Building Resilience, Keeping Well
Well, here I go again. I’m starting another Masters level study programme. Am I slightly unhinged? Some of my friends and family will definitely think so. Am I taking on more than I can handle? It’s a possibility, yes. Am I feeling genuinely enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of deepening my knowledge of Positive Psychology and coaching – absolutely!
As a freelance employee wellbeing consultant I’m pretty adept at doling out best practice and sharing the research around what makes us most effective and maintains our personal wellbeing. Now, as I embark on this exciting journey of learning and curiosity I wonder how much of that advice I will stick to myself?
How will I stay motivated, healthy and happy over the next 2+ years of learning? How will I continue to balance the needs of my wonderful clients with my own wellbeing? These questions of balance are ones we all ask ourselves from time to time. When the terrain gets bumpy we wonder whether we are made of the strong stuff. We take on another client project, we embark on parenthood, we start a new job, a relationship breaks down, we experience bereavement and we contemplate our resilience reserves.
When I work with clients, whether in a training workshop or a one to one coaching environment, we share our tops tips for remaining resilient and keeping well through tough times. These are grounded in researched evidence and are timeless classics, embedded in the behaviour of successful, happy people. Now is the time to remind myself of them:
Maintain steady energy through each day by making the right choices with food and drink – we know that some foods make us lethargic, others sustain and power us. Operate an 80/20 rule. It is fine to indulge 20% of the time, but when you’re up against it – fuel up wisely.
Be physically active every day. Research tells us that moving not only helps us maintain energy, but it helps level our moods and strengthen cognition. So I’ll be keeping up my swimming, yoga and running.
Cultivate strong social connections. Loneliness reduces lifespan. Spending time with loved ones helps us balance our perspective, take a break, be listened to and have a laugh. The ONS created this report to showcase the evidence
Taking a break is so important to our ability to make sense of the world. Just noticing the world around us and how we are responding to it is something we can all do in just a few seconds even on a busy day. I use a mindful approach to everyday activities to help me with this.
If like me, you sometimes struggle with sleep, there are lots of ways to improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Having a well established sleep routine may not be exciting, but it makes a noticable difference to performance levels. We need sleep not only for resting the body and mind but to enable us to learn and consolidate memory.
It doesn’t always come naturally to us, but relaxation techniques can be learnt. Whether it is reading, stretching, watching a good film or taking a stroll in the park, we can all takes steps to improve the quality of our downtime. This is vital in making the transition between work, home, study and all the other roles we take in life. Progressive relaxation is another great tool to have up your sleeve.
These tips have worked for me before and they will work again. I’ve simply got to keep at it and build them into every day. Wish me luck!
Share your resilience tips in the comments below. Or for help developing your own resilience strategy, get in touch!