Top tips to build resilience and tackle the challenges of isolation during COVID-19

At The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, we believe that not all learning happens in the classroom. In fact, some of life’s biggest lessons can happen in the least likely locations. Never has there been a time when that is more relevant than it is right now.

It’s a difficult time for everyone. And if you’re one of the 1.5 billion young people who have been affected by school closures due to COVID-19, it’s likely that things have changed for you pretty quickly.

Now is a great time to be working on you. And with more than 60 years’ experience helping millions of young people to be ready for the world, we know that learning isn’t just about ensuring you have technical skills and traditional training. To be truly ready for all that life throws at us, we need to be resilient and adaptable. We need to be good problem solvers and great communicators. We need to have the universal skills to face the world head on.

So what can you be doing right now to help develop skills to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges? Read on below for just a few tips on some great places to start…

Look inside

Now is the perfect time to learn more about what drives you. What are you motivated by? What scares you, inspires you, holds you back? What are you interested in? What haven’t you had a chance to check out, even though you always wanted to? There is no better time to take a look inside and learn more about what makes you tick.

Set a challenge(s)

What is it that you want to have achieved by the time life starts to return to normal? Set yourself a challenge. Think of something which drives and inspires you. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Something you wanted to conquer? The most important thing is that your challenge is individual – it’s yours and yours alone.

Move more

Make sure you are getting active at least once a day. Whether it’s a YouTube yoga class, a walk or dancing to your favourite music, regularly getting active can make all the difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Give back

Spend time volunteering. There are plenty of ways you can support your community safely at this time, including calling or supporting the elderly and/or vulnerable, helping with deliveries to and from key hospitals, or developing community awareness material to ensure health and safety messages are being received.

Learn a new skill

It could be a great time to learn a new skill. Pick up a new instrument or a language. Take up coding, or develop your artistic side.

Plan for the future

Plan ideas and challenges for after the pandemic. Do you want to climb a mountain? Join a theatre group? Or volunteer somewhere different? Plan something exciting for the future – go into as much detail as you can and keep adding to it over the coming weeks.

Don’t give up

You’ll inevitably have times of frustration and times when you don’t want to conquer mountains – getting out of bed is enough. That’s fine, but don’t give up. Don’t let that challenge drop. Keep active and keep giving back. You will thank yourself for it in the end.

Make it official

Sign up to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and use this time towards getting an internationally recognised award. Join millions of young people in more than 130 countries and territories who can lay claim to being Award holders. Organisations around the world now recognise the immense value that an Award adds to a young person’s development, so don’t miss out – there’s never been a better time to get involved.

For more information and to find your nearest Award, visit our interactive map here. 

We will be updating this page over the coming weeks, with insights and ideas from Award participants and Leaders from around the world. 

Click here to check out our webinar on doing the Award and discovering how you can stay active and help others during COVID-19.