Res(t)ilience – Yay! I invented a word!

I just read an article from the Harvard Business Review that inspired me to create a new word. The new word is restilience, from resilience + rest.

I know, it’s super catchy, and you will be doing your bit to spread this word till all the crazy kids are saying it.

Or maybe not.

But let me get to my point. The article in question (Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure) brought up one of my favorite things ever, which is break time.

Oh, and also the role of break time in, you know, that other thing. Resilience.

From what I have been able to gather — and I could be wrong about this — theĀ Harvard Business Review loves to talk about resilience. Although they focus on the business aspect of it, you the student no doubt see its value as well. Flunking and setbacks happen, and you’d probably like to bounce back.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Although persistence and resilience aren’t true synonyms, we see resilient people as persistent.

As a result, we oftentimes think that resilience looks like kind of like this:

Oh, did I forget to tell you that would be a wee bit graphic?

That was a wee bit graphic. (There was your fair warning.)

But working till your face bleeds is, apparently, a terrible way to be resilient, says the Harvard Business Review. Breaks are vital for building resilience. And let me tell you, as a Puerto Rican with some French and Italian blood, what really gets my heart a-singing is the thought of BREAK TIME! *

Break time, sweet break time. How do I love thee?

So how can you become a “restilient” student? How do you find the time to insert moments of respite into your daily living when your teachers seem to think their one goal in life is to bury you under an avalanche of homework and tests?

Fair point. But since you are not likely to be able to change your teachers or swap them out for vacation-loving alien invaders, it will be up to you to find time to rest in your quest for “restilience”.

Here are some tips:

  1. Make your breaks short. Break time doesn’t have to last hours, as much as we might like it to. Even 4 or 5 minutes away from a screen or a textbook can refresh us. After at least each hour or so of work, get up and away.
  2. Get enough sleep. If you deprive yourself of sleep, your homework will take 2.3 million times longer to finish. It is hard to sneak a break here and there if you are inefficient from lack of sleep. (And sleep counts as break time! So it will make you more “restilient.”)
  3. Get enough exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon every day. What it does mean is that, when you take breaks, you shouldn’t stare at your book or screen. Get up. Walk around. Hit a punching bag shaped like your least-favourite teacher. Exercise will increase your efficiency, which will allow you more wriggle room for break time.
  4. Tweak your study habits so that you learn better and therefore have more time for more breaks. I’m going to go ahead refer you to this study book right here.

The human body isn’t some machine. It needs rest to recover. So make sure to give yourself those much-needed vacations — even if they are itsy-bitsy.

And remember to start using the word “restilience” I invented it!


*In fact, my hate of computers can be traced back to the 3rd grade, when the school I went to decided we needed computer classes. Instead of waiting till the next school year, when they could schedule in a class, the dimwits in charge decided to put a computer class during one of our 15-minute breaks. Hello, people? Don’t you know the definition of break time? And since I have French and Italian blood, I am genetically pre-programmed to go all unionized on you if you take away my break. Just don’t do it.


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About the Author

Elise Loyacano Perl
Elise Loyacano Perl is the Puerto Rican author of The Little Guide to not Being Dumb: How to Stop Making Excuses and Actually Learn. Click here to see her funny YouTube show called The Brain Drain. Elise holds a joint BA/MA in French literature from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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