According to a recent survey by King’s College London, more than half the UK’s population has struggled with sleep during the lock down period. I’m sure we would find very similar statistics globally.
It’s been a difficult and stressful few months for us all. The coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted people in different ways. Loneliness, economic hardship and bereavement are all experiences that can understandably trigger feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
It is critical, perhaps now more than ever, that people develop a mental reservoir of strength that they can draw upon during difficult times. This ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt well to change and cope with personal and professional demands is ofcourse known as resilience. The thing I’ve always loved about the concept of resilience is that it is like a muscle – a skill that all of us develop and strengthen.
Inner Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase the inevitable challenges we will all face in life. However, it does give us the ability to handle adversity in ways that fosters further growth. Ultimately, it is about being able to do more than just survive under pressure– it is about being able to thrive.
The question is how?
Well there are a whole range of practical things that we can do. Here are just 4 tips which can be remembered with the acronym REST:
1. Rewire your brain – psychologists call this “cognitive restructuring” – shifting our mindset and perspectives. Learning how to transform automatic negative thoughts into positive empowering thinking patterns will enable us to spot growth opportunities in challenging situations and focus on areas of control.
2. Exercise – getting the body moving will relieve tension and stress, boost physical and mental energy and enhance well-being through the release of endorphins. Gyms might be closed, but there is nothing to stop us going for a walk.
3. Seek support – all humans (yes even the introverts amongst us) are inherently social beings. Connecting with friends releases a hormone called Oxytocin which can negate the effects of stress. Whilst, physical interaction might be limited in the current environment, the wonders of modern technology does mean we have very few excuses not to try and reach out and connect.
4. Take time out – Every once in a while, have a goat living a few hours offline. Take a tech detox. Have a meeting with yourself. Create some much needed “Me” time. But we need technology? Yes of course we do – so use it, but don’t let it use you. Change your relationship with it. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that our messages are not going to disappear if we don’t respond immediately.
As C.S. Lewis said:
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny”
Dealing with challenges are an inevitable part of life. How we deal with these setbacks will be a key factor in our success. We can start by building our resilience muscle.
Inner Resilience is a leadership solution in our “mindset” leadership pillar.