Emotional resilience is about one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. More resilient people are able to manage their responses to difficult experiences and situations without lasting difficulties. Below is a list of some of the qualities associated with emotional resilience.
- The ability to withstand and rebound from disruptive life challenges.
- Knowing how to stay calm and not getting extremely angry, down or acting out when difficult times occur.
- Being able to calm yourself down and feel better when we become upset.
- Being able to control our behaviour when faced with challenges.
- Ability to recognise when emotions start to ‘boil’ inside us.
- Capacity to admit when we are in the wrong, and apologise.
- Ability to learn from our mistakes.
- Understanding the value and wisdom of walking away before things escalate.
- Realising that other people may have their own challenges to cope with too.
- Paying attention to how our feelings and emotions can distort our thinking and influence our behaviour.
- Having an ‘internal emotions filter’ that can stop us from over-reacting.
- If we develop our ‘emotional awareness’ we understand what we are feeling, and why.
- We can then better understand the feelings of others.
- We cope better when we believe that we, rather than outside forces, are in control of our lives. When we believe we are in control and we also have a realistic view of the world we can be more proactive in dealing with stressors in our lives, more solution-orientated, and we feel a greater sense of control, which brings less stress.
- Developing a sense of optimism helps us to see the positives in most situations and believe in our own strength. This helps us to handle problems from a victim mentality to an empowered one, and more choices open up for us.
Emotional resilience can be developed. And because stress and change are a part of life, there are always opportunities to practice resilience; working on our emotional resilience means we become able to handle the stresses more effectively and calmly. We are able to manage crises more easily.
Having support in place from family, friends, and professionals is valuable. Seeking out support from people known to you who demonstrate the above qualities will be very helpful too.
Getting a Natural High
There are lots of ways to help your child feel good naturally:
Help them to be Active
Encourage them to do some sort exercise every day - ideally for an hour. Activity boosts levels of serotonin (the brain’s natural happy hormone) and also leads to better and deeper sleep.
If they don’t enjoy team sports, there are plenty of other options available such as fast walking or jogging, the gym, cycling, dancing, swimming and fitness classes.
Encourage them to go to bed
Teenager’s need between 9 and 9.5 hours sleep a night, but generally only get between 7 and 7.5 hours. Those who don’t get enough sleep are likely to be moody and will struggle to concentrate. They are also more likely to be overweight as they will crave sugary and starchy foods to give them energy.
Tips for a good night’s sleep
- Talk about things that worry you so that you can put your problems in perspective.
- Don’t binge before bed as a full stomach can cause discomfort throughout the night
- Don’t drink coffee, tea, cola or energy drinks before going to bed as caffeine stops you falling asleep and prevents deep sleep
- Limit the amount of screens (mobile, tablet, TV and computer) in your room as the light from these screens interferes with sleep
Encourage them to eat more healthily
Diet is really important for good health. If teenagers have breakfast and eat regular meals that include fruit and vegetables, they will feel better for it. Unfortunately the junk food that most teenagers are drawn to contains few nutrients, but is high in calories. Clear out the junk food from your cupboards and wherever possible replace it with fruit and healthier snacks.
Eating together as a family sets a good example, provides stability and is a great opportunity to chat to each other.
Building self esteem
If you are concerned that your child or young person has low self-esteem or is at risk of social isolation then the Esteem Group may be able to help. Each of the groups meet weekly for 1.5 hours with the aim of supporting young people to form new friendships and increase their self-esteem. They do this in a safe informal setting through engaging in fun activities. This is a professional referral only group, if you would like to find out more contact our Early Help Team on 01628 683150.
If you are concerned for your Child or Young Person's mental health or wellbeing please visit your G.P. In an emergency should you be concerned that they are at risk of harm then please visit an A & E department.
If you feel that your Child or young person may benefit from counselling then please follow the link below
Kooth online counselling is available to young people living in the Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.
Outdoor education, or exposure to the outdoor environment in any form, is often referred to as a natural therapy or even a free medicine. Sometimes, when feeling unwell , depressed or upset, simply stepping out of a door into fresh air can make us feel better.
Outdoor education works on the principles of experiential learning. Why imagine something happening when you can experience it for real and learn from the outcomes? Young people can learn in a practical, hands on environment where they can see, hear and feel things happening.
Sometimes outdoor education can provide an opportunity for young people to be pushed a little further outside of their comfort zone, perhaps being at height, on water, or in bad weather. When carefully managed this can be where young people discover what they are capable of and where their limits are. Activities such as canoeing, climbing, kayaking, orienteering, ropes courses, camping, cooking, raft building, hill walking or teambuilding all provide ideal platforms for this.
Outdoor experiences can generate significant outcomes including leadership, trust, responsibility, life skills, risk awareness, fitness, independence, team work skills, friendship and most importantly having good fun.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The DofE award is one example of outdoor education where young people can experience a number of training and learning opportunities over a longer period of time. Set over three levels, (Bronze, Silver and Gold), individuals are required to complete separate sections (Skill, Physical, Volunteering and Residential at Gold). They are also required to be part of an expedition team and complete multiple day expeditions with an overnight camp. DofE participants often go through great personal journeys in this time, spending several months focused on completing the award they can learn many new skills and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their abilities.
Because of it’s challenging nature the award is widely recognised as a significant achievement in personal effort and dedication and is highly sought-after by employers.
Climbing, mountain biking, skate boarding, scootering, free-running, BMX are all sports and activities which would not usually come under the category of “regular sports” however to those that participate in them they can be as meaningful, inspirational and life-changing as any other activity. The main difference to be found in these activities as that they are often solo sports and not team orientated and therefore not competitive. That said, just because they are solo sports, they are often participated in large groups and communities. Also, just because they are not competitive, this doesn’t mean they are not challenging.
A rugby player might find it difficult to walk into a park and join in a game of rugby or play a game by themselves. A mountain biker however, can ride their bike almost anywhere, have fun and challenge themselves while doing it.
A footballer my spend 90 minutes in a game and only have the ball a small number of times and not win the game in the end. A skateboarder on the other hand, can skate for just half an hour and challenge themselves over and over at the same trick, eventually landing it and “winning” at their own game.
Yes, most free sports have a competitive side (skateboard competitions etc) to them but this is always separate to the original “free sport”.
The essence of free sports is quite simple, to imagine a game where you were always picked for the team, always given a chance to play, made your own rules, sometimes cheered by strangers, learnt something and improved every time you played and no matter how many times you play you can never lose.
Free-sports are played by people of all types but are also sports where those who find team games and social situations challenging or intimidating can find themselves welcomed and accepted. They are expressive, individual, with no uniform and no strict rules. For many, these sports become a life-long passion and a place where they can be themselves while having fun. It is important that this is recognised and encouraged where possible.
There is a good video on this is by skateboarder ‘Rodney Mullen’ called “Pop an Ollie and Innovate” on youtube