Resilience can be thought of as a journey of understanding, managing and growth

It can be helpful to think about resilience as taking a kayak trip down a river that has slow water and shallow areas, as well as sharp turns and rapids. Before embarking on such a trip, you would likely try to understand the route and identify any hazards – you might seek advice from those who have navigated the river before you, or you may study maps and help guides. You would then think about ways to manage any problems that arise along the way – you might take some trusted friends or skilled kayakers along with you, or you might invest in safety gear such as extra life jackets or paddles. No matter what path you take or what equipment you pack, you will have grown during the challenge, and will likely emerge a more confident kayaker.


The 3 stages of resilience1


UNDERSTANDING – This involves taking the time and energy to learn as much as possible about MS, such as the symptoms of the disease, what might cause it, and how MS might change over time

MANAGING – This stage involves learning new coping strategies and lifestyle behaviours in order to take care of yourself, and to experiment with new ways of managing stress and tackling problems or challenges

GROWTH – By this stage you will start to feel more confident and empowered and start to understand what is important to you, find ways to chase your passions, and invest time and energy in your relationships with friends and family


Event or change


Resilience roadmap


  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Resilience: Addressing the challenges of MS. (date of last update not specified).
  • American Psychological Society. Building your resilience. (last updated 2012).