Overcoming adversity requires building resilience

Jan 20, 2023
Image of man in profile looking upward with light on his face

Photo by Blake Connally on Unsplash

Adversity. It is inevitable. You can’t go around it, only through it. But how can you successfully overcome adversity so you will not be crushed but can come out of it a better person? That’s where building resilience comes in.

Below are some of the tools for building resilience and overcoming adversity. Although this is not an exhaustive list and many in one category could also fit in another, these tools are effective, and they may give you ideas for others. They are:


  • Get regular sleep
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get exercise
  • Remember to breathe deeply and often
  • Go to a place where you can yell, scream, kick, a floor size pillow (Wonder why this one is so specific? Well, it’s a technique that truly helped me get through some tough times.)
  • Take a bath
  • Go a sauna
  • Go to a spa
  • Get a massage
  • Take a walk
  • Take a run


  • Get perspective logically, realistically and assess your situation
  • Be thankful and grateful, seeing the positive
  • Talk to a therapist, a psychologist
  • Have hope
  • Schedule some fun, schedule some time to laugh
  • Get a joke book
  • Get a journal
  • If you're really particularly stressed one day you can declare an international “Be kind to [Fill in your name here] Day.” On that day, you get up when you want, eat whatever you want, do whatever you want. Then go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. Things do seem much different in the morning.
  • Burn a favorite candle
  • Listen to some favorite music
  • Go on a retreat
  • Go on a trip
  • Just get away


  • Have a close circle of friends with whom you can talk in confidence, especially when you're feeling stressed
  • Have a supportive community, like a group at your place of worship, a group at work, a group of fellow sports enthusiasts or hobbyists
  • Schedule some fun social activity where you can take a breather


No matter the adversity you face, there will be times that you will feel you can’t make it another day, another hour, or even another minute. These are the times that require having faith in something bigger than yourself because no matter how many affirmations you may say, no matter how many times you exercise, no matter how many good friends you may surround yourself with, these tools will all fall short at some point, as they can never answer the question: “Why?” or as you may feel you’ve been pressed far beyond your limits.

Then add to that adversities that are not primarily personal but social, political, and economic, such as social unrest, economic upheaval, etc. The cause of these adversities is far larger and far more complex than your losing your job, as difficult as such is. These adversities can make you feel entirely powerless and so you are. That's why it's important to have that spiritual anchor. Have a faith in something bigger than yourself.

And for the spiritual tools, you can:

  • Read the Bible or the Torah
  • Talk to a minister, rabbi or priest
  • Regularly pray, meditate

I personally know the power of believing in something greater than yourself. It is God who got me through the period of my husband’s terminal illness that began with the surgeon’s words: “Do nothing and be dead in a few days.” For me, as a Christ-follower, I found my source of strength in prayer, Bible reading, and regular worship. There were many times that I felt I couldn’t cope, as I faced periods when Steve’s condition would change minute by minute. But it was God’s grace, strength, and love that got me through.

God has continued to guide me, support me throughout the storm. If it wasn’t for my faith both then and today, I could not make it.

In my next post, I’ll share a bit about my story on overcoming adversity and building resilience. 

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