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The Completed Jigsaw

Personal resilience is the capacity for an individual to remain both flexible and strong in the midst of ambiguity and change.
 
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In order for you to cope effectively with stress and uncertainty, navigating change requires resilience so that you can:

  • Bounce back from physical and emotional stress;
  • Absorb high levels of change and remain effective;
  • Adjust to disruptions in life, and;
  • Maintain high levels of productivity.

At the moment, and in the weeks and months ahead, being resilient and resourceful will be key. Combined with the ability to think with agility - to adapt and change quickly, which organisations are now having to do on an daily basis - we give ourselves the best chance of navigating these unprecedented times.

What is quite amazing is that even organisations which are typically governed by process and bureaucracy are now being “agile”. For me this is a real positive; an opportunity to challenge stale thought processes and assumptions; to be creative and innovative. As Steve Jobs once said, “Deciding what not to do can sometimes be more important as what to do”. Before the COVID-19 pandemic this seemed nigh on impossible for some organisations I work with, yet I know they are now making those decisions. 

We're all resilient, sometimes we just lose touch with it or some of the pieces of the jigsaw are missing.

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I thought I'd share with you some of my thoughts, and what I do to complete the jigsaw. Hopefully one or more of the pieces will resonate with you and help you to complete your jigsaw!

1. Resourcefulness. Think of times in the past when you've had your resilience tested. What did you do that helped you get back into balance? Draw on those same resources again. What skills did you use? What strategies did you employ? What support did you call on? What wisdom did you draw upon?

2. Curiosity/Playfulness. Adopt a growth mindset; however also be open to the old ways! What I mean by this is don’t be afraid to use what has served you well in the past; for example the things that make you smile - for me this is music; songs that make me want to get up and dance, and you know how I love a boogie! Create your own resilience playlist.

3. Mindset Management. Linked in a way to my second point, the one thing you can always control is your attitude and behaviour - be action oriented. For example, while in self-isolation get up, get groomed and go to bed at a normal time. Try to maintain a regular routine. Structure and plan your whole day - uncertainty and unstructured time can lead to an unraveling. Establish a start and stop time to your working day and week. Ensure you do something different, however small, to create a weekend for yourself.

4. Improve Wellbeing. Feeling stressed about COVID-19? Research shows that ping notifications can increase stress levels. Turn off news prompts on your phone, don’t religiously watch the news at 10 before bed, and beware of “fact flooding”. You're then far more in control. Focus on what you can control and influence (see my recent article titled Funny the Difference a Week Can Make..!). You could even keep an "energy journal"; send yourself a text each night or write down before you go to bed the three things you're most proud of or grateful for that day. Do this every day, and practice self-care.

5. Build Capacity. Use your time to develop yourself. There are so many free webinars on offer on lots of varied and interesting subjects - make the time to watch some. Alternatively you could clear your inbox, sort your files, and do all the jobs you've been meaning to do if only you had the time..! Then, when this period of self-isolation is over, you emerge in an even better place. 

Realise “There is nothing permanent except change” - Heraclitus; 

Aspire to be positive and forward-focused; and; 

Do as Dr Carole Pemberton states; “remain flexible in your thoughts, feelings and behaviours when faced by a life disruption or extended periods of pressure, so that you emerge from difficulty, stronger, wiser and more able!”

Please stay safe and well, all of you.

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