Time stands still over the Christmas holidays and you have probably indulged a bit too much in the things you know you shouldn’t. You finally get the rest you have been craving, then all of a sudden the reality kicks in that you are back to work.
In the challenging world we live in, it is becoming more important than ever to build resilience and recover quickly from setbacks. The ability to bounce back and remain in control of your emotional state are certainly qualities that are sought in our ‘future leaders’ because resilient colleagues are more productive and cost efficient to any employer.
Here are some ways to improve your resilience so that you can succeed and prosper.
As the saying goes, ‘If you eat a live frog every morning, it will probably be the worst thing you do that day’, leaving you to get on with the rest of your day without worrying about it. This could be delivering some bad news to your boss, or dealing with that irate customer that you know is going to be difficult. Don’t put off the inevitable and make it the first thing you do….once you have done it, then it will not continue to bother you and affect your mood.
2.Drink water, sleep well and eat healthily
It goes without saying that keeping yourself well will make you fit to take on the world and we can often under-estimate how ignoring our own bodies can affect work performance. If we start a day without a good night’s sleep we are already on the back-foot. Drinking plenty of water speeds up the metabolism and gives us energy, and eating 3 meals a day will give us the strength and energy to stay concentrated on the task in hand for longer. (Make sure you eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking)
A good exercise regime doesn’t have to be strenuous, but it should be consistent. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day (even if it’s a brisk walk), this will keep you in shape and allow you to sleep well at night. Exercise releases endorphins into our bodies that are necessary for normal brain function. A healthy brain is important for controlling our emotions and making sense of adversity.
4. Reflect and Learn
When things don’t go to plan, try and focus on the positive things you have learned from this experience. Take time each day to reflect, make sense of it and plan for what you will do the next time this happens. This could be on the commute home, or at the gym, but think of this as a process. (If it helps…write it down)
a) What happened?
b) How did you feel about it?
c) What was good and what was bad?
d) What sense can you make of it?
e) What else could you have done?
f) What will you do next time it happens?
5. Stay Connected
You may feel like cutting yourself off from your social group when things get tough, but by socialising with your friends and doing more of the things you love, this will give you more energy. Laughter really is the best medicine and trying to achieve a balance in your work and home life will make you more resilient.
6. Release Tension
If you are struggling to cope with stresses, try something that will relieve your tension. This could be joining a martial arts group if that takes your fancy…or simply writing a journal or blog to release your thoughts. Talking to a good friend is a good way of getting things off your chest, but don’t do it with a work colleague.
7. Have a sense of purpose
Take time to look at what you want to achieve and start to control your own destiny. Create goals for yourself that are as much about your home life as your work life. You may want to create a ‘dream board’, plan a holiday or simply a list of resolutions and goals that you are working towards. This will give you a sense of purpose and motivation to get things done.
8. Pay it Forward
The feeling that you get when you ‘make someone’s day’ is great right? Imagine how you would feel if every day you did something special for someone else. This could be something really small, like bringing in a nice cake to the office, or writing a thank you note to a shop where you received great service. If you are happy about something this will improve your mood and emotional intelligence.
‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Often we face obstacles, and the biggest trigger for these affecting our mood is that we failed to see it coming. Try to prepare your day, week and month by setting achievable targets, identifying any risks and start your working week with a clear and effective plan. You will feel better and have more energy just by knowing you have a plan.
Following these simple steps will ensure you keep yourself well, both physically and mentally which will make you more resilient in work and at home and able to bounce back more quickly when things go wrong.