Tag Archives: Resilience

Resilience Alphabet – E is for Energy and Exercise

I’m curious about what energises you – and I appreciate you may not immediately think of exercise!

At this time we may be feeling the pressure of the work we do if it is on the front line, or the lack of work we currently have to do, or a sense of our freedom being curtailed, or our struggle with getting no ‘me’ time, or indeed our struggle with working in isolation and feeling the loss of colleagues that brings. So this post recognises the differences between us.

In the same way we will be energised by different things. This picture is one of my favourite views – just looking at it takes me right there even if it is off limits just now. Perhaps the best thing you can do to sustain your energy levels is pay attention to what energises any human body… and also what energises You!

This could be a great time to start your Couch to 5K whilst the guidance is for exercise once a day. Just think where you could be by the end of 12 weeks. There is strong evidence for the benefits of physical exercise in enhancing mental health and re-firing the brain with good chemistry.

Or if friends energise you join Zoom or GotoMeeting or some other online networking service and have Online Lunch Times, Tea and Cake breaks, or a Family Quiz night as one of my clients has just told me they did last night.

We are also energised by quality sleep – so go all out during this time to establish the best sleep routine possible to get maximum benefit from the hours you are off duty. There’s a lot written about the habit of sleep and the benefits of sleeping well.

So take a moment and write down 3 things that you know energise you and make it a priority to find space to act on these every day this week. You could have an Energy List up on your kitchen wall, and I’d love to hear your favourite energisers in the comments below. Meanwhile, Stay Safe.

Resilience Alphabet – D is for Downtime

I spoke with a client last Monday morning who was onto her 14th Day in a row at work. I imagine given the role she has that if I were to speak to her tomorrow that number may well have gone up to 21. This post is dedicated to those like her for whom a day off right now would feel like an opportunity to get ahead of the wave for all of us had been missed.

At the same time, for many people staying safe means spending much more time at home, and potentially with much more time to do things we would only have dreamed of two weeks ago.
For me downtime is being engaged in an activity where I am so absorbed in what I am doing that normal thought is suspended. There is a lot of evidence to confirm that doing something that gets us into that state of flow has exponential benefits for our health, well-being, brain, emotional health, the list goes on. For me that can be getting lost in a book, playing piano, counted cross-stitch, being in the garden and getting my hands into earth! The paints have not come out yet… but they might!

If you know me well, you will know I am a planner! I have a white board in my kitchen right now that I’m populating with little things that I could do in a short period where I want to change focus from the ‘big stuff of life’ and engage in a period of downtime. I also have a personal list of things I have decided I will do every day to create a sense of routine during this period when normal routines have been suspended.

So I am encouraging you to sit down and write a list of the things that you know take you to that place of downtime – when you are completely absorbed and focussed on what you are doing. This is the opportunity to take a break from all that surrounds us in terms of visual and mental stimulus right now; to shut out the noise; to suspend fear and simply be absorbed in your own form of downtime. No matter how busy you are – be intentional about engaging in one of your downtime activities every day. The picture was taken in a walk in Angus earlier this year.

I invite you to share in the comments what you have done today that has helped you to have a mental holiday or a dose of downtime… and stay safe!

B is for Behaviour and Balance

The thing about behaviour is that by its nature it is largely visible – it is the part of us that others see. Behaviour can be observed at many levels. Last night we saw country-wide behaviour. Thousands of people standing at their windows or doors clapping their hands to applaud the people who are working tirelessly for us all on the front line. If someone had landed from another planet at 8pm last night I wonder what they would have made of this community and its behaviour!

Today I want to think more about a smaller dimension of behaviour – Yours. If I had been videoing you all week what would be the behaviours I would have observed with regard to your interactions with others, and what would I had made of them? Perhaps I would have noticed behaviours driven by compassion, helplessness, joy, fear, frustration, humour, anger, love. Are there others you would add? If you think about it most of our outward behaviours are driven by our feelings or our values.

In these times of high demand for your behaviours to be focussed and impactful, it is also important to think about the focus and impact of your behaviour with regard to your own well-being. It is hard right now to get the balance right between what we need to deliver for others; and what we need to preserve in, and for, ourselves in order to serve others well at this time. So I encourage you to do at least one thing today – even if it is for a very short time – which will ensure you remain resilient for all you plan to do throughout the rest of the day, or which will re-energise depleted reserves so you can continue to make impact tomorrow. Perhaps you can encourage others by sharing what that one things will be.

Stay safe – and be kind to you too

A is for Acceptance and Adaptability

Welcome to the first Resilience Alphabet Blog!

Most of my clients work in the public sector which means that many of them are at the heart of keeping us safe. For that reason I am focussing all Blog, FB and other Social Media channels on Tips and Thoughts on Team and Personal Resilience. You are giving so much at this time in striving to keep all of us safe and well. The Daily Blogs over the next 6 weeks will be dedicated to helping you keep safe too. We are whole people and that means we need to pay attention to our health at many levels, the most obvious being physical, mental and emotional. We also need to pay attention to our social and spiritual well-being which will mean different things to different people.

The hashtags I will be using are #resiliencealphabet #staysafe #fourminuteholiday and #bekindtoyoutoo .

So A is for Acceptance and Adaptability.

Let’s start with Acceptance. One of the quotes I had on my wall for a long time and I still think about is Control the Controllables. My spellcheck won’t let me have ‘controllables’ but part of being resilient in challenging times is working out what I can control and what I can’t. With a limited amount of energy at our disposable it is best we use it focussed on what we can control. Tantrums about what we can’t control can be left to another day. It is more important right now to simply be accepting of this and focus all of our energy on what will make a difference. Take a quick check on anything you are wasting energy on that you have no control over today. Pop it on the shelf and leave it there for now, and refocus.

That requires Adaptability. A flexible thinking style will be a huge help right now as we navigate uncharted and uncertain waters. We know that in terms of Emotional Intelligence, Adaptability of thinking and managing our emotional state helps us to manage stressful situations better. Some of us are naturally better at this than others. You will know yourself as someone who lets go of things really quickly…. Or someone who hangs onto stuff and ruminates over and over!! Adaptability is a learnable skill – so practise being adaptable and flexible in your thinking. There’s more than on way to do most things and more than one way to win.
Stay safe… and be kind to you too.

#resiliencealphabet #fourminuteholiday #staysafe #bekindtoyoutoo