Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. We build it in ourselves, our relationships, and in our communities. It gives us the strength to overcome problems. It also helps us deal with large-scale events, like public health emergencies. The mission of Resilient Wisconsin is to give everyone in our state the opportunity to live their best lives.
Building resilience during winter celebrations
Stress does not have to overshadow joy this time of year. To maintain your emotional well-being during winter celebrations:
Plan ahead. Managing and avoiding stress is easier when you have a plan. Start by identifying the situations you find most stressful. Then think of ways to deal with the difficulties you can control.
Simplify your commitments. It is okay to say no to invitations. Prioritize the activities you’ll enjoy the most, and take time to relax and recover from socializing.
Take care of your body. The season can disrupt healthy habits. Get plenty of sunlight and sleep. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and practice moderation when you celebrate.
Use your sense of humor. Laughter really works. It can relieve pain and stress, relax muscles, and improve your mood—even if it feels forced at first. Try it when things get tough.
Try to be patient. You can’t control how others act during get-togethers, just how you respond. Try to accept people and situations as they are, and remember: They may be stressed too.
Stick to a budget. This time of year can get expensive. Know how much money you can comfortably spend and stick to a budget. Or ask your loved ones to embrace low-cost alternatives like exchanging acts of kindness, making handmade food and gifts, or donating to a charity.
Set realistic expectations. Movies and social media can create impossible expectations. Let go of perfection. Set reasonable goals and know that good enough can be great.
Volunteer your time and talents. Finding ways to help others in need feels good. It can also help you appreciate what you have, and may put your own problems into perspective.
Reach out. Everyone feels lonely at times. Reach out to those around you—loved ones, spiritual advisors, coworkers, support groups. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional if your feelings of isolation, anxiety, or depression don’t ease. They can help.
Explore Resilient Wisconsin
Learn about resilience, how to build it in your life and your community, and resources available to help people and communities be connected, stronger, and thriving.
Learn strategies that you can use in the face of personal and community adversity.
Need a little help? Learn where you can reach out and connect for support.
Help us build a Resilient Wisconsin. Check out our library of promotional tools.
Pursuing health equity through upstream prevention
Many people must deal with a “broken bridge” in their life or community. That’s because health challenges can be like a strong current. They can quickly sweep us toward negative outcomes. When that happens, our ability to sink or swim can depend on our environment and experiences.
Influences of conditions and experiences
Take a closer look at some of the factors that can shape our well-being. They can affect our families and communities, too.
- Social determinants of health
- Risk and protective factors
- Trauma and toxic stress
- Adverse childhood experiences
- Trauma-informed practices
When you dedicate your life to the care of others, it’s easy to sacrifice your own health and well-being. Learn how to build resilience to live a happier, healthier life by watching the video below. Complete this short survey to receive a certificate of completion for watching the help the helper training.
Emergency medical services professionals, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are invited to watch the video below. It provides information on how to recognize the symptoms and risks associated with toxic stress and tools for self-care to improve mental and physical health. Complete this short survey to receive a certificate of completion for watching the first responder training.
Stories of resiliency
We are collecting and sharing stories of resiliency from Wisconsin residents. The first phase of this effort focuses on people in recovery from a substance use disorder who are now helpers in their communities. We want everyone to know that there is hope and help for people living with a substance use disorder.
"It doesn't matter if you're purple, brown, orange, yellow. It doesn't matter if you have money, or if you have no money. It doesn't matter where you live. It [substance use disorders] is affecting everybody."
"That changed my life around knowing that someone cared about me. I'm trying to clean our communities up and show our children that even though we went through that path [substance use] that they don't have to."
"When you lack the coping skills to deal with life as a whole, then you turn to whatever makes you feel good. A lot of people in the community don't know how to deal with the trauma and the pain they've been suffering with probably since the day they were born."
"My own substance use began at an early age in trying to deal with the things I was experiencing in the household. People don't understand that. They think that it is a choice. They think that I chose to ruin my life on a daily basis for a long time and I didn't because I didn't know how to stop it. I didn't know how to live differently because nobody taught me. I was lost as a child and I didn't really have a lot of support growing up."
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Connect with us
Tell us what you need to build resilience in your life and your community. Your feedback lets us know how we're doing and where we can improve. Send us an email.