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Leaning on our character strengths for support in tough times

Here are some practical ideas of how you can utilise your character strengths to keep on top of your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, especially during challenging times. 

Our character strengths

Character strengths are “positive traits – capacities humans have for thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that benefit oneself and others. Specifically, they are the psychological ingredients for displaying virtues or human goodness.” (VIA website)

The VIA Classification consists of 24 different character strengths, which we all have within us and can draw on to support us in all aspects of life.  

By implementing a character strengths approach, our main focus is on what’s right and what we do well, as studies have shown that this where we can experience the greatest positive impact. For example…

  • higher levels of happiness 

  • lower levels of depression

  • lower levels of stress

  • higher levels of life satisfaction

  • higher energy levels

  • etc…

How you can lean on them to support you now 

I’ve selected 5 character strengths that can be tapped into at anytime of the day, with a few ideas that you may consider trying:


  • ask how you can support your family, friends and neighbours at the moment

  • show compassion for others – ask how they are doing, and really listen to their answer 

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

  • literally smell the roses – intentionally take notice of how the new season is developing and acknowledge the simply beauty that nature offers us

  • look for examples of excellence in your world – amazing work by a colleague, a beautiful example of architecture in your street, or even one of your recent accomplishments


  • appreciate even the smallest things in your life. The chair you sit on, the phone you have to keep in contact with loved ones, the food in your cupboard…

  • set up a daily routine where you reflect on these before bed, or even discuss together at dinner with your family


  • if you haven’t already, start a bucket list of places you want to see and what you want to do when you get there!

  • Be in contact with people or online groups who are optimistic and lift you up and choose to read positive news or books that bring you joy


  • dance to your favourite music, nap when you can, cook and eat delicious food, and find peace in meditation and nature

Useful resources

The VIA website has many ideas to support you in using any of your 24 character strengths

And I’m here to help you too. Please get in touch if you’d like my support.

Over to you….

  • Do you have any other tips for these character strengths?

  • Do you apply other character strengths in difficult times?

  • And which have helped you the most?





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