Building Resilience and Sustaining Health
By Catherine Hamilton
Crisis and challenge can exert pressure on our whole system – emotional, mental and physical – so it is a time to pay particularly attention to our well-being. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you:
1. Build positive beliefs in your ability
Research has demonstrated that self-esteem plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Becoming more confident about your own ability to respond and deal with crisis is a great way to build resilience for the future.
2. Establish goals
Resilient people are able to view challenges in a realistic way, and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem. When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what is before you. Brainstorm possible solutions, and then break them down into manageable steps.
3. Take steps to solve problems
Simply waiting for a problem to go away on its own only prolongs the crisis. Instead, start working on resolving the issue immediately. While there may not be any fast or simple solutions, you can take steps toward making your situation better and less stressful. Focus on the progress that you have made and then plan your next steps, rather than becoming discouraged by the amount of work that still needs to be accomplished.
4. Develop problem solving skills
Whenever you encounter a new challenge, make a quick list of some of the potential ways you could solve the problem. Experiment with different strategies and focus on developing a logical way to work through common problems.
5. Find a sense of purpose in your life
Create a meaningful purpose each day – a to do list; something to learn; a task to complete; a colleague to call. It might involve becoming involved in your community, cultivating your spirituality, or participating in activities that are meaningful to you.
6. Embrace change
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond as we face uncertainty. Resilient people often utilize these events as an opportunity to branch out in new directions.
7. Staying optimistic
Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are transient and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.
8. Develop a strong social network
Having caring, supportive people around you acts as a protective factor during times of crisis. It is important to have people you can confide in. While simply talking about a situation with a friend or loved one will not make troubles go away, it allows you to share your feelings, gain support, receive positive feedback, and come up with possible solutions to your problems.
9. Nurture yourself
When you’re stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercise, and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis situation. Make time for activities that you enjoy. Build exercise and meal routines into your daily schedule.
10. Keep working on your skills
Resilience may take time to build, so don’t become discouraged if you still struggle to cope with problematic events. Focus on practicing some of the common characteristics of resilient people, but also remember to build upon your existing strengths.
11. Digital Detox
We are surrounded by technology and screen time for many of us has increased and blurred the lines between work and personal life even more.
What key positive habits – new rules and rituals – can you establish that would improve your digital health?
Here’s some ideas: switching off electronic devices at least one hour before sleep; going screen free for long periods and feeling relaxed; turning off other distractions when working on important tasks that require your full attention; exercise screen free evenings and weekends; limiting notifications being sent by Facebook and others; scheduling screen free time to allow your brain to produce great work.
Ref: Feel Good Fit for Business