What does resilience mean to you? Is it something that you only think others have or maybe that you’re not ‘good’ at it. The great news is that resilience can be learned even if we feel it doesn’t come naturally to you.
So, what is it? Well, at its most simple, resilience refers to the inner resources you have that help you get through difficult time and keep going. Some people see it as the ability to bounce back from adversity, but I see it as more than that: being flexible and adaptable in the face of adversity and using tools and strategies that you have learnt from past challenges to help you move forward. Bouncing back will only work for so long without nurturing resilience on a regular basis and could lead to burnout.
I liken resilience levels to your own internal reservoir, a resilience reservoir that you need to keep topped up at all times rather than just adding to in case of emergency. This will keep you on a more even keel emotionally, mentally and physically. We all need a base level of resilience to even have a chance to face the day.
Here are my top tips for how to build and maintain your resilience reservoir:
Look after yourself
Sleep well. Eat well. Drink plenty of water. Be kind to yourself.
Spend time outside or exercising
Both being in nature and exercise will boost your mood and increase your fitness.
Communicate: with your friends, loved ones, colleagues
Reaching out to others and explaining how you are feeling before things get too hard is essential for wellbeing.
Let it go
Are you worrying about issues you can’t control? Use your energy positively for what you can change and don’t stress about what you can’t.
Get stuff done
We can all take pride in achieving, even those annoying tasks that we’d rather put off forever. Remind yourself of what you have achieved, rather than just worrying about what is left to do.
Do something that is just for you every day
This could be reading a book you love, making time for a hobby, seeing friends, cooking a delicious meal, taking a walk, simply having a cup of your favourite tea. The important thing is that it nourishes you and you feel happier and more centred afterwards.
Keeping your resilience reservoir topped up is no guarantee that life will be plain sailing, but it does mean that you will be able to cope better and adapt more easily when things don’t go to plan.
Remember, being resilient is not some kind of exclusive club. It is open to everyone.