…even when the proverbial is hitting the fan!
One important thing I’ve learnt over the years is that building personal resilience is not a luxury but is absolutely essential if we are to live, thrive, and survive in these challenging times we find ourselves living in.
I can say with my hand firmly on my heart that resilience is the life-skill which has made the biggest difference to me over the last few years and is something which I wish I’d learnt when I was growing up.
Life would certainly have been a lot easier and I would also have been a much more attractive person for other people to live and work with if I’d started to practice managing my resilience mindfully when I was a lot younger!
So, what is personal resilience? Well, I describe it as developing and maintaining my ability to remain physically and mentally strong while allowing me to perform as my best self on as many days as possible – great for me and also great for my family, friends, and clients!
And bearing in mind the situation we’re currently facing with Covid19 still rampaging around the globe, I thought I’d share a few ideas for ways in which we can all power-up our energy and resilience:
- Eat regularly and eat “good stuff” i.e. fewer processed foods than freshly prepared ones and include at least 5 portions of veg daily and don’t forget the healthy fats provided by things like oily fish, avocados and olive oil.
- Drink water and avoid sugary and/or carbonated drinks. Water can actually be a more effective pick-me-up than coffee when energy wanes so keep sipping away while you’re bingeing on Netflix or taking part in yet another Zoom meeting.
- Get enough sleep – everyone is a bit different when it comes to sleep but avoid burning the candle at both ends whenever you can.
- Get moving. Any exercise is good for the mind and the body, especially if you can get outside to do it and feel the benefits of fresh air and sunlight.
- Practice mindfulness meditation daily. There is so much good quality research to support the advantages of mindfulness meditation that there is no excuse to ignore this free tool. You could use your former commuting time to practice and reap the rewards of developing your pre-frontal cortex through meditation. Who doesn’t need to reduce stress, improve performance, improve the function of the immune system, improve sleep and be more in tune with and able to manage emotional processing.
There are so many resources to get you started, check out the app stores, Google, bookshops and You Tube to see what you can find. What I would say is, that once you’ve started practising mindfulness, it’s important to persevere. This is not a quick fix and can take a little time to master and profit from so don’t lose heart in the early days of practice. Prioritise it early in the morning or before bed for the biggest benefits.
Understand your purpose. What are you here for? I spend a lot of time concentrating on this with my clients and find that the whys we construct tend to be caught up in our sense of who we are – our identity in other words. We can control this and, once we understand that, everything starts to look and feel a bit better and energy levels start to rise – it’s like magic!
Have a plan for everything: for life, for business, for personal development, for eating, for exercise, for social life but leave some wriggle room for flexibility and opportunities that crop up.
Have a crew. Gather a team of people around you as a mutual support network but be careful to weed out the “mood hoovers”. You know the people I’m talking about here: the ones who suck the energy out of a room just by walking into it! Look for positive people to form your gang, ones who will support and challenge you and help you keep focus and perspective when things go right or wrong. I know we’re all practising social distancing right now but with tools such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime etc., there is no excuse not to build and maintain your won high vibe tribe.
My bonus tip is not to try and change everything all at once because that, my friend will lead to a feeling of overwhelm and that is a resilience-killer! Just identify one of area of your life where you feel change would be good for you and make a couple of changes. Keep these changes going for a month and see what difference they make before tackling the next challenge. Simple!
As always, this is clearly not an exhaustive list of ideas on this topic and I’d love to hear anything I’ve missed that works particularly well for you.