What is “Resilience?” What works in keeping yourself grounded and what doesn’t? How can we assess and quickly recover from a situation of stress or discomfort?
This training resource is designed to compliment our one-hour Resilience training. Hollaback! aims to educate on how to hold ourselves, watch ourselves, and make active choices about how we respond to stress and trauma. As always, take care of yourself if you choose to read on, the following topics might be sensitive to some.
- We have worked to translate some of our resources and make them more accessible. Read this guide in Arabic, Burmese, French, Spanish and Indonesian. *
BREAKING DOWN TERMS:
In the more literal sense, resilience is defined as the ability of an object to spring back into shape, but this same scientific concept can be applied to how we live our lives in a world full of injustice and pain. There are many fronts on which you can build resilience: personal resilience, relationship resilience, community resilience and societal resilience. All forms are equally important and inform each other.
This resource as well as Hollaback!’s training focuses on personal resilience because how you exist in the world will show up and inform your relationships, communities, and society, and vice versa. Personal resilience is also the only form of resilience that you have complete control over.
Now more than ever we are relying on not just self care, but how to find choice in challenging and even traumatic situations. By reading through this resource today, you are taking the first step in pursuing a life of resilience and strength. But what’s next?
STEP ONE: EMBRACE WHAT IS.
To grow, you have to fully see and understand what’s going on.
At times, you may find that you want to pretend your pain didn’t happen, doesn’t exist — or that you are actually stronger than your pain. So strong in fact that you don’t have to feel it. Other times, you may find that all you can see in either direction is pain. Joy feels as if it’s unreal, illusive, a lie. Maybe you feel both simultaneously.
The inability to embrace “what is” is what psychologists would call “disassociation,” a natural yet not ideal survival strategy that essentially checks your brain out as to not feel anything at all. It can show up in different ways: always being busy, alcohol/drug use, spacing out, overdose of media consumption, but there is power in naming what hurts and what feels good.
Hollaback! has built power in the movement for gender justice by helping people to recognize their pain, hurt, and self-blame around harassment. Pain can motivate us, it can teach us, it can strengthen us. There is also power in naming what works, what you know makes you feel strong and like you have a purpose. If we only sit in our pain, ignoring the exploration of what our bodies are holding onto, we’ll never find a way out to freedom. We are resilient by understanding ourselves.
Trauma too, can be generational. The trauma of slavery, the holocaust, war, genocide, and other life-changing events is carried down. Scientifically speaking, trauma can leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which then is passed down to subsequent generations. The mark doesn’t directly damage the gene; there’s no mutation. Instead, it alters the mechanism by which the gene expresses itself. By building resilience now, we can potentially change how we code this moment onto our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
HOW TO WELCOME WHAT YOU ARE FEELING:
- Watch and name your emotions without judgement
- Body scans to find places of holding, sensation, or lack thereof
- Feel your feet on the floor, back in the chair
- Deep breathing // Box Breathing
- Talking to a friend/family
- Know when it’s “too much” and time to shake it off
STEP 2: CREATE YOUR STORY.
This next step is about the art of making sense of what happened to us.
You are the author of your own story. It may not always feel like that. You certainly didn’t ask for pain. You didn’t ask for what they did to you or what they ignored. You didn’t ask for that trauma. And to be clear, none of that is your fault. But the science of resilience reminds us that how we tell our story matters deeply. It matters so much in fact that it shapes our future story.
Imagine when you’re shopping for blue cars and all of a sudden you only see the blue cars. Everywhere you go, it’s blue cars. Are there lots of blue cars on the road? Yes. Are there actually *more* blue cars? No.
Now, let’s substitute “blue cars” for “traumatic events” When you’re experiencing a lot of traumatic events, it’s easy to see other things — or even everything — as trauma. It’s hard to see joy, gratitude, and beauty in times where our minds are clouded, but the act of finding these things in the middle of traumatic events is at the core of resilience.
HOW TO BE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR NARRATIVE:
- Watch for when you’re only seeing “blue cars”
- Practice “AND” statements, where pain sits easily alongside joy
- Write your own matras, repeat them
- Find your story through music
- Art (Crafting/Dance/Singing, etc)
STEP 3: BE IN CHOICE.
Awareness leads to choice, and in choice, there is freedom. By embracing what is, and creating your story, you’re building awareness. Life will knock you off balance, and the work is about learning how to find your ground again quickly. All growth revolves around action!
HOW TO TAKE ACTION:
- Sleep hygiene
- Limit your time with media/ social media
- Helping others
- Learning to say no
- Accept and care for your body
- Time alone
- Time in community
- Up-regulating exercises (running, dancing)
- Down-regulating exercises
- Expressing gratitude / gratitude journaling
HOW DO I TRAIN OTHERS USING HOLLABACK!’S RESILIENCE RESOURCES?
We partner with organizations around the world to adapt our proven training to local cultures, contexts, and identities. There are two ways to work with us. First, we can provide the training, either by paying us as consultants or through a grant that we collaboratively apply for. Second, we also license our training methodology to organizations globally. Organizations will need to go through a three day train-the-trainer and sign an MOU prior to providing the training locally, to ensure quality. Please email [email protected] if you’re interested.
TAKE THE TRAINING
TALK TO OUR TEAM:
To connect with a member of our training team and learn more about how we can customize this training for your team or business, please complete the form below:
WHAT NOW? NEXT STEPS:
Here are some additional training we provide for more information.
- Bystander Intervention in the workplace, fully customized to each organization/business we work with.
- Sexual Harassment Prevention Training. Fully compliant with state and local laws and includes bystander intervention tactics.
- Resilience in the face of 2020
- Stop Police Violence and Anti-Black Harassment Training
- Conflict De-Escalation In The Workplace Training
- Conflict De-Escalation During COVID-19
Lastly, please consider donating so we can expand these trainings. Visit here for more information. We urge you to share this training with 10 friends and help us create a more safe and compassionate environment for all!
Learn more: ihollaback.org/harassmenttraining/
*We have partnered with Facebook to make possible the translation of some of our resources and materials.