SUMMARY: This resource can help improve your ability to bounce back after a potential health, personal, or work crisis. It will help you identify effective strategies and resources to draw on when needed.


We all juggle personal, family, social, financial, and work demands. Most of us do pretty well, but any of us could be blindsided by an unexpected crisis or overwhelmed when too many stressors coincide.

Some potential stressors may diminish over time, while others may become more prominent. Stressors are not always bad or necessarily lead to negative feelings. Sometimes what appears to be a crisis can lead to post traumatic growth by helping us learn, evolve or choose a more positive path. The more resilient we are, the more likely that we will be able to benefit in this way.

You will explore factors that can test your resilience. These could cause unwelcome stress for some people. The protective strategies suggested can help develop resilience and enhance your ability to cope when a crisis does occur. Ideas for brainstorming options to overcome challenges, taking action even when you feel paralyzed by fear or worry, learning from your mistakes rather than beating yourself up, and building a network of support are just some of the protective strategies to consider.

Creating a plan may not help us avoid the crisis, but can make it much easier to get through it.

Each of the three plans have the same sections:

  • Explore Factors that Test your Resilience
  • Automatic Responses to Stress
  • Resilience Through Interdependence
  • Beyond Automatic – Choosing Responses that Support Resilience
  • What Makes It Worse? What Makes It Better?
  • Work Resilience
  • Commitment to Myself
  • Organizational and Community Resources

Choose the plan below that is most relevant for your role and responsibility. What is unique in each of the Leader, Employee and Self-Employed versions is the Work Resilience section. See below for descriptors of the difference in each plan. 

Leader's Plan for Resilience
Leader's Plan for Resilience

For those who are in leadership positions, employees, colleagues, and the organization can all be impacted from your absence. In addition to addressing your own income continuation, this version helps you consider these additional factors.

Employee's Plan for Resilience
Employee's  Plan for Resilience

For those who are employees, not being able to work for any reason can exacerbate stress. If you were not able to do your regular work, having a plan that minimizes potential negative impact both personally and professionally is the focus of the version.

Self-Employed Plan for Resilience
Self-Employed  Plan for Resilience

In this version, you are guided to think about business continuity strategies whether you are a sole proprietor, independent consultant, or small business owner. Not being able to work for any reason can exacerbate stress, especially if yours is the only source of income for your household. Letting down your employees or clients can also add to your stress. If you were not able to do your regular work, having a plan for business continuity can make a big difference.