The R.A.N.G.E. of Resilience

First H.E.L.P.’s RANGE of Resilience focuses on developing five key resilience practices to build productive behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can help individuals and agencies recover from setbacks and thrive during adversity. These practices include Recognize the Good, Active Constructive Responding, Notice the World Around You, Get Up and Move, and Energy Management. By incorporating these practices into daily life, individuals can build resilience and improve their overall mental health.

Recognize The Good


Recognize the Good is a resilience skill that focuses on intentional gratitude and joy. By recognizing and appreciating positive experiences, emotions and relationships, individuals can shift their focus away from stress and negativity. Practicing Recognize the Good has been shown to improve mood, emotional well-being, relationships, resilience, and physical health. It is an important tool for promoting positive emotions and well-being, particularly for those, like First Responders, who are exposed to high levels of stress and adversity in their work. By promoting this skill, First H.E.L.P. is helping to build a foundation of positive emotions and resilience for First Responders and their families.

  • Keep a gratitude journal: Write down at least three things you are thankful for each day.
  • Focus on the present moment: Pay attention to the good things happening around you right now.
  • Practice appreciation: Express appreciation to others for the good things they bring into your life.
  • Look for the positive in difficult situations: #HuntTheGoodStuff. Challenge yourself to find the silver lining in challenging situations.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: Seek out relationships with people who bring positivity into your life.
  • Engage in hobbies and activities you enjoy: Spend time doing things that bring you joy and make you feel good.
  • Acknowledge your own strengths and achievements: Focus on your accomplishments and the good things you bring into the world.
  • Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, and focus on your own well-being.
  • Volunteer and give back: Helping others is a powerful way to bring more joy and positivity into your life.
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Make a conscious effort to be thankful for what you have, and to focus on the good things in life, no matter how small.
  1. Improve relationships with family and friends
  2. Reduce stress and conflict in daily interactions
  3. Foster a positive outlook and decrease negative emotions
  4. Enhance communication and listening skills
  5. Increase feelings of happiness and fulfillment
  6. Strengthen emotional resilience
  7. Promote a more supportive and encouraging environment
  8. Create a sense of community and connectedness
  9. Improve one’s own emotional well-being and mental health
  10. Encourage others to do the same and promote positivity in their own lives.

Active Constructive Responding (ACR)


Active Constructive Responding (ACR) is one of First H.E.L.P.’s #RANGEofResilience Skills that promotes positive relationships and builds trust. ACR involves responding to events and situations in a positive, supportive, and constructive manner. This can involve expressing positive emotions and offering encouragement to others, focusing on the positive aspects of events and situations, and recognizing the strengths, efforts, and accomplishments of others. By using ACR, individuals are able to build stronger, more positive relationships based on trust and mutual support. ACR is an important tool for building resilience, as positive relationships and social support have been shown to be important factors in coping with stress and challenges. By promoting ACR, First H.E.L.P. is helping to build stronger, more supportive relationships for First Responders and their families.

  • Remember to SLANT:
    • Sit/Stand up straight
    • Look at the other person
    • Ask & answer questions
    • Effective nonverbal communication
    • Turn off electronics
  • Show genuine interest: Ask questions, engage in conversation, and make an effort to understand the other person’s perspective.


  • Offer support: Offer help, encouragement, and support when someone needs it.


  • Avoid negative responses: Refrain from criticizing, complaining, or speaking negatively about others.


  • Seek first to understand: Try to understand the other person’s point of view, even if you disagree before responding.


  • Practice empathy: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how they are feeling.


  • Assume positive intent: Listen for and highlight the good things in a situation, and find common ground to build on.


  • Offer constructive feedback: If you need to provide feedback, do so in a way that is respectful, constructive, and focused on solutions.


  • Look for ways to add value: Think about how you can bring positivity and value to a situation.


  • Practice kindness: Be kind, patient, and understanding, even in difficult circumstances.
  1. Improved mental clarity and focus.
  2. Increased ability to manage stress.
  3. Better relationships with others.
  4. Enhanced overall well-being and happiness.
  5. Improved physical health.
  6. Increased empathy and understanding of others.
  7. Improved problem-solving skills.
  8. Decreased risk of burnout and vicarious trauma.
  9. Improved ability to make positive changes in the world.
  10. Increased self-awareness and personal growth.

Notice the World Around You


Notice the World Around You is a grounding and mindfulness technique designed to help individuals focus on the present moment and the world around them. This skill helps to reduce stress, improve focus, enhance relationships, increase self-awareness and promote overall health and well-being. By being mindful and present, individuals can better understand their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, which can help them to better care for themselves. This skill is essential for First Responders and their families as it helps them to build resilience and prepare them to better cope with stress and challenges. By encouraging people to notice the world around them, we develop an important resilience skill and improve overall well-being.

  • Engage your senses: Take time to savor the taste, smell, and texture of your food, or spend time in nature and pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you.


  • Set reminders: Use your phone or a physical reminder to remind you to be present and focus on the current moment.


  • Avoid multitasking: Avoid doing multiple things at once, such as checking your phone while watching TV.


  • Use the 3×3 grounding exercise to focus on the present moment: Look around you and identify three things you can see, three things you can hear, and three things you can feel.


  • Engage your senses: Pay attention to the smells, tastes, and textures around you, and allow yourself to fully experience them.


  • Limit distractions: Turn off your phone, close your computer, and avoid other distractions that can take you out of the moment.

    Practice mindfulness in your daily activities: Whether you are cooking, cleaning, or commuting, bring your full attention to the task at hand and let go of any distractions or worries. Consider using an app like Insight Timer.


  • Practice Active Constructive Responding: User ACR during conversations to stay present and fully engage with the person you are speaking with. Use positive and constructive words, ask open-ended questions, and show genuine interest in the other person to build trust and strengthen relationships.

  • Connect with nature: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being, so consider taking a walk in a park or going for a hike in the woods. Take a mindful walk: Focus on your surroundings, pay attention to the sounds, sights, and sensations you experience, and avoid distractions like your phone.


  • Use a grounding stone or worry stone: Hold the stone and focus on its texture and weight, using it as a physical anchor to stay present in the moment.


  1. Improved mental clarity and focus.
  2. Increased ability to manage stress.
  3. Better relationships with others.
  4. Enhanced overall well-being and happiness.
  5. Improved physical health.
  6. Increased empathy and understanding of others.
  7. Improved problem-solving skills.
  8. Decreased risk of burnout and vicarious trauma.
  9. Improved ability to make positive changes in the world.
  10. Increased self-awareness and personal growth.

Get Up & Move


“Get Up and Move” is a resilience skill promoted by First H.E.L.P. which emphasizes the importance of physical activity and exercise for building resilience. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, enhance sleep, boost energy, build confidence, improve cognitive function and strengthen relationships. By encouraging individuals to make physical activity a priority, First H.E.L.P. helps them take control of their health and well-being and build their resilience to stress and challenges. The “Get Up and Move” skill encourages individuals to engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, fitness classes, or sports, to help them build strength, improve mood, and cope better with stress.

  • Stand up and move every hour, or set an alarm as a reminder.
  • Take a short walk or stretch to help recharge your energy levels.
  • Incorporate yoga or other physical activities into your routine.
  • Take breaks in nature, or go for a walk with family or friends: Regular exercise provides numerous physical and mental health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing stress and anxiety, boosting mood, and promoting overall well-being.
  • Focus on crossing the midline: Crossing the midline of your body during exercises or stretches to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.
  • Incorporate Energy Management Skills: Use energy management techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to help manage stress.
  • Try a walking meditation: While walking, practice mindfulness techniques like “Notice the World Around You” to stay present and connected to your surroundings.
  • Take a dance break or move to music to add a fun element to your physical activity.
  • Try new activities, like rock climbing or kayaking, to keep things interesting and engaging.
  • Set a fitness goal: Setting a goal to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, and track your progress over time might encourage more frequent use of this skill.
  1. Improved physical health and energy levels
  2. Better mental clarity and focus
  3. Enhanced mood and decreased stress
  4. Better sleep
  5. Increased creativity and problem-solving skills
  6. Improved cardiovascular health
  7. Reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
  8. Improved joint and muscle flexibility
  9. Improved immune system function
  10. Improved ability to manage stress and maintain a positive outlook.

Energy Management


Energy management as a resilience skill refers to an individual’s ability to effectively manage the stress cycle, including recognizing when they are in the stage of exhaustion, and taking steps to promote recovery. This can involve stress-reducing activities, such as intentional breathing, exercise, mindfulness, and rest, as well as effective time management and prioritization of tasks. By effectively managing the stress cycle, individuals can build their resilience and better cope with stress in the future.

  • Practice breathing exercises to calm the body and reduce stress. Examples:
    • Diaphragmatic breathing
    • Progressive muscle relaxation
    • Box breathing
    • Alternate Nostril breathing
    • Belly breathing
  • Excercise: Engage in physical activity, such as yoga, walking, or other forms of exercise
  • Prioritize adequate sleep and rest: Sleep refers to a biological process where the body goes into a state of rest and rejuvenation for the mind and body, while rest refers to a state of relaxation and rejuvenation, which can include activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing, which can help replenish energy levels and reduce stress.
  • Practice mindfulness: Implement mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or guided imagery
  • Engage in stress-reducing activities, such as hobbies or social activities. Examples: gardening, playing musical instruments, photography, reading, painting, drawing, writing, cooking, baking, hiking, spending time with friends and family, volunteering, practicing yoga or meditation, taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill, playing sports, taking walks or going for runs, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in self-care activities such as taking a bath, getting a massage, or having a spa day.
  • Practice self-care: Take care of yourself such as taking breaks throughout the day, eating nutritious foods, and staying hydrated
  • Use visualization techniques to promote a positive outlook and reduce stress
  • Prioritize time management and avoid overcommitting
  • Set and enforce boundaries: Set boundaries with technology and social media to reduce distractions
  • Seek support from loved ones and connect with others for social support and encouragement.
  1. To reduce stress and promote physical and emotional well-being
  2. To increase energy levels and overall vitality
  3. To improve cognitive function and memory
  4. To improve mood and sleep quality
  5. To increase productivity and focus
  6. To develop a positive outlook and decrease negative thoughts
  7. To improve relationships with family, friends, and co-workers
  8. To increase resilience and ability to handle future stress
  9. To reduce the risk of burnout and secondary trauma
  10. To foster a sense of control and balance in life.

It is important to note that practicing resilience skills can help individuals better cope with everyday stressors, but should not be considered a substitute for seeking professional help. If an individual is experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, it is important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional, such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Practicing resilience skills can be a useful tool, but they are not a cure for mental illness and should be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment as prescribed by a mental health professional.