One of the most powerful tools we can all develop is our resilience. Whether this is resilience at work, or at home – one thing is for sure – we will all experience change and adversity, and our resilience levels will determine how well we deal with that.
January is always a time for lower levels of resilience, with the excitement of Christmas passed, and with all of the challenges that the last year has brought, this one may feel tougher than ever.
We give resilience tips to businesses all of the time, but wanted to put a post together with some quick wins that everyone can implement.
Lengthen Your Morning Before You Let The Outer World In
Often, one of the first things we do in the morning is reach for our phone. Whether that is to read the news, check emails and messages or scroll social media, we are immediately letting the external world in, often before our brain is fully awake or we are even out of bed.
By lengthening the amount of time you have in the morning before you let factors outside of your immediate household in, can ground you in presence, and often makes the start to your day more intentional and effective.
This could be as simple as getting up for a cup of coffee in peace before the rest of the house wakes up, or spending breakfast time with your family before you get drawn into work emails, or it could be inserting a new morning routine like The Miracle Morning.
Be Conscious Of The Seasons Of Your Day
Celynn Morin, a workplace wellbeing expert, talks about thinking about your day in four seasons, and considering how you are taking care of your wellbeing around those:
- Spring – Taking time to wake up to the world slowly and intentionally
- Summer – Getting busy in your day
- Autumn – Slowing down ready for hibernation
- Winter – Hibernating in sleep
Looking at these you could be considering your impact of your morning routine (as previously mentioned) on your resilience levels during the day; how you are balancing the busy-ness of your day with taking time to pause, eat and move; what your evening routine looks like in slowing down and getting time for relaxation; and then looking at the quality of your sleep and its impact on your resilience (more on that below!).
Know How Important Sleep Is
Sleep is one of the most unused productivity and resilience boosters. If you can tackle how long you sleep, and the quality of sleep you get it will make a huge difference to how resilient you are. According to Matthew Walker, Sleep Scientist “sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality”. He discusses the concept of sleep being your superpower in his celebrated TED talk, and gives more tips and techniques in his book Why We Sleep.
Make Stress Your Friend
Often with resilience material it can make you feel that any type of stress is bad, and then by worrying about your stress, can in turn impact your resilience levels. Re-framing how you think about stress can be a really useful tool. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal talks about seeing stress as a positive and that many of the negative impacts only happen if you believe it to be negative, she discusses this theory in her interesting TED talk Make Stress Your Friend.
Breathe To Lower Stress Levels
A really simple technique for managing stress levels is something we all have access to – your breathing. Our average breathing cycles per minute can range anywhere from 5 – 30 depending on how quickly, and deeply you breathe. In order to calm yourself when stressed, or you feel anxiety mounting, focussing on slowing and deepening your breathing to 6-8 breath cycles a minute is key – it is physiologically impossible to enter fight or flight when your breathing is slowed to this level.
It’s OK To Be OK, But It’s Also OK To Be Not OK
There is a lot of information around, it’s OK to not be OK and share how you are feeling, however there isn’t as much said about staying positive when your resilience is tested. This is something we talk a lot about at Duo, that sometimes when others are feeling bad, or things seem really difficult and you feel positive it can leave you questioning whether you are right in how you are feeling.
In her post 5 Lessons I Learned About Resilience While Working With Soldiers, Paula Davis-Laack shares: “Positive emotions and feeling good might seem misplaced with a crisis of this magnitude. Seeing this type of positivity might even feel off-putting, particularly if you’re stressed out about juggling work and homeschooling your kids or worried about a loved one’s health. I remember during my first training that the soldiers were talking about humor and cracking jokes while on deployment during the height of the war in Iraq. It bothered me to hear them talk in what I perceived to be a callous manner, and I actually asked them a question about it. They said, “Ma’am, it was literally the only thing that got us through most days.” There is a strong link between positive emotions and resilience at both the individual and team levels.”
If you’re looking for more practical techniques about increasing your own resilience levels, or providing your team with a tool to work on, you might be interested in our online resilience course
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