Today in the chart

3 Ways to Build Resilience

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed your life and has most likely challenged your resilience. Build back your resilient zone with these tips.

The Covid-19 pandemic was probably the most challenging period during your nursing or allied health career. Many healthcare providers have indicated that the pandemic has changed their life and, with it, their resilience. Building a resilience zone can help you navigate the highs and lows of life without taxing yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you become hyper-vigilant, irritable, depressed, disengaged, apathetic, or numb, you may have exceeded your zone’s limits, according to Cynda Rushton, Ph.D., RN of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. That’s precisely the time to give yourself some much-needed self-care. 

How does one return to their resilience zone? A recent study in the Journal of Holistic Nursing found that the most frequent self-care activities to build resilience included humor, music, prayer, healthy sleep habits, reading, and mindfulness. 

Here are a few additional ways to build yourself up and strengthen your ability to handle stress and challenges.


We all know how good it feels to have a good belly laugh, but did you know that laughter can help alleviate mental and physiological stress? Swiss researchers have found that daily guffaws can reduce symptoms after a stressful event. What’s more: intensity isn’t a factor. So it doesn’t matter whether the daily laughs were little giggles or a burst of laughter that’s so hard you can’t breathe.

Make It Work for You: Find humor in everyday occurrences, even the mundane and the ridiculous. For example, commit to watching a stand-up comedy special on Netflix or read a quick post like our Daily Diversion.


Before you roll your eyes and think, ‘duh,’ it might not be for the reason you think. Research from The University of British Columbia suggests that your amount of sleep can affect your situational outlook. Interestingly, the research showed that the amount of sleep you get the night before is linked to how positively you view the following day’s events. It does not include the negative, however. 

So what does this look like? Imagine a challenging shift. If you’ve had a night of awful sleep, you may see the bad in all situations rather than anything good. In addition, events usually seen as positive were not enjoyed as much when associated with poor sleep the night before. 

Make It Work for You: Try to sleep an extra 29 minutes per night, which can help benefit daily wellbeing and work performance.


Losing yourself in a book could be the ultimate stress reducer. A study from The University of Sussex found that reading reduces stress by 68%. It also works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music or drinking hot tea. The reasons are simple: it focuses your mind on what’s in front of you, keeps you still (which can help decrease blood pressure and heart rate), and calms you by diverting your attention from your anxiety feedback loop.

Make It Work for You: Make reading part of your daily life by carrying a book with you or leaving magazines and books around your home or in your car.

Subscribe to our M-F newsletter
Thank you for subscribing! Welcome to The Nursing Beat!
Please enter your email address