Nine ways to become strong like superman (or -woman)

Being resilient simply means that you have coping skills, and know different ways to handle whatever is happening in your personal life, what is happening at school and on the sports field.

ALBERTON – Don’t let the last few months of the year knock you down. Get some resilience tricks up your sleeve and you will be able to tackle the tough times ahead, Lydia Banda of Boston City Campus & Business College was quoted as saying.

“The last months of the year is a time when everyone starts getting irritable and tired, the stress of exams and career planning start getting to you, boyfriends and girlfriends break up, there’s unexpected matric farewell dramas, and so the list continues,” Banda elaborates. “You can’t prevent things from happening but you can prepare yourself so that when things go wrong you feel strong enough to deal with them and bounce right back.”

You can learn how to build resilience in the life skills course offered by Boston City Campus & Business College. Resilience is also included in the sports psychology module of the popular sport learning programmes offered at Boston. (Visit for a peek at these).

Being resilient does not mean that you don’t experience emotional pain or difficulty, it simply means that you have coping skills, and know different ways to handle whatever is happening in your personal life, what is happening at school and on the sports field. Different things work for different people, so try the following and see what works for you:

1. Connect with others – build good relationships with family members, friends and mentors. You will be able to be there for each other in good times and bad times. Don’t hide away from others; you should never have to feel that you have to fight your battles on your own. Some people like to join groups like a sports club, a social club, a book club or a church group for support and socialising. If you are feeling very low, phone Lifeline to speak to experienced counsellors. Just feeling that you have been heard can lift the weight off you.

2. See things as they are – a problem is a problem that must be dealt with, or accepted that that is the way things are. Start looking beyond the present problem. Chat to someone to gain a different perspective, or ideas on how to approach the problem.

3. Draw up goals – instead of focusing on problems or workloads that are getting you down, set daily goals, and tick them off as you achieve them, even if its study slots that you stuck too. This way you will see that you are achieving and moving forward. This adds to your feel good factor!

4. Take action – sometimes problems go away on their own, sometimes you need to take action. When facing a problem that needs action, don’t wait too long. Take a deep breath, take some time to think about it, and then tackle the problem piece by piece.

5. Believe in yourself – think of some problems you tackled in the past, and you will realise that they fit into a broader picture, and they do not seem as great as they were when you were actually faced with them. This will remind you also of your strengths, and of the skills and learning experience that you gained. See how strong you actually are, and how your friends help you?

6. Look for lessons – force yourself to step outside the problem. Imagine yourself to be on the outside looking in. Now what do you see? And what can you learn from this experience? Looking form the outside in will make you feel less panicky. It also helps when you see that there are others in the same boat as you. You are not alone.

7. Smile and hope – the last thing you feel like doing when you are battling with something is to smile. But experts say that when you smile, your body and your mind immediately relax. So force yourself to smile, and believe that good things will happen in your life. Try visualising what you want, rather than worrying about the problem at hand.

8. Take care of yourself – eat well, rest well and do things that you love with people that you love. By all means help others but don’t spend too much time with negative people. Don’t commit too much time to others, and when you want to say no, say “no!” Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t have time or money or energy for.

9. Look for help – when nothing seems to help, reach out for help. It takes courage and self-confidence to ask someone for help. Your family and friends are the first option but don’t forget that your favourite teacher, or tennis coach or family doctor can also give good advice. There are also many organisations and churches that you can contact.

For more information, visit or book a one-on-one career advice session at to the Boston City Campus & Business College on Voortrekker Road, Alberton (opposite McDonald’s).

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