BEE HEARD: A resilient holiday

Native Connections

What does resilience mean? According to the dictionary, resilience means a) the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; b) the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. 

How do we create resilience? 

Life is full of narrow and wide pathways that go up and down, and it twists and turns. Sometimes, when we set out for our adventure, we don’t know what path we’re on or where we’re going. Sometimes we ask others for advice who are on similar paths or who are maybe taking a different route. 

Let’s say we want to go on a road trip. We know there’s going to be some rough roads ahead, such as a mountain pass that can be steep and dangerous at certain times in the year. Even the vehicle we are driving might have something to do with how successful we are on the road trip. Are we and our vehicle prepared for the road trip ahead? 

Do we call or check the internet for the condition of the road ahead? Do we print out a checklist for our vehicle to make sure we are prepared for the trip? Do we seek out advice from a friend or someone who is familiar with the mountain pass? Do we create a playlist of music to inspire us or to keep us calm so we can push on? 

If you live in Colorado, you will eventually drive through snow and you know how unpredictable our seasons and weather can be. The road and other drivers can change on a dime and we know with practice and preparedness we can make it through some of the most snow packed roads. That’s how we build resilience – with the right tools, support and information, we are able to make it through the challenges ahead. Then, when we make it through, we feel accomplished, confident, and courageous for our efforts and success. 

How do we create a resilient holiday? 

Now that we know what resilience means, how do we create a holiday season that will thrive in the conditions we live in today?

The story of a resilient holiday will be different for everyone. We are all different. We all react differently to situations and, depending on the tools and support we have, we get through experiences and adventures differently. So being prepared is probably the best tool in the box. 

For generations, our indigenous ancestors prepared themselves for challenges ahead. For example, they knew when to move camp, where to move during the changing seasons. They did this not for the best views, but for survival. We have that ability in us to do the same thing to survive. 

So how do we prepare?

A good start might be creating a checklist of things that you can do to bring happiness and joy to yourself, your family and your friends for the upcoming holiday. After creating the checklist, go through it and ask “why” and “how.” Why do I need to complete this task? How am I going to complete this task? 

For example, one of the tasks on your checklist might be to get a freshly cooked holiday meal to aunty and uncle. Why is this on the list? Maybe aunty and uncle would like a break from cooking. Or maybe they can’t afford to cook a holiday meal. Or maybe cooking their own meal will create too much leftover food. Whatever the reason, you have planned ahead and arranged to make them a meal. Next, we want to ask how. How am I going to get the meal to them? This depends on where they live and if you can get them the meal. 

When we ask ourselves just these two simple questions, “Why?” and “How?”, we are preparing ourselves to accomplish a task or overcome an obstacle. When we begin this process, we are creating our own ability to be resilient. 

When you are preparing to create a resilient holiday, don’t forget to think about yourself. Put some tasks on your checklist that create time and space for you to recharge, love yourself, and/or learn something new about yourself and your abilities. Maybe even share your resilient holiday story in your journal or with your family or on social media. Don’t forget to keep it positive so we can inspire others to become resilient too. 

The takeaway. 

We all have the ability to be resilient in our lives. How we do that can differ. Maybe it’s through following examples or advice from those older or more experienced. Maybe it’s by being more informed about tools and tips to make it through certain obstacles in life. Whatever route we take or whichever means, it is our path. Our path to learn from. Our path to create love, joy, and happiness. Our path to create adventure and conquer obstacles. 

The Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division and Native Connections Program wishes you the best on your journey through life. 

Want to help and be a part of the change?

Looking for community members and youth to join the Prevention Coalition tasked to reduce youth substance usage, eliminate mental health stigma, and start the discussion around suicide and prevention. 

Upcoming Prevention Coalition Meetings: We are going virtual! For more information please contact Precious Collins, Native Connections Program Coordinator for more information 970-563-2487. 

Upcoming Training: FREE online Suicide Prevention Training- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) for Southern Ute Tribal employees, and Southern Ute tribal members. Let’s all learn the warning signs and what to do if someone is experiencing a crisis. Please contact Precious Collins at 970-563-2487 or email to sign up.

Upcoming Community Events:  The Southern Ute Native Connections Program will be hosting monthly “Acting All Some How Show” via Zoom. These shows will have guest speakers, both locally and nationally and we will be focusing on mental wellness and substance use prevention. Please contact use at 970-563-2487 to sign up for our email notifications.


  • Southern Ute Health Center – Behavior Health: 69 Capote Dr., Ignacio, CO 970-563-4581. For local Native Americans, call to schedule a counseling appointment. 
  • Southern Ute Division of Social Services:
    116 Capote Drive, Ignacio, CO 970-563-2331 for local Native Americans needing assistance with child welfare needs and family support. 
  • Southern Ute Police Department – Anonymous Tip Hotline: Do you have information about a crime? Please call 970-563-4999. This “Tip Line” was designed to allow you the ability to provide law enforcement with information, anonymously if need be, regarding criminal, drug, or suspicious activity. The “Tip Line” is monitored around the clock by SUPD Investigators, but it DOES NOT replace 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police number 970-563-4401.
  • St. Ignatius Catholic Church: Pastor Cesar Arras, 14826 CO-172, Ignacio, CO 970-563-4241.
  • Ignacio Community Church: Pastor Randall Haynes 405 Browning Ave, Ignacio, CO (currently located inside ELHI) 970-759-3633 
  • Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners: Believes that every child and youth at risk of suicide should have access to the mental health treatment they need. We match children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities, 720-962-0706.
  • Women’s Resource Center:
    Creates personal, social, and professional growth opportunities for all women in La Plata County, 970-247-1242.


  • 24/7 Axis Crisis Line: Southwest Colorado 970-247-5245 or text 741741. 
  • Colorado Crisis Line:
    844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255. You’ll immediately be put in contact with a trained counselor, ready to text with you about anything.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
    Has both an online chat and a 24/7 phone line at 1-800-273-8255 if you are thinking of suicide or need help for a loved one.
  • The Trevor Project:
    Seeks to serve LGBT youth, has a 24/7 suicide prevention line at 866-488-7386.

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