote speaker, Elena Aguilar’s presentation was timely and important. Elena presented on resilience and resilience building strategiesResilience, by definition, is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In other words: toughness. Right now, during this tumultuous environment that we find ourselves in, implementing resilience building strategies in our daily life is key to how we cope and move forward. Elena outlined 12 strategies in her presentation and they all rang true for me. They are simple, yet, we forget to implement them. Her talk was a necessary reminder of what we can do for ourselves to become more resilient, strategies to keep in your pocket and use so you can be stronger. slide from ASCD presentation on building resilience

The few resilience building strategies that stuck out were: 

#4 Recognize, name and accept emotions 

Recognize, name and accept emotions was new for me personally. Time moves fast, there is always so much required of us, and it’s always a race to the finish line, so not being in touch with my emotions or tending to them later, is normal practice. However, a reminder to take that moment, to “set a date” with my emotions, pause, listen to them, and ask myself about my feelings, made me realize how little I take the time to check in with myself! By checking in with your emotions, you become able to deal with how you feel, confront the emotion, accept it, and become more whole. Once you do this, you are available to share your emotions, which others may need from you. Sharing your own feelings is an important strategy to build resilience and support yourself and others. 

 #5 Stay connected to people

Staying connected to others: During this pandemic, that is so challenging and yet so essential to building resilience. Elena encouraged me to nourish my connections. She had creative suggestions such as:

  • writing old-fashioned letters 
  • taking that extra moment for a “happy hour” with friends and family 
  • organizing social distance get togethers safely

Even when you are feeling low, those connections and ties keep you strong. 

#10 Look for the bright spots

Look for the bright spots! WOW! Remember in your day to look for the small stuff that brings joy or provides comfort. Looking for the bright spots does not mean you deny your sadness or difficult times, but it allows you to incorporate those bright spots as well. By doing this, you build up your resilience, get reminded of what you are grateful for, and it brings you back to center. Need more strategies to manage your mental health? Check out Ten Tips to Keep You From Falling Apart This School Year.About Elena AguilarElena is the founder and president of Bright Morning, an international education, coaching and consulting firm. She offers training in coaching, education consulting, and professional development to educators and mission-driven leaders across the United States and abroad. In her role as a consultant, she has partnered with leaders in public and private organizations across the United States and abroad.About the ASCDThe Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is a unique educational organization because of its service to educators across the professional spectrum, from teachers to superintendents. Find out more at

Derek Vogel

Derek Vogel is a highly experienced and results-driven leader, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of E-Therapy. With over 15 years of experience in executive leadership, he has a proven track record of driving business growth and success. He is skilled in business development, organizational strategy, and employee engagement and has a reputation for designing effective strategies that have consistently yielded significant increases in revenue and cost savings. He has successfully managed businesses ranging from $10M to $100M+ in annual revenue, and has experience in leading organizations through post-acquisition integration processes. Prior to joining E-Therapy, Derek was the President of AMN Healthcare’s Education Healthcare Staffing business, where he provided on-site and virtual solutions for students in need of therapy services. He is known for mentoring and developing his team members and inspiring a sense of pride and ownership in the collective success of the organization.