This is a great truth. One of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly know and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters." (M. Scott Peck, From The Road Less Travelled).
We know that life and the world of work can be difficult and stressful – sometimes it seems that the only thing that changes is the source of the stress.
Ensuring your own resilience is the only way to weather the storm. You need to be resilient for yourself, for your family, for your team and for your business. The key to this is self-care.
Self-care is not some limp-wristed waste of time that some people might have the time to indulge. It is your insurance policy for when things get particularly tough.
You cannot give what you do not have!
Here are some self-care practices that sustain your resilience. Perhaps there are one or two that you can use:
1. Mind your mind.
When life becomes stressful it is easy to allow our minds to take over and torment us with our fears. Resilient people take charge of their thoughts and deliberately do some of the following:
- They keep their sense of humour and find something amusing about their experience;
- They know that recreation is not a waste of time, and allow themselves to “play” at times that they have set aside especially for this;
- They avoid the company of people who increase their stress or drain their energy;
- They do work that they like and can get some pleasure from;
- They acknowledge that what cannot be cured must be endured;
- They don’t take life too seriously;
- They are objective about criticism they receive from others;
- They know that there is always someone worse off than themselves.
When life becomes stressful it is even more important to choose foods that energize and uplift you rather than those that make you feel sluggish.
- Boost your magnesium intake. It’s good for balancing blood-sugar levels and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
- Don’t drink coffee before 10am. Having a hit of rocket fuel first thing becomes another form of stress.
- Never skip meals. Your blood-sugar levels will crash.
- Eat oats for breakfast. It’s still the best thing you can eat if you want a stress-free day.
- Be reasonable with your ambition:
- Remember that you don’t have to be a winner all the time;
- Let go of your need to be a perfectionist – sometimes good enough is good enough!
- Learn to forgive yourself (and others!);
- Be realistic in how much time you allocate to any task – they always take longer than you expect;
- Learn to say “No” – even if it is “No, not now. I can help you later”; or “No, not me. Why don’t you ask so-and-so”; or “No, not this way. I can do it that way.”
- Set aside some time each day when you are not available for phone calls or visitors;
- Learn to tolerate mistakes.
- Breathe! When you breathe deeply your heart cannot race.
- Carry yourself upright and watch your posture – lifting yourself will lift your spirits.
- Move! Exercise for at least 20 minutes a day.
- If you need medical help, get it – and take the medication!
- Avoid bringing work home – actual work as well as work-based emotions. Use your drive home to leave the office behind. If you work from home, take 15 minutes to “decompress” – take a walk in the garden or around the block by yourself and mentally leave the office behind;
- Don’t take any office unpleasantness home;
- Do not continue to play the role of the boss at home. Play your more appropriate roles – mother/father or husband/wife;
- Avoid allowing discussions to turn into arguments, and always patch up a tiff before going to sleep;
- Appreciate the small kindnesses you are shown at home and ignore the minor irritations;
- lan your budget and enjoy living within your means.
Are there any tips here that might be useful for you? What specifically will you do to build your own resilience?