As we approach the end of the year at lightning speed, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your growing to do list, the 24/7 connected-ness of our continuously evolving work roles, and meeting the needs of your clients and colleagues.  

Building resilience can help us to better manage these stressors and help us from avoiding burn out and exhaustion.  

While it might seem like a fluffy buzz word, being resilient is all about being able to recognise your reactions and how you’re able to bounce back. Having a bank of simple strategies to help you manage what work (and life) throws at you can help you keep on top of your game and charging towards the finish line.  

What is resilience 

What actually is resilience? Being resilient refers to the ability to sustain high performance and positive wellbeing in the face of change and adversity. It’s less about being happy all the time, and more about your ability to bounce back when faced with a challenge. Being resilient requires self-awareness, and the ability to adapt when recognising your reactions to particular stressor.  

We each react in our own way to stress – physically, emotionally, and behaviourally. You might find yourself getting flushed, feeling anxious, and behaving defensively; others might react slower than usual or feel embarrassed. Regardless of how y ou react, the important thing is to be able to recognise your personal reaction and have a short list of strategies to help you overcome the overwhelm.  

4 Simple strategies and tactics to try 

There are 4 core strategies to help you to improve resilience: physical, thinking, environmental, and relationships. It’s often good to have a balance of strategies you can call on – a couple of actions or activities from each area that you can use both at work and at home.  

Here’s our top tips for each strategy area for you to try.  

Environmental 

  • Modify your work hours to suit your performance or family needs  
  • Work from home when you need quiet focus or a change of scenery 
  • Structure your email and call times: block your diary so others know when you’re available, and manage notifications to avoid distractions 

Relationships 

  • Have a support network at work and home of persons/people that you trust and feel comfortable talking to 
  • Develop a relationship with a coach or mentor you can check in with periodically and who can provide advice and guidance for dealing with difficult situations 
  • Eat the frog: don’t shy away from difficult conversations as avoidance can compound the issue 
  • Ask for feedback and respond effectively when you receive it 

Physical 

  • Try to get 8 hours sleep  
  • Engage in regular physical activity – 30 minutes a day, even if it is a walk around the block over your lunch break 
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet 
  • Utilise a stand-up desk if you have access to one, or experiment with walking / stand up meetings 
  • Take 3 minutes to focus on your breathing

Thinking 

  • Maintain perspective by asking yourself: “will this make a difference / matter in 5 years time” 
  • Set achievable goals  
  • Create and maintain boundaries
  • Negotiate achievable workloads 
  • Diarise thinking and reflection time 
  • Practice meditation and being present 

How many of these are you already using? What else would you add to the list? 

Next time you’re watching your email inbox fill up and start to feel stressed or anxious, step back and try out one of these simple strategies to get your day back on track.