5 Tips for Building Resilience
By: Heather L. Hall
If there’s one thing we need these days, it’s resilience!
re-sil-ience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
From supply chain and staffing issues to pandemics and war, each day tests our limits. If only we could order some resilience with our coffee or super-size it with our lunch!
Although it’s not a pill you can take, resilience is something you can give yourself. And, just like those vitamins, you need to keep consistent with resilience for it to work.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can take care of yourself, so you will be ready to face each day and be poised to bounce back when times are tough.
Resilience is built on the foundation of rest, nourishment, and hydration. These are crucial to survival, yet we seem to neglect them frequently. Studies show that 30% of us routinely don’t get enough sleep every night. When you stay up late working, rise early to get a jump start on the day, or jet across time zones to meet clients, you’re running down your batteries. And every overindulgence, each meal you skip, or beverage you substitute adds more stress to your body.
I like to think of resilience as a rubber band. The goal is not to break it, but rather to be flexible enough to stretch, return to neutral, stretch, and return again. So, it only makes sense that we need to move our bodies. You can choose any activity. Getting up and about for 30 minutes a day will help you stay resilient. If you can’t get to the gym or out on the course, do some stretches in your office and take a walk around the building. You’ll be amazed how it can clear your mind and ease your tension. Remember: a body in motion stays in motion.
Having a daily routine will help fill your cup. For most people, this involves a mix of activities like stretching or yoga, reading or journaling, and meditation or prayer. As a night owl, it took me years to embrace a morning routine! But I have to admit, it helps me start my day and gives me energy when the going gets tough.
Building and maintaining connections also gives you a support network. These are the friends, neighbors, colleagues, and mentors who lift you up, cheer you on, and remind you that you are not alone. One of the best things you can do when you’re having a tough time is to reach out to a trusted contact and share. You don’t need to share the specifics. Just let them know you’re in a fix and would like support or a distraction.
And making time for (re)creation adds to your resilience. Whether you like to create things from scratch (e.g., painting, knitting, building models, photography) or participate in recreational activities (e.g., sports, games, dancing, singing), these hobbies tap into your inner creative, bring you joy, and make you a more dynamic (read: fun and interesting) person.
When you’re feeling stretched to the max, remember that taking time for self-care will actually help you go further, recover faster, and enjoy more of life.