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The following is an adapted resource from the Foreign Service Institute’s Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR) on ways to exercise personal, team and community resilience.  

Take Care of Yourself:
  • Meditation: Become more attentive and aware to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
  • Deliberative Breathing: Use controlled breathing techniques aimed to reduce stress and soothe your body.
  • Energy Management: Use self-regulation skills to effectively modulate and restore energy in order to thrive under pressure. Understand how the mind-body activation levels impact performance.
  • Mindfulness: Maintain a moment by moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment in order to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Identify practices to help reduce poor sleep habits and create a better sleep routine.
  • Rest Your Brain: Understand the signs and symptoms of brain fatigue and cognitive ways to relieve brain stress.
  • Exercise: Understand the importance of exercise and its effect on reducing stress. Identify different exercises that help your psychological stress resistance.
  • Timeout: Understand the importance of a timeout during a heightened emotional state. Identify the steps to remove yourself from a triggering situation so you have time to cool off and gain a clearer perspective.
Active Problem Solving:
  • Saying No: Understand the key to getting control back into your life and understanding how to do so effectively.
  • Sphere of Control: Reduce stress and anxiety by understanding what is in your control, influence, and what is out of your range of control.
  • Problem Solving: Identify why the problem happened, identify other factors with critical questions, test them for accuracy, and then identify strategies for moving forward.
  • Cognitive Flexibility: Examine how to be flexible in the way you think about challenges and flexible in the way you react emotionally to stress.
  • Ask for Help: Understand the importance of asking for help and how to get better at asking for help.
  • Stop, Start, Continue: Focus on what you are doing currently that isn’t working, what should you put in place to improve, and what is working well.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Use the “5 Whys” to peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem.
  • Facing Fears: Seek out the skills and environments that enable you to deal with fear in a way that is constructive rather than destructive.
Positive Outlook: 
  • Find What’s Good: Counter the negativity bias to create positive emotion, and to notice and analyze what is good.
  • Gratitude: Experience a deeper form of gratitude and increase your physical and emotional well-being.
  • Reframing: Change the way you view events so that you may experience them more positively and can find more positive alternatives.
  • Realistic Optimism:Create a future-oriented attitude involving hope and confidence while paying attention to negative information that is relevant to the problems you face.
Social Support:
  • Peer Mentoring: Provide education and support to a colleague with an aim to help them advance their career.
  • Building & Maintaining Social Support: Focus on building and supporting important relationships with people that you can trust and rely on.
Meaning and Purpose:
  • Find Meaning and Purpose: Discover the main motivating aspirations of your life; what makes you get up in the morning?
  • Self-Reflection: Ask yourself the important questions in order to gain a better understanding of your goals and behavior so that your actions fulfill your meaning and purpose in life.
  • Feel Empathy: Take time to think about the feelings of others.
  • Identify Core Values: Define the values that you stand for as an individual, that transcend time and context.
  • Detect Icebergs: Identify and evaluate core values and beliefs that fuel out-of-proportion emotions and reactions. Use “what” questions to identify the iceberg.
  • Practice Self-Awareness: Focus your awareness on yourself in order to notice feelings, physical sensations, your reactions, habits and behaviors. Allow yourself to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to   them in the moment.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future