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Building Resilence in these unusual times

18th August 2020

Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned – and is a key quality we need to foster in order to keep going over the coming days and months and face the inevitable challenges ahead.

Resilient people will be able to utilise their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges.

In his best-selling book, The Resiliency Advantage, Al Siebert writes that “highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change. Most important, they expect to bounce back and feel confident that they will.” That expectation is closely linked to a general sense of optimism. It is possible to develop the right mental attitudes to cope and even flourish when the going gets tough.

Key qualities of a resilient person

  • Holding positive views of yourself and your abilities
  • Being able to make realistic plans and stick to them
  • Having an internal locus of control – attributing your success to your own behaviour rather than luck or fate
  • Being a good communicator
  • Viewing yourself as a fighter rather than a victim
  • Having high emotional intelligence and being able to manage your emotions effectively.

Nine tips to build resilience:

  1. Recognise that a bad situation is usually temporary.
  2. Don’t give in to negative thoughts about the future. Challenge them, and ask whether those thoughts are true or realistic.
  3. Learn to see challenges, mistakes and failures as valuable learning experiences. If we can survive this we will be stronger.
  4. Use humour to defuse and downplay difficulties. Laugh at yourself and situations. Laugh with colleagues, friends and family.
  5. Be flexible. Remember that nothing stays the same and don’t get too stuck in thoughts of how things used to be.
  6. Take care of your physical and mental health. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat well. When your physical self is in good shape, you’re less fragile.
  7. Take time off work, use your holiday entitlement and make sure you take breaks during the working day.
  8. Don’t extrapolate one bad situation into another and catastrophise – take things one day at a time, it is pointless worrying about the future.
  9. Give yourself a pat on the back when things go well. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when things go wrong. Treat yourself occasionally.