Resilience Week Virginia - May 3-9, 2020

Page updated on May 4, 2020 at 11:07 AM

RW Resilience DefinitionMay 3-9 is the first annual Resilience Week Virginia, a state-wide collaboration between Virginia Trauma-Informed Community Networks (TICNs) to bring resilience-building activities and events to all Virginians.  

Building resilience helps us and our community bounce back from difficult experiences, like the current health crisis. As part of the week-long event, the Department of Community and Human Services is sharing daily ideas and resources to help build resilience in our personal lives, families, work lives and community.

In addition, Alexandria’s local trauma informed community network, RAISE, is hosting engagement and training events for residents. Alexandria City Public Schools, the DCHS Youth Development Team and Mindful Junkie Founder Gina White will engage students of all ages in 30 minutes of mindfulness every day during the week. Two mini-ACE Interface and Resilience trainings will be open to the public and delivered virtually, focusing on the impact Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have on people’s lives and ways to build community resilience.


Sanctuary SundayA sanctuary is anywhere a person feels especially safe and serene. A sanctuary can be a place to retreat to when you  need to nurture yourself. Some people choose to retreat to a room in their home or a beautiful spot in the woods or by a body of water where they can feel more connected to the meaningful things in their life. What if you created your own sanctuary dedicated to your own self-care in your home? You can go there to practice building resilience during Resilience Week and beyond. Use your sanctuary to be creative, do yoga, meditate, read a book or any of the other ideas listed below. 

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #SanctuarySunday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • This #SanctuarySunday, my sanctuary is my  ____. (i.e. family, place of worship, gym, home, zen room, bed, favorite book…)
    • Today, I celebrated #SanctuarySunday by ___. (i.e. practicing my faith, helping someone feel safe, taking time to meditate…)



RW Mindful MondayMindfulness is a practice that can help us build resilience. Whenever you are fully aware of what you are experiencing or bring awareness to your thoughts and emotions, you are being mindful. Everyone has the ability to be present. Being mindful is easy to learn and becomes more readily available when we practice being mindful every day. There’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling its physical structure. Plus, mindfulness has positive benefits for our health, happiness, work and relationships. 

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #MindfulMonday
  • Develop a gratitude practice. Gratitude elevates our mood as we feel more connected to other people. It does not minimize hardships, but rather, helps to manage tough times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as we pause to recognize that there is still good happening around us. Continually focusing on the negative can lead to fear, stress, anxiety and depression. This week is also National Public Service Week.  While practicing gratitude, consider honoring  the government employees who serve our nation.
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • This #MindfulMonday, I am most mindful when I __. (i.e. meditate, practice yoga, am with my mentor, sit still…)
    • Today, I celebrated #MindfulMonday by __. (i.e. writing poetry, taking a moment of silence, writing down what I am thankful for…)


  • Read how mindfulness made a difference in one woman’s life
  • Stay Positive: 10 Tools: Learn about ways to develop a formal gratitude practice
  • Living Gratefully in the Time of Coronavirus: The Daily Good provides strategies for integrating gratefulness into your daily practices to build greater capacity to face what is challenging
  • Daily Mindfulness Meditation Workshops: Mindful Junkie and @breathr have partnered to deliver free, daily LIVE Mindful Meditation Moments. The meditations are streamed LIVE twice a day at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time for 5 - 10 mins. Ways to join: Zoom, Instagram & Facebook - follow @breathr_vr and @mindfuljunkie.
  • Calm and Headspace: Popular apps for easing anxiety and practicing mindfulness. Both offer free trials and free basic packages.
  • Live Mindfulness for Fire Services, Law Enforcement and Medical Professionals - Zoom Link: During this high-pressure time of COVID-19, Gina White, founder of Mindful Junkie, is offering support to Alexandria’s first responders (law enforcement, fire services and health care providers). Gina hosts live, brief (5-10 minute), stress regulation mindfulness meditations every day from 2 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. (Eastern Time) for free. This is an exclusive invite - only for those working in medicine (any capacity), fire and law enforcement (including dispatch). Share this link with anyone in your network that falls into this category. 
  • Explore other resources in the COVID-19 Wellness Guide


RW Trauma-Informed TuesdayTrauma, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, refers to experiences that cause intense physical and psychological stress reactions. It can refer to a single event, multiple events or a set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening. Knowing that trauma has lasting adverse effects on the individual's physical, social-emotional or spiritual well-being, there is an increasing focus on the impact of trauma and how service systems can deliver their services using a trauma-informed approach. A program, organization or system that is trauma-informed implements the 4 R’s: 

  • Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery

  • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff and others involved with the system

  • Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices

  • Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization. 

Explore ways you can practice trauma-informed care and celebrate resilience on #Trauma-InformedTuesday!

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #TraumInformedTuesday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • I am #TraumaInformedTuesday, because __. (i.e. everyone should practice compassion each day, children and families should have access to resilience…)
    • This 2020 #ResilienceWeekVA, I am #TraumaInformedVA, because __. (i.e. we need to meet children where they are, everyone should have their basic needs met, I am a member of my TICN, Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with you? I ask…What’s happened to you?”...)



RW Whimsical Wednesday Play is both fun and good for you! The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that children engaging in play is key to building healthy brains, bodies and social bonds. Play can improve children's language, math and social skills as well as their abilities to plan and cope with stress. And the benefits of play aren’t limited to children. Studies show that laughter can help adults relieve pain and even increase immunity. So do your body good by making room for joy! Explore ways you can build resilience through play on #WhimsicalWednesday.

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #WhimsicalWednesday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • I am celebrating this 2020 #ResilienceWeekVA this #WhimsicalWednesday by __. (i.e. having a family night, blowing bubbles, letting my smile shine, making sure every child has access to a childhood…)
    • This 2020 #ResilienceWeekVA, view my #WhimsicalWednesday activity and comment yours to join!


  • Local Motion Project: Creating dance is a wonderful way to express yourself and connect with those around you. Enjoy these dance videos and activities for families and preschool and elementary age children. Learn more about Local Motion Project.
  • How To Practice Resilience At-Home Handouts for kids and adults: Greater Richmond SCAN created these two colorful handouts for kids and adults which include 20 creative ways to build resilience, including links to external resources.
  • Explore other resources in the COVID-19 Wellness Guide


RW Tranquility ThursdayCarving out time in your day to be still and quiet, even just for a few minutes, is one way to build your resilience. Finding silence helps to calm nerves, improve focus, concentration and awareness, increase patience, tap into creativity and more.  Explore ways you can build resilience through tranquility on #TranquilThursday.

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #TranquilityThursday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • This #TranquilityThursday, I find tranquility by __. (i.e. unplugging from technology, meditation…)
    • This #TranquilityThursday, I am most tranquil when I __. (i.e. write poetry, practice deep breathing, start the day off with yoga…)


  • Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty: This blog post from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides five suggestions for coping with the uncertainty due to COVID-19.
  • Coronavirus Sanity Guide: Ten Percent Happier offers practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear and anxiety. The meditations, podcasts, blog posts and talks on their page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos. Ten Percent Happier would like to support healthcare workers by offering free access to their app. Click here to register.
  • Explore other resources in the COVID-19 Wellness Guide


RW Friendly FridayEmpathy, respect for others, kindness and cooperation are qualities linked to resilience. When you show someone that you care about them, it can help them and you feel connected to a social support system. Social support is exceptionally important for maintaining good physical and mental health. Psychological Medicine suggests that support derived from friendship is important in promoting mental health resilience in adolescence and adulthood. The stronger your friendships are, the greater your resilience will be in difficult times. When it comes to friendships, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Just one good friend can make all the difference when going through a tough time. Explore ways you can practice kindness and show people you care on #FriendlyFriday.  

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #FriendlyFriday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • This #FriendlyFriday, I foster friendliness in my community by __. (i.e. #BeingtheChange, helping someone regulate their emotions, treating others the way I want to be treated…)
    • This #FriendlyFriday, I am thankful for __, who is always friendly to me. (i.e. Shout out a co-worker that’s always thoughtful, one of your friends, acknowledge someone for what they do in the community, thank a public official for their work…)


  • Connections: A smartphone app designed to help support individuals in recovery from substance use disorder and is scientifically proven to support patients in recovery by reducing relapse and promoting pro-social engagement. 
  • Support for LGBT Older Adults: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders (SAGE) is offering support for LGBT older adults who feel isolated during this time by matching them with community members to connect and share what's going on in their day or just to say "hi." The SAGE hotline is 877-360-LGBT (5428) for help. For more information about the Sage connect program, visit To register for the program call 929.484.4160.
  • Explore other resources in the COVID-19 Wellness Guide


RW Self-Care SaturdayResilient people take responsibility for their well-being. They know that if they don’t practice self-care, then caring for others and managing stress will be all the more difficult. Some people may not feel like they have time to take care of themselves and put their needs before others, but it’s actually an essential way to build resilience and cope with stress. When you start to feel tense, overwhelmed, a dip in energy or a headache or stomachache coming on, then you know you’re overdue for a dose of self-care. The way you practice self-care is up to you. Find what brings you joy and helps you recharge and do more of it! Explore ways you can be kind to yourself on #SelfCareSaturday. 

How You Can Participate

  • Explore these 20 Ways to Celebrate Resilience on #SelfCareSaturday
  • Share how you participated on social media
    • This #SelfCareSaturday, I am taking care of myself by __. (i.e. Doing a task I’ve been procrastinating on (scheduling a doctors appointment), not being too hard on myself, doing something that makes me feel relaxed…)
    • Today, I am celebrating #SelfCareSaturday (share a photo of the task and encourage others to comment a photo back of their task).


  • How to Care for Yourself While Physically Distancing: Mental Health First Aid offers these easy self-care strategies that can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, or prevent anxiety before it even starts, while practicing physical distancing. Use these tips from the MHFA curriculum to take care of your mental health while practicing physical distancing.
  • Smiling Mind: Developed by psychologists and educators, this app offers a wide variety of programs for all ages. Particularly if you feel anxious about the coronavirus or your kids feel stressed about disruptions to their everyday normal lives, this is an app that will have solutions for the whole family. The entire app is free.
  • Explore other resources in the COVID-19 Wellness Guide