The MRL Morning Show

Weekdays 6:00AM-10:00AM

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

One of the most popular buzzwords since the start of the pandemic is “resilience.” It’s become a kind of catch-all for coping with the craziness of the last two years, but what does being truly resilient really mean? “People need to understand that being resilient means you are experiencing something at a high-stress level,” explains Psychologist Dr. Jessica Jackson, “and we are not meant to function at such a level for an extended period of time.”

But she adds that resiliency doesn’t always mean “being hard,” it can also be vulnerability and processing emotions to make it easier to deal with a stressful situation. And it turns out, there are some habits you can add to your routine to help build your mental strength and resilience. Dr. Jackson and psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman recommend making these daily habits:

  • Do a five-minute check-in every morning – We’re used to asking others “How are you?” but do you ever ask yourself the same thing? To get a quick check, set a five-minute timer and take note of how you’re feeling by asking:
    • “How do I feel?”
    • “What do I need today?”
    • “How do I want today to go?”
  • Create “micro-moments” of positivity – Our brains are “hard-wired to look for danger,” Boardman says, and the antidote for this is what she calls “micro-moments” of positivity. It’s basically seeking out the things and people that make us happy to help create a buffer between us and the stress that comes our way.
  • Do a technology audit – Social media is linked to anxiety and depression in teens and adults, which isn’t great for our well-being and emotional resilience. Dr. Boardman suggests evaluating your tech habits to see if you should cut back on any pages or people. “Channel [tidying expert] Marie Kondo: If something doesn’t spark joy on some level, if it makes you feel bad, mute it, or limit the time you’re spending on it,” she says.
  • Practice setting boundaries – It’s crucial to becoming resilient because it helps you decide what you want to let into your life. Jackson says resilience should be “about prioritizing your needs.” Being able to set boundaries and say no without feeling guilty is key and it’s good for your mental health.


Does staying up late watching shows and eating chocolate count as micro-moments of positivity? Asking for a friend!