Professional Development Blog
Building Resiliency

Building Resiliency

Beth A. Payne, Director, Office of Children’s Issues, Department of State

Duration: 6:02 mins

Discussion Questions:

How do you gain energy when you feel stressed?
Are there ways to implement resiliency-building practices in your workplace?
Self Reflection Note: Do you recognize your weaknesses? Do you have healthy hobbies that build energy?


Beth A Payne, Director of the Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State, knows a thing or two about resiliency. As a Foreign Service Officer, she traveled from Senegal, to Rwanda, to Israel and Kuwait.

But Beth left Baghdad, Iraq, a different person. Her experience left her weak and troubled. Payne suffered from low resiliency with sleeplessness, anxiety, and a different temperament.

However, Beth didn’t falter and she refused to quit. Her diagnosis was normal and sought help. She vowed to use her experience as a learning tool that could help others.

Here Payne offers six ways to improve resiliency.

1 Rest your brain: It’s just as important as your body. Focus on just one thing through meditation and yoga or even an activity like jigsaw puzzles, photography or gardening.

2: Make time for in-person interactions: Even introverts need to see people! Break the barrier and start conversations with someone new.

3: Stop overworking: Overexerting yourself leads to fatigue. If you work less you can make every hour count. Use your energy wisely.

4: Make time for hobbies: Feed your passions to reduce stress. This will actually give you energy throughout the day and give you a reward after a day of hard work.

5: Don’t overindulge: Splurging can give you a big high but also lead to a big low. It’s easily the biggest resiliency killer. You can still enjoy your luxury of drinking or shopping but make sure to use moderation.

6: Be honest with yourself and others: Don’t pretend to be invincible. Acknowledge your weaknesses and you’ll become a stronger person.

If your agency utilizes these steps then your team will see higher resiliency immediately.