Personal resilience is how we control our fears and worries. And there’s certainly a lot of challenges in the current climate.... We’re all dealing with factors like a lack of structure, care responsibilities, arguments in the household, the division of work and home commitments, and much more. As a result, we might be feeling guilty, confused, anxious, lost, or even grateful for the simpler things in life.
We’re showing our resilience through dealing with these situations. Paula advises that via cognitive reframing - ie using psychological techniques to identify and change the emotions we have - we can learn and develop our resilience. During lockdown, personal resilience is being able to:
- Remain positive when faced with change or uncertainty
- Adapt to the changing situation
- Remain calm and in control of your behaviour and emotions
- To be able to be productive in your chosen tasks
- Recognise when you are becoming stressed
- Act to limit or negate the stressful situation
Reframing and improving resilience
Resilience can be managed, and it can be improved. Paula recommends looking at three core areas to boost your wellbeing:1.Accept the things you can’t change
Think about all the things you can control and write them down. Just by doing this you are challenging the negative emotions and addressing them.
When you’re in a negative spiral and focusing on what you can’t control, you just end up going round in circles. This can even lead to physical responses such as a shortness of breath. Break this negative cycle by asking yourself: “How do I get out of this?” Once you recognise that you’re in a spiral, you can break it and halt the process.2. Act positively
It’s common for us to fall into distorted thinking styles. These include filtering - taking negative details and magnifying them; polarized thinking - things are black or white, good or bad, and you have to be perfect or you’re a failure; and catastrophizing - you expect a disaster. You question ‘what if’.
By recognising these thinking styles you can act and do something about them.3. Manage your time
Paula shared some great tips on better managing your time to allow for rest and reflection. These include:
- Plan your diary as if you are going to work so you have a routine.
- Break tasks into smaller manageable pieces
- Include gaps so you have flex
- Plan structured time so you can check in with colleagues - check their feelings
- Build time for yourself
- Review how you feel at the end of the day/task
- Socialise with family/friends
Paula ended the session with a very fitting quote: “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” Gever Tulley.