Resiliency and Coping


“We cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.” – Viktor Frankl


“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.” – American Psychological Association


Complementary Practices and Activities

Complementary Practices Local References

Grief Materials Clinic

Wellness Journal

Anxiety Management Tip Sheet

COVID At-Home Self Care and Resilience Resource Guide

Some creatively describe resilience as the ability to bounce back, to remain flexible similar to a rubber band, and to bend like a tree branch in the midst of the storm. Resilience is not a characteristic trait that some people have or do not have; rather, cultivating resilience is a learned ordinary process and something anyone can develop by adapting behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Resilience may also be thought of as a “battery” which may be of a physical, mental, and emotional source. When our batteries are low or empty, we don’t have much energy or none at all to draw upon to manage feelings, problem solve, and respond well in both challenging and every day experiences.


Emotional stress and sadness are common in people who are experiencing chronic and serious illness. Feelings of fear, anger, resentment, frustration, anxiety, grief, sadness, and guilt tend to deplete our energies and many of these same emotions and others may also run in the background of our thoughts without us being aware of them, draining our body and mind sometimes affecting our heart rhythms by increasing stress, and further pressing us into debilitating emotional states.


Engaging in proven complimentary activities and alternative practices may help reduce stress, and boost our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. When we are functioning with higher internal resources, we can regulate our emotions more effectively to avoid overreacting, think clearly to problem solve, modify our responses, enlarging our capacity to prepare, engage and recover after a challenging event.


These resource booklets provide a brief overview of some alternative and complementary mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual practices/activities that may help people renew energies to reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve quality of life. Topics you’ll find in these booklets:


Mental & Spiritual Practices

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
  • Prayer and Centering Prayer
  • Slow and Deep Breathing
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Guided Imagery
  • Loving-kindness Meditation and Smiling Meditation
  • Chanting and Mantra Meditation
  • Aromatherapy
  • Fasting
  • Lectio Divina/Reading
  • Beholding
  • Medical Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy
  • Mental Games/Exercises


Creative Practices

  • Journaling, Therapeutic Letter Writing, Gratitude Journal
  • Singing/Music
  • Music/Sound Therapy, Deep Listening, and Singing
  • Contemplative Arts/Art Therapy


Service Activities

  • Volunteer
  • Simplicity
  • Pilgrimage, vigils, marches


Relational Practices

  • Counseling and Therapy
  • Compassionate Communication
  • Support Groups
  • Faith Groups
  • Storytelling/ Life review
  • Pet Therapy


Body Kinetic Practices/Activities

  • Exercise and Aquatic Therapy
  • Yoga/Stretching
  • Tai Chi and Qigong
  • Acupuncture
  • Deep Yawning Meditation
  • Laughter Therapy/Laughter Yoga
  • Dance
  • Walking Meditation
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Reiki/Healing Touch
  • Hippotherapy
  • Float Pods/Cabins


Rituals/Ceremonial Practices

  • Establish a sacred/personal space
  • Retreats
  • Religious or cultural ceremonies and rituals​ ​