So you’ve finally emerged from lockdown, started looking for a job or working from the office again, and you’re feeling exhausted and unsure about your future... You're starting to second-guess whether you’ve made the right decisions, and what to do next. Congratulations: you’re acting in a totally normal way! It’s tough to deal with changes in your life and routine. But there are ways to manage it.
What is resilience?
Resilience is your capacity to respond to pressure and the demands of daily life, and basically roll with the punches instead of breaking under pressure. Resilient thinking is a flexible way of thinking that helps you to “bounce back” from challenges or failures in an easier and faster way. If life gives you lemons, what you do with them shows how resilient your thinking is!
Both resilient thinking and mental toughness are skills that can be developed over time and which help you achieve your goals. Being successful at life is not about how smart or physically strong you are, but rather about your passion and perseverance in the face of setbacks.
Some habits of resilient people:
- They never give up
- They strive for more
- They keep motivated and stay positive
- They don’t sweat the small stuff
- They try to become more in tune with who they are as people
Resilience and mental toughness take time to build, but it can be done - it’s important to break it down into baby steps and set goals for yourself on the road to resilience. Of course, we find our resilience and mental toughness in different ways. For you it could mean…
- Going to the gym consistently three to four times a week
- Meditating every morning before work
- Spending time in nature by hiking, surfing or snorkelling
- Keeping a practical To Do-list to help you complete work ahead of schedule
- Spending time with friends who recharge your energy
- Painting or writing poetry
- Listening to self-help podcasts
- Testing yourself with competitive sports
Take the small wins!
Mental toughness and resilient thinking is like a muscle: it needs to be exercised to grow and develop. Sometimes, though, we just don’t have the energy. We all have down days: don’t beat yourself up about them, and just try to do better the next day.
You don’t have to be hugely successful at work to be “doing okay”: you could do something as small as making a colleague smile (or even just getting up to go to work!), and it will be a win, depending on your day. Take the wins – even the small ones. It will help you manage your emotions and push yourself past your comfort zone once you’re ready to do so.
Try these tips:
- Focus on small changes and not life-changing transformations: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
- When you “fail”, see it as an opportunity to learn and become better.
- Develop routines for zero-motivation days: To Do-lists you can tick off one-by-one, for example, so that you don’t have to think too much about what you have to do.
- Start discovering and building your identity. Who are you, what do you want, what do you need, what are your boundaries, what are your dreams?
Our willpower comes and goes, so we can’t always rely on it to see us through. But if you put certain habits in place and then do them often enough that they become simple routine, it will “automate” the willpower needed for a conscious decision. This can make your life a lot easier, and help you build consistency.
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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash