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  • Laila Datoo

How to build resilience in difficult times

The question I'm asked about again and again, by managers, by employees, by team how do we build our resilience to get through these mad times?

It's a good question. And a tough one. Because resilience is often seen as a one time thing- we go through a challenging time, we develop the strength muscle that supports us to get through it (or props us up when we get to the other side) and then it's there. We have resilience.

Job done.

Unfortunately what Covid is showing us is that resilience is a slow burn. It's an on-going skill we need to keep on developing, building and re evaluating as the ground under our feet shifts.

So today I would like to share 5 tips to build your resilience and maintain it - this is for you and your people so if you are worried about your own ability to cope or you want to support your on and share it with anyone who needs this too!

Definitions of Resilience: 1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. "the incredible resilience of the NHS to support the nation's health" 2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity "Putting up with Boris's ever changing lockdown rules takes resilience" My favourite... Resilience is “the core strength you use to lift the load of life.” (Dr. Amit Sood) Resilience isn’t a fixed trait. Flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance can help people tap into their resilience by changing certain thoughts and behaviours. So how do we build it? As always with all things well-being and mental health, my recommendations are centered around small, regular actions and steps. 1. Acceptance - Being ok with how things are even when we don't like it is often the biggest hurdle. Once we let go of control and give in to the inevitable (by he way acceptance doesn't mean we roll over and give up!) - then we release a lot of energy and relax into just being present. Can you accept where you are right now and be present in the experience, whether good or bad? 2. Compassion - Not everyone deals with difficulties in the same way. And that's ok. Can you show yourself or your people compassion and understanding for the way challenges are being handled? 3. Slow down - where can you introduce pauses, rest or space to give yourself the opportunity to be present? Often we think that in difficult times we need to do more. And this is detrimental to our health. How can you slow things down and take some space to let your body rest? 4. Simplify - by removing many of the unnecessary tasks or 'shoulds' from our life, we can build the strength to keep going and focus on the important things. Where can you be focused in your work? Taking small, consistent actions is more important than trying to do it all now. This reduces overwhelm and builds in space to breathe. 5. Communication - we can only be our best, most resilient selves when we have the support of those around us. And we can get this by communicating what we need. When was the last time you checked in with your team - on them and their workload? When was the last time you shared what support you need? Resilience is what gives people the emotional strength to cope with trauma, adversity, and hardship. Of course resilient people do experience stress, setbacks, and difficult emotions, but they tap into their strengths and seek help from support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems. Resilience empowers them to accept and adapt to a situation and move forward. And if ever there was a situation we need to adapt and accept, it's covid! I encourage you to look at the above list and pick ONE thing you can do to start building your resilience after you finish reading this blog.

Good luck!


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