Resilience in the Face of Crisis

Crises are inevitable. How can you cope effectively?

Practicing different ways of responding can boost your resilience. Check out these strategies:

Focus on What You Can Control

Sometimes we fixate on events out of our control. But rather than blaming others or trying to change them, resilient people set their sights on what they can control. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this situation?”

Challenge Catastrophic Thoughts

It’s easy to assume the worst will occur and we won’t be able to handle it. Instead, remind yourself of transitions and challenges you navigated in the past. Ask yourself:

  1. What’s the worst case scenario?
  2. What’s the likelihood of that worst case scenario?
  3. Even if that unlikely worst case scenario happened, could you handle it? (What would be the realistic consequences?)

Be in the Present

What do you notice about your breath right now? Our breath is an excellent anchor in the present, but sometimes we get stuck in the past or worry about the future. Practice STOP: Stop, Take a few deep breaths, Observe, and Proceed.

Find Your Priorities

The most resilient people see change as an opportunity to align priorities. What is really important to you outside of sport? Who do you care most about?

Practice Self-Care After a Loss

Often life’s transitions involve losses. During these transitions, don’t push away feelings. Acknowledge your feelings as valid and consider what you might learn from the loss or dramatic change of circumstances. Realize you might experience temporary sleep and appetite changes, with lower energy. Seek support among friends, teammates and family, and consider speaking with a mental health professional.


Published by

Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.

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