Resilience is not merely endurance: it is the long-term ability to adjust to and healthily “bounce back” to our original state after periods of stress. Resilience is not just a matter of “shrugging off” or ignoring stress; it requires strategies both for managing stress and for periods of rest and recovery to recharge after the stressor is removed. And while some are more innately in tune to what most effectively works for them, our capacities for resilience can be built over time with observation, experience, and support.
Dr Lucy Hone is a resilience expert who thought she found her calling supporting people to recover following the Christchurch earthquake. She had no idea that her personal journey was about to take her to a far darker place.
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.
What was it that set the resilient children apart? Because the individuals in her sample had been followed and tested consistently for three decades, Werner had a trove of data at her disposal. She found that several elements predicted resilience.