What comes into your mind when you think of ‘resilience’? It can be an elusive quality and though we know we want more of it, it can be hard to know how to get started.
When I asked the ladies in my Facebook Group, they came up with some brilliant definitions:
“For me it’s being able to adjust and adapt, and believing that I have the resources within me or around me to make it to better days ahead.”
“Strength is the word which comes to mind regarding resilience. Strength to carry on, adapt, change…”
“Putting things into perspective, not allowing thoughts/ feelings to get carried away, keeping grounded I find helps with being resilient.”
“For me, it’s remembering that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. It’s about accepting that things worth having will involve challenges, and not giving up.”
From these definitions, three key aspects seem to emerge:
- Strength – accepting the inevitable curve balls life throws at you and persevering through difficulty
- Flexibility – willingness to adapt and change when we are met with challenges
- Hope – a sense of perspective that “this too shall pass” and there will be better times ahead
So why is resilience so important as we transition back into the workplace?
Things may have changed while we have been away and we have changed too. Making time for after work drinks may no longer be a priority and it can be hard when colleagues who don’t have children don’t really ‘get’ what it’s like.
It’s exhausting. Before children, we had to just think about ourselves. As any working parent will know, with children, it feels like we do a full shift before and after the working day.
We can lose confidence. Even after a relatively short period of absence from work, we can feel disconnected and of course that’s on top of what’s happened to our bodies and the brain fog that comes with sleep deprivation.
The level of support we receive may vary. Some organisations may be incredibly supportive and some just won’t see it as a priority. For some there can even be resentment that you have taken ‘time off’ or that you need to be more assertive in your boundaries around your working day.
One of the best things we can do is communicate what we want and need, rather than assuming that the people around us will get it.
How can you build your resilience?
Start by rating your current resilience on a scale of 0 to 10. What is going on for you at the moment?
What would it look like if you increased your resilience by one small step?
Now consider one action you could take to start to increase your resilience.
This might look like:
- Asking for support so that you can get an early night or take a nap
- Doing something that supports your mental or physical health, like going for a walk with a friend or taking an online yoga class
- Lowering the expectations you have of yourself at work or at home
- Booking a chat with a colleague or your line manager so that you can connect back with work and discuss any concerns you may have
- Resilience is built gradually and over time. Commit to one small action daily that will help you build your resilience.
- Remember you don’t need to do this alone. Sometimes we don’t have the internal resources and if you are struggling, make sure you seek support.
Sarah Bramall is co-founder of The Coaching Catalysts, alongside Rebecca Daniel. She is a qualified and experienced teacher; a coach trainer at The Coaching Academy and a partner coach for the Careering into Motherhood organisation. She is an ICF accredited coach, NLP Practitioner and accredited in DISC Personality Profiling.
Sarah works with female professionals who are keen to live life on their terms. She helps her clients to prioritise their mindset and wellbeing so they can live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.
Outside of work, Sarah is mum to three lively children and loves keeping fit with running, swimming and yoga. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, children and black lab, Jack.
July 21, 2022