Building resilience—the ability to adapt and recover from adversity—within ourselves, our relationships, and in our communities matters. When we find healthy ways to cope with trauma and toxic stress, especially during the tough times, we take a step closer to becoming more resilient.
Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with the changes you’re experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stress takes many forms
- Mood swings and intense feelings, including fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, sadness, anger, guilt, and disorientation
- Denial, detachment, or avoidance
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Irritability, strained relationships and conflicts with family, friends, and co-workers
- Changes in your normal sleep or eating patterns
- Soreness, nausea, head or stomach ache
- Elevated breathing, heartbeats, and blood pressure
- Sensitivity to unusual sounds, smells, and changes in your environment
- A worsening of preexisting chronic or mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
We've identified practical tools and sources of support that can help you strengthen your resilience during times of stress.
Care for yourself
You’re not being selfish, you’re showing self-interest. Taking the time to protect your own physical and mental health ensures you have the resources to take care of others.
Get the 3 “goods”
That’s good-for-you foods, a good night’s sleep, and a good amount of exercise.
Relax your body
Do what that works for you, like taking deep breaths, stretching and exercising, meditation, and spiritual activities.
Do something you enjoy
Eat a good meal, read, create a playlist of your favorite music, play video games, or talk to family and friends.
Don’t let the pandemic take over what you read, watch, or talk about. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to talk about something else.
Avoid negative outlets
Find healthy ways to process your emotions. Avoid self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, or risky behaviors.
- COVID-19 well-being toolkit and resources
- A guide to sources of support during COVID-19 for people living with mental health & substance use concerns, P-02670 (PDF)
- Staying resilient during COVID-19
Apps for mindfulness and well-being
- Calm: Variety of meditation exercises and relaxing soundtracks organized by topic (stress, anxiety, sleep, focus, etc.).
- Happify: Science-based activities and games to overcome worries and stress.
- Headspace: Sets of guided meditations aimed at tackling problems related to stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and relationships.
- Healthy Minds: Translates neuroscience into tools for everyday life using mindfulness practices and podcast style lessons.
- Insight Timer: Guided meditation app with a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices targeting stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
- Recovery Path: Personalized evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies for people struggling with or recovering from substance use.
- Ten Percent Happier: Large selection of guided meditations and mindfulness practices.
- Stop, Breathe & Think: Guided meditation and mindfulness.
Trusted, supportive relationships keep us grounded during uncertainty. Whether you send a postcard or a text, you don’t have to be physically close to stay connected.
Tap into technology
Reach out to family and friends, colleagues, and support groups in whatever way you can: calls, email, texting, video chats, etc.
Use social media wisely
Connect with the world outside via social media—but don’t overload on COVID-19 posts, and make sure the sources you follow are credible.
Do remote doctor visits
Many health care providers offer remote care. Ask your primary physician if you can schedule appointments over Skype, FaceTime, or email.
Have lunch long-distance
Keep the standing social appointments in your life. If you have lunch with a family member or friend every week, use technology to keep it up.
Join an online community
Now is the time to make new friends and connect with people who share your hobbies and interests.
Stress and anxiety can make us spiral. Take the time to discover which coping skills work for you, and practice them every day.
Reduce your risk
Follow all COVID-19 safety measures. Knowing you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy can help you worry less.
Establish a routine
Staying balanced is easier when you build periods of activity and rest into your daily schedule.
Talk it out
Try talking about your experiences and feelings with loved ones, a trusted advisor, or a support group or mental health professional. It can help.
Avoid big decisions when possible
Important decisions are usually stressful in their own right, and can be even harder when you're dealing with a trauma.
Monitor your reactions
Check in with your body and emotions. Know the signs of toxic stress and reach out for help if you feel like you can’t cope.
Sometimes, even first responders need help
When helping others is your calling, asking for help can be difficult. We’re helping Wisconsin’s police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, emergency health care providers, and others learn how to recognize and deal with the effects of secondary trauma through a free training and resource guide.
Add some color to your life
Taking time to relax, reflect, and do something fun (like coloring!) can help people of all ages build resiliency. Download one or all of our coloring sheets.
- Live Your Best Life (PDF)
- Unleash Your Inner Strength (PDF)
- Take Care of Your Whole Self (PDF)
- Need a Break? It’s Natural (PDF)
- Care Goes the Distance (PDF)
Share a photo of your completed coloring sheet(s) on your social media accounts using #ResilientWisconsin!