With so much being studied and researched on burnout, it makes sense to look at ways and means to build and improve resilience. Not only in ourselves and our personal environment, but in the workplace, where we spend most of our waking hours.
What is resilience?
A simple way of describing it is the ability to ‘bounce back’. When stress occurs at work or in life, the way we deal with it, and then continue to move forward, is crucial to our mental and physical health. Higher resilience means we can get over setbacks or failures and have enough energy and enthusiasm to continue being productive.
So how do we know if we are resilient? Markers of resilience as identified by research includes the following:
- Calmness under pressure
- Rational thought process and behaviours
- Self esteem and a positive view of yourself
- Good habits
A resilient person usually has a good handle on themselves and their environment, they manage their feelings effectively, their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and understand not everything goes well all the time. By developing resilience, we are more likely to achieve improved learning and academic results. It leads to lower absences from work due to illness, since we experience lower levels of stress and fatigue. Resilience can reduce our risk of excessive drinking, smoking or drug abuse and lead us to be more involved in community or family activities.
When looking at the workplace, resilience becomes important for a number of reasons. Workplace stress is a given in most cases. Even for people who love their jobs, there are times when the pressure is too much or the workload too heavy. Employees with a higher resilience level are able to manage stress better, avoiding burnout or long-term absences. Resilient employees are able to build better connections and relationships (Davis Laak, 2014), nurture their networks and practice self-care when the going gets tough. There are many benefits, both personally and professionally, to building resilience. How do we start?
How to build resilience
Resilience can be self-built, meaning we are all capable of strengthening our ways of dealing with the ups and downs. If we look at some of the markers of resilience, we can connect actions to them:
Optimism: Build positive beliefs and change negativity and sabotaging narratives by reframing and focusing on the positive aspects.
Calmness under pressure: Practice not turning every problem into a disaster. Set reasonable goals and take action to complete tasks rather than procrastinating.
Rational thought and behaviours: Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions, but don’t succumb to overreaction or paranoia when things are overwhelming. Talk yourself down from panic to be able to think clearly.
Resilience is a critical life-skill to have. By deepening our connections with others, monitoring our thoughts and behaviours around stress and disruption, managing our emotions and building on our strengths we can make a big difference to our ability to cope when the going gets tough.
If you would like to find out how Azkua can help with building your strengths and increasing your resilience, why not get in touch with us.
Lynette Croxford. Guest author and Azkua Network Partner