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Bounce Back

Bounce Back
The year is only 6 weeks in and so far I have experienced a couple of minor ailments and a bereavement.  With an unusually heavy workload for January it has meant that I have had to draw on deep wells of resilience in order to have, what is sometimes referred to as, “bounce back”.  There’s an irony here for someone who facilitates Resilience workshops.  I’ve found myself paying attention to all the techniques I am usually recommending for others.  So I thought I would share a few of them with you.
  1. I’ve been paying attention to my diet, making sure I eat breakfast, avoiding bread at lunch time and cooking fresh food as often as possible.  Those slow cooked casseroles filled with vegetables, pearl barley, and herbs have nourished and comforted body and soul
  2. Sleep has gone to the top of my list of priorities.  Sometimes, that has been because my body commandeered me and said “enough”.  At other times, it has been my choice to curl into bed early with a good book and turn off the light before 10pm
  3. Even though it has sometimes been the last thing I’ve felt motivated to do, I’ve exercised.  I’ve kept to 4 out of 6 Pilates sessions, donned my walking boots at weekends and avoided public transport when my feet could take me there in scarcely more time
  4. I’ve spent time with the people I love, sometimes at the expense of those I don’t.  Putting down acquaintances has been a hard one.  Making time to be with those closest to me has been easy though.  It has given me a sense of support and being cherished that is priceless
  5. Meditation and relaxation techniques have been a godsend.  My husband calls my brain “the mind factory” and reminds me that sometimes I have to turn the machines off.  Remembering to still myself in this way and giving myself literal breathing space helps me reconnect with my values, what is most important to me and restores me ready for whatever is next
As Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, when we pay attention to our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs, we keep ourselves refuelled and replenished. It is not just in our personal life either, that we need to be resourceful about managing our resilience. It is critical in our working lives. Preparing for a series of half day sessions on Resilience recently, I spoke to a wise HR Director.  She reiterated why this training was so important to her company, “unless our managers manage themselves well through change, how can we can expect them to manage others?”

Listening to this podcast on Resilience by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) this week reinforced the message.

In organisational life, it has been well documented that there is a direct correlation between staff engagement and a sense of personal resilience. When leadership is good, people feel good. Professor Ivan Robertson at Manchester University wanted to find out whether training people in resilience could also help. He found overwhelmingly that it did. What is more, even training of 90 minutes, as long as it had some personal and face-to-face elements, made as much difference as 2 days of training. Good news for those with limited training budgets and great news for managers who want to strengthen and sustain their resilience.

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