What is resilience and why is it important? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resilience is the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was a crash course on resilience for all of us. The impact could be felt not only in our personal and professional lives but also at a global scale, considering how the lockdown and local restrictions quickly translated into a decline in the global economy. Stress and anxiety can stop even the best of us from progressing, which is why in the wake of such an extraordinary event, most of us turned to healthy practices as a way to cope with it mentally and physically.
Soon, people were either exercising at home, practicing yoga, baking bread, or following one of the latest dance crazes that became so popular on social media at the time. Fast forward to today, vaccination and other health protocols have made it possible to go back to our daily pre-pandemic routines. With most companies resuming operations back in the office, after such a prolonged hiatus, some people may find themselves feeling understandably overwhelmed.
Today on the blog, we’ll talk about how you can build resilience consciously in the workplace, including best practices for your daily routine and mental wellness.
The pillars of resilience
Psychologists agree that there are at least three main pillars of resilience. Also referred to as the 3Cs, these pillars are control, clarity, and connectedness. Put together, the 3Cs provide a framework in which emotional resilience can thrive. However, it is by understanding each one of them separately that we can begin to find areas of work. At the end of the day, some qualities might come naturally to us, while others might require conscious training.
Control. The need to control every aspect of our lives is tied closely to anxiety, whereas a complete lack of desire to control things can be linked to apathy and lethargy. The control the 3Cs speak of is the sweet spot right in the middle of these two ends. While it is healthy to acknowledge that some things are out of our control, we do have control over many decisions we make on a daily basis. Taking control over your sleep schedule, your diet, your exercise routine, and your mental health are key to ensuring you can keep the emotional stability you need to get through challenging times.
Clarity. Humans are storytellers for a reason. As a species, we need to find meaning in our lives to remain hopeful and motivated. World events and personal crises can throw a wrench into our understanding of life and our purpose in it, which is why clarity is such an important pillar when it comes to resilience. Regardless of the situation, we need to be able to sit down and try looking at things from different angles, acknowledging that some things are out of our control. A great ‘hack’ for facilitating clarity is fostering non-judgmental thinking. Instead of being hard on yourself for the things you can’t do now, be kind and understanding as you would be with a friend.
Connectedness. A common missing puzzle piece during lockdown was staying connected with loved ones as that is one of the strongest forces we have to fight adversity. After all, problems seem much smaller when you’re in it together with people you love and trust. Even if it seems silly or bothersome to stay connected with others, do prioritize social interaction. While going through a few days without reaching out isn’t necessarily a big deal, isolation accumulates fast. During challenging times, make sure you’re not only staying connected but also asking for help or advice when you need it.
How to build resilience at work through daily practice
As we mentioned above, resilience is something you work on every day. You should consider your resilience being applied at work and in your personal life. Below, you’ll find a list of daily practices that can help you build resilience and ensure all of the above pillars are in check.
Take breaks. Hustle culture has taken over the world but working remotely has exacerbated the concept of people feeling like they need to be connected 24/7. However, to avoid burnout it’s important to take breaks. Every hour, take a few minutes to walk around the house or the office. Drink water, make sure you’re getting your snacks when you need them, and allow yourself to unplug from work or family situations, even if only for ten minutes, whenever you feel like it’s becoming overwhelming.
Keep up with your hobbies. Keeping our jobs is imperative, but it doesn’t mean other things can’t be important also. Even if you can’t dedicate as much time to your hobbies, find small pockets of time where you can let yourself unwind.
Break the routine. Breaking the routine can be anything from taking a trip to planning a mid-week activity. It just needs to be something you don’t do on a regular basis and that can remind you of all that life has to offer outside of your working week.
Exercise. Whether it’s going for a run, swimming a few lengths, or climbing a mountain, exercise is a great way to unwind and clear your headspace. There’s a sport for everyone! You could do it before, during, or after work. Whatever your preference, try to make time for some exercise each day. It’s good for your heart and good for your head.
By adopting even one of these tips, you can become more resilient, which is bound to increase your productivity and general wellbeing. Remember, challenging times are a natural part of life, so it’s better to prepare for them whenever possible.
Check out our post on 11 ways to boost mental wellness for more tips on this topic.