Resilient Wisconsin

Logo for Resilient Wisconsin: Connected. Stronger. Thriving.Building resilience within ourselves, our relationships, and in our community matters. In fact, when we find healthy ways to cope with toxic stress and trauma, we take a step closer to a healthier future for us all. That’s because they’re both a risk factor for—and a painful consequence of—some of Wisconsin’s most complex public health challenges, from mental health disorders and harmful substance use to child abuse and suicide. They’re all connected. And that’s what makes Resilient Wisconsin’s integrated approach to addressing the root causes of trauma and its related harms so important.

Resilient Wisconsin brings together the latest evidence-based tools and trauma-informed practices. So that people living with or affected by trauma or toxic stress—and the health services professionals and programs that serve them—can find the support and resources they need.

Practicing resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic

You are making important changes to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not easy. Learn how to recognize and manage some of the stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen your ability to bounce back from adversity.

Building resilience during winter celebrations

Stress does not have to overshadow joy this year, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. These tips can help you maintain your emotional well-being and keep you and your loved ones healthy in the weeks ahead.

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 virtual activities you’ll enjoy the most, and take time to relax and recover from virtual activities.

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 virtually.

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.

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 virtual 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.

Try to be patient. You can’t control how others act during virtual get-togethers, just how you respond. Try to accept people and situations as they are, and remember: they may be stressed too.

Reach out. Everyone feels lonely at times. Reach out virtually to those around you—loved ones, spiritual advisors, coworkers, online 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.


There are many ways to stay connected safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can:

  • Have a virtual dinner party.
  • Plan a group video chat or phone call.
  • Play games together online.
  • Shop online instead of in person.
  • Share movies or music.
  • Send a joke, picture, or heartfelt message every day.
  • Have a virtual talent show or friendly contest over decorations or costumes.
For suggestions on how to make winter celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic meaningful and fulfilling for children, visit the Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health's website.

Related publications

Take a closer look at resilience

Get to know the influential elements of mental, physical, and behavioral health that help public health professionals and others understand and promote resilience in our communities and organizations, in our relationships, and within ourselves.


RESILIENT WISCONSIN RESOURCE LIBRARY: View all Resilient Wisconsin publications, videos, and webcasts

Last Revised: November 24, 2020