A Guide to Boosting Your Resilience
What is resilience?
Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back from a tough situation and to avoid becoming a victim of helplessness. It is an adaptive state and personality trait evident in many people but can be influenced by many factors including the work environment, experiences and culture.
Why is resilience important?
Being resilient can help to manage stress, lower one’s chances of developing psychological ill health in the form of anxiety and/ or depression, and has even been proven to make people live longer. Research has shown that while some people seem to come by resilience naturally, these behaviors can also be learned.
What are the symptoms of poor resilience?
- Inability to cope and poor self-esteem
- Poor psychological ill health
- Increased sickness absence and staff turnover at work
- Poor lifestyle behaviour – smoking, increasing alcohol intake
- Poor sleep patterns
- Increased risk of long term conditions e.g cancer, heart disease
What are the common strategies you could use to boost resilience?
- Find a sense of purpose in life e.g becoming involved in your community, participating in activites that are meaningful to you.
- Establish goals – crisis situations can be daunting but being able to view these in a reaslistic way by setting reasonable goals to deal with them, you can reduce overwhelming situations.
- Take steps to solve problems – starting to work on resolving issues immediately provides the necessary steps in making the situation betterand less stressful – simply waiting for a problem to go away will only prolong the crisis.
- Build positive beliefs in your abilities e.g remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments as these will make you more confident when responding and dealing with a crisis.
- Develop a strong social network – having caring, supportive people around, acts as a protective factor during times of crisis.
- Embrace change – flexibility is an essential part of being resilient. By learning how to be more adaptable, you become better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis.
- Be optimistic – maintaining a positive outlook helps you to refocus on positive outcomes and provides you with a better understanding that setbacks are transient.
- Nurture yourself and do not neglect your personal needs when faced with a challenge i.e. getting enough sleep, exercise and not missing meals are important in boosting your overall health and resilience.
- Develop problem solving skills – people who come up with solutions to a problem have been found to be better able to cope with problems than those who do not.
- Keep working on your skills – resilience takes time to buiild and is something that is a continuous learning process – one just needs to build on existing strengths!
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