Lately the wellness industry has been all abuzz about building “resilience” for employee well-being.
At its most basic, resilience is the ability to bounce back from a set-back, hard ship, or any hard knock life throws our way.
I think resilience is more about one’s ability to endure set-backs, hard-ships and hard knocks over time.
It’s important to be flexible enough to get back on your feet after difficulty. But real resilience is how much endurance a person has to overcome tough times again – and again – and again.
Because, let’s face it, none of us get through this life without pain. We don’t get just one hardship in life.
We all have to survive set-backs repeatedly. How well we handle that, whether it breaks us down or makes us stronger, and our perspective on the struggle is resilience.
Seems we were able to do this for centuries and the concept was pretty simple. If you weren’t resilient, you died.
Whether it was man up, buck-up, or suck-it-up the human race has been pretty darn successful at resilience. Until now, I guess. Because now people need classes on it.
Let’s face it ‘enduring’ today is different than it was 200 years ago. Stress back then was survival from famine, war, or a simple infection. One definitely had to be resilient to live and thrive in those times. You either endured or died.
Today, it’s much different. To some a stressful day could mean not getting their Starbucks coffee, losing a primo parking spot to the quicker driver, or the need for medication because their political candidate didn’t win. That’s not resilience.
To others it’s enduring chronic illness, debilitating injury, daily pain, financial struggles that keep one up at night, the loss of a loved one, or worry over their child’s drug addiction. Yet they keep going about the daily business of life trying to do the next right thing. That’s resilience.
I find what effects someone’s long-term health is the ability to endure over a substantial period of time as well as our perspective and attitude in the midst of it.
I wonder if that is what some people are failing at now? They don’t seem to be able to cope day after day – We don’t have the endurance for this life or the right perspective on our struggles.
Just “bouncing back” doesn’t give enough credit to our innate ability to be resilient. It matters what we do daily to take care of our wellness in order to be resilient for whatever comes our way today, tomorrow, next week, or a year from now.
Here are some tips to help with stress and gain more resilience:
• Step back and evaluate – Get perspective on the situation and take time before making any rash decisions or speaking too quickly. It is always good advice "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
• Strategy – Make a plan to cope with the stress of the circumstances. Daily exercise, meditation and/or prayer help cope with stress, anxiety. Taking time throughout the day for just 2 minutes of mindfulness helps with anxiety and stress.
• Find something to be grateful for even during the pain of the situation. Studies have shown that people who express gratitude daily feel less aches, pains and have an overall sense of happier well-being than those who don’t.
• Limit triggers like social media, toxic or negative people/relationships. If you know the internet/social media platforms trigger you, GET OFF. If you know someone pushes your buttons and frustrates you, either stay away from them or (if it's unavoidable) acknowledge you don't get along with that person and prepare your attitude in advance
to appropriately, respectfully deal with the person in work or family/social situations.