In the first two blog posts of this series, I’ve asked whether you’re working too hard and looked at what resilience is. In this post, I want to look at some very simple strategies for maintaining and developing your resilience so that you never lose your bounce-back-ability.
1. Be self-aware
Get into the habit of noticing how resilient you’re feeling and, if you’re feeling a bit stressed, pay attention to what you think is causing the stress. (Just for now, I’ll let you get away with blaming other things for causing stress)
2. Keep your perspective
When you’re feeling stressed, it is easy to lose your perspective and relatively minor issues can seem like big things. One really simply way to keep your perspective is to think how important something will be when you look back on it one year from now. If you really want the ultimate perspective on what counts, have a look at ‘The top 5 regrets of the dying’. When you get a proper perspective, what seem like huge issues may not be as big.
3. Focus on what you can control
As I wrote in my last post, burnout doesn’t happen overnight and it is often a result of loads of poor choices. Nobody would choose to be a bit ‘dented’ but that is the reality of what often happens; People spend a lot of time and energy blaming things that are outside of their control (the amount of potential work, the way their boss behaves, the organisational culture etc.) and then make poor decisions about things that are within their control.
Rather than get stuck in this rut, focus on what you can control and on making good, healthy decisions every day. You can’t control the amount of potential work but you can control how you prioritise. You can’t control the way your boss behaves but you can control how you respond, how it affects you, and whether you continue to work for them or for the organisation.
4. Maintain healthy habits
There are a number of healthy habits that most would agree are beneficial: Eating well; drinking alcohol and coffee in moderation and drinking plenty of water; getting enough quality sleep; getting fresh air and walks outside; exercise; spending time with friends.
They’re all fairly obvious but, when we’re busy or stressed, we sometimes choose to drop them. I say choose because nobody forces us. Choose to maintain these healthy habits and don’t drop them or replace them with unhealthy ones.
5. Have a support network
Your friends and family, your support network are so important yet people who are struggling often start to disengage from people around them. Don’t. If you haven’t got a good support network, build one and be part of other people’s support networks. Remember that coaching can also be a part of your support network. One of the ways I keep my own support network going is through the Strategic Latte and they are a great help to me!
And that’s it: some simple strategies to make sure that you don’t let yourself get compressed too far for too long and get ‘dented’. Simple strategies that are worth doing consistently so that they become habits and keep you in good shape, whatever you face. Please don’t let yourself get ‘dented’. It isn’t worth it.
This post is part 3 of a series on Personal Resilience. Other posts are: