How To Increase Your Resilience
Juggling A Million Jobs: How To Increase Your Resilience
How resilient are you feeling? Do you have any idea how you can increase you resilience?
At certain times of the year – when you’re a mother and you’re starting up or growing your own business, it’s easy to feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. You can find yourself working early starts, late nights and weekends, trying to fit work around an already packed and full-on life.
When you’re running around like a crazy lady, if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to feel like you’re struggling to keep all the balls in the air. Rest assured though, you’re doing brilliantly! Sometimes we don’t acknowledge it but we’re balancing and negotiating a number of very demanding jobs and it’s HARD.
So right now, I’m asking you to check in on how you’re doing and how resilient you’re feeling.
Are you looking after yourself too?
When there are a gazillion things to do, it feels counter-intuitive to take time out to consider yourself, but it’s actually essential. The old adage is true –
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Some times we are more resilient than others. Our resilience fluctuates.
Building Resilience: The Rowing Boat Metaphor For Resilience
There’s a really good metaphor for resilience and a really insightful exercise that goes with it.
* Think of being healthy and well like rowing a boat.
Illness or other challenges can be thought of as crashing into a rock.
* The ‘water level’ represents our resilience. When we’re feeling good in ourselves, our emotional reserves are high, we might float over the rocks. On a bad day we hit them. When we feel depleted and our water level is low, we’re more likely to crash.
** Certain factors push the water level down [ RISK FACTORS ]
** Others push the water level up [ PROTECTIVE FACTORS ].
Exercise: How To Get More Resilient
So how do you get *more* resilient, *more* of the time?
You identify what increases and what decreases your personal levels of resilience. Then you make sure you do more of one and less of the other!
Here’s an exercise to help you get clear on what makes you more or less resilient:
Draw a line for a water level across a page
* What things make your water level (your resilience) go down?
Map these factors by drawing downward arrows facing the water line. Identify your downward arrows by completing this sentence:
‘When I face a difficult situation, I’m more likely to struggle when…’
* What things make your water level rise up?
Map these factors by drawing upward arrows beneath the water line. Identify your upward arrows by asking yourself to complete the sentence,
‘I tend to cope better when…’
If you’re feeling challenged or overwhelmed, ask yourself ‘how’s my water level doing?’
Pay attention to the little steps you’ve identified that you can take to nourish your capacity to cope. This includes self-compassion and self-care. Now address any factors that are leaving you depleted!
For me, sleep, meditation, exercise, a good diet and connecting with friends and family are the factors that bring my water levels up.
What factors build your resilience?
Let me know in the comments