Fill your resilience tank.

16 Apr 2020
Author: Lisa Gunnery
3 minute read

At their core, everyone is resilient – otherwise we wouldn’t be alive! But our resilience ebbs and flows based on our stresses and situations. Find out how you can fill your resilience tank so it’s there when you need it!

Building and storing resilience in our ‘tanks’ is something we should be focusing on at the moment. We're in the beginning phase of our response to COVID-19, and even though as a nation we have mainly excelled during this lock down period – the hardest parts are yet to come. But with all the challenges you’ve had to face so far, your resilience may be feeling a bit tapped out! 

So how can you build and store resilience? There are a lot of different ways to increase and maintain your resilience levels - pick and choose the methods that make sense to you. Here are some that I find helpful.


I hear you – the one who has tried and ‘failed’ at meditation in the past. You can’t sit still long enough, you are too distracted. Well, guess what?  You can’t ‘fail’ - it’s a practice, just like exercise. You don’t start off running a marathon so don’t think you are going to master meditation first time out either. 

It doesn’t have to be complex. Download an app – it will help. I use the Calm app and love it because it’s so varied. Give it 5-10 minutes a day to start with. What that practice teaches you is to regulate your breath and focus your mind. 

Breath is the key to slowing down the cortisol response, quietening that flight reaction and giving you the strength to fight instead. 

Pause and reflect.



A lot of our resilience can be wasted in (over)reactions to situations.  


Lisa Gunnery, Country Director, The Hunger Project NZ

Still don’t want to meditate? Well how about we reframe it a bit. 

Pausing before reacting can provide an opportunity to think through the issue, identify where the issue is coming from and understand a bit more of the detail around it (aka breathing!). This conserves resilience for times when it’s really necessary.

Use your community and support networks.


That might be your family, your work mates or a collection of other people that you can share ideas with, that you can call on for support and who can challenge you when you need it. During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen the importance of a community coming together and how this affects the resilience of our country!

Connect with your different networks when you feel your resilience faltering. It’s the greatest asset that we have as it's virtually unending!  

Focus on progress toward the end goal – not just the end goal itself. 



Having a sole focus on the end result means we forget to celebrate our achievements along the way.  


Lisa Gunnery, Country Director, The Hunger Project NZ

That old saying “success breeds success” is really true. 

Breaking a significant task down into smaller tasks will allow you to see progress and achievement. This conserves resilience and ensures that you can continue on the path. 

This COVID-19 lockdown period is a good example. If you were always focused on the end date the journey would feel very long. But if you tick off each week as it goes by – it actually hasn’t felt as long as it might have otherwise. The words “four weeks” made me cringe…but we’re already at week three!

Remember, you are a resilient human being - you can get through this!

Are you looking to be part of a community that will support you in this journey, and provide ongoing learning through shared experience?