Are your resilience levels at an all time low? Does everything feel like hard work, but you keep on pushing through? Is it difficult to get out of bed or off the sofa, you are procrastinating and resent the time you must give to tasks? You feel so tired, but old thought patterns or other peoples’ expectations, keep saying; “just keep going, don’t stop.”
Maybe it is time to recognise that life is not an endurance test and that it is time to rest and build your resilience levels back up. Is it time to find another way to gain the ‘spring’ in your step?
Before Christmas I knew I was tired. I had three very busy months and was looking forward to a few weeks off with family and just resting and reading. It didn’t happen as I got the lurgy! I was knocked off my feet and I knew I had to approach January with a caring, realistic mindset. I had got over the ‘chest infection’ but recognised I was still weary and had dreadful ‘brain fog’. I recognised how I was feeling and instead of throwing myself into the new year I set myself a ‘return to work plan working shorter days and building in time to heal. By the third week of January I felt fantastic and ready for the new year, rested and focused!
I prioritised my health, my only goal in January was to get well. I acted to achieve this goal. Does this mean I am resilient? Well a dictionary definition is ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’ Or ‘to spring back into shape’. So, you could say I am resilient, but there is more to it!
One day, with time to spare at Birmingham train station I wandered into the newsagents and meandered around the book section. (Always dangerous!) I was drawn to a book on ‘Resilience’ from the Harvard Business review series and one chapter really caught my eye; “Resilience is about how you recharge, not endure” by S Achor and M Gielan. (Of course, I bought the book, well two as they were on offer!) Is this how you see resilience or are you ‘powering through?’ I believe there is a danger in how we perceive resilience: that we should have more of it, develop it, obtain it and measure it, like a competency. That we fail if we don’t have it, so we keep going, enduring.
But our bodies do run out of energy, they get ill, we have difficult times, and they need to rest and restore.
So how can you build your resilience and recharge?
Here are my top 3 tips to building your resilience and find your bounce!
1. Take breaks: Internal and External breaks, at work and away from work.Researchers Zijlstra, Cropley and Rydstedt write in their 2014 paper: “Internal recovery refers to the shorter periods of relaxation that take place within the framework of the workday or work setting, by changing tasks, taking breaks.” So, restore in short bursts; at lunch time and throughout the day. Have a walk, eat away from the desk, alter the tasks. “External recovery refers to actions that take place outside of work – days off, holidays, weekends.” It is also important to switch off the mental stimulus and relax your body and mind. Are you really doing both?
2. Clear out any emotions you are hoarding. A good way to do this on your own is by writing a journal; write down whatever comes to you and then think about what you need now. Or, note the emotion you are feeling and then choose to release it with your breath.
3. Build a daily practice that allows you to restore regularly, make it a habit, schedule it. Perhaps you could have a ‘power hour’ or even ten minutes, to exercise, meditate or journal. Whatever you can do, but do it consistently, you owe it to yourself.
So, take the time to recharge and start to feel that energy come back, the mind is now clear, and you are feeling in flow. You are getting more done and you feel great. Tasks are coming off the list and you’re achieving more and nicer to be around. You enjoy the time you set aside for yourself and you regularly feel rewarded and grateful.
You’ve bounced back and got the ‘spring in your step.’
If you need more help, check out more in my eBook with ‘Five fantastic ways to think, feel and live better’ or tune into my podcasts. https://www.brightbutterfly.co.uk/free-downloads/
If it feels like you need some help to make changes and it’s too much to do on your own contact me for a free telephone consultation to find out more about how I can help you.