Building mental resilience

This month, we explore what resilience is and how you can build your resilience in the face of life’s difficult moments.

Everyone experiences challenges in their lives from time to time. This month, we explore what resilience is and how you can build your resilience in the face of life’s difficult moments.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to endure or ‘bounce back’ from difficult situations or challenges.

Generally speaking, someone with good resilience is able to manage stressful situations well which is a useful skill in the workplace.

Resilience can also reduce some risk factors for developing anxiety and/or depression.

The good news is resilience is a skill that can be learned so if you find difficult situations stressful and hard to manage, there are ways you can grow and learn in this area so you can handle them better in the future and bounce back faster.

Why is resilience at work important?

For roughly fifty years (longer for some), we can spend a third of our day at work – that’s a big chunk of our life!

While employers are putting more emphasis on the employee value proposition and how to make the employee experience better overall, we will all still face challenges throughout our working lives.

In fact, 70% of Australian’s say they experience stress at work at least once a week .

This could include difficult conversations, organisational change, interpersonal issues and clashes with co-workers, complicated relationships with managers and tough workloads.

Someone who is skilled in resilience will be able to take these challenges in their stride and overcome them with relative ease.

Further, research shows that resilient workers build strong connections and will help their co-workers achieve success so helping employees to build their resilience is also beneficial for the employer.

How can I be more resilient?

Don’t be afraid of failure or challenges
Resilience grows when we are challenged, learn and come through the other side stronger. Without setbacks, we don’t have a chance to improve the skill of resilience, so try to embrace challenges as a time of personal growth.
While multi-tasking is a skill in and of itself, it can impact your productivity overall. Create set times to focus on particular tasks – by achieving small goals regularly, you experience success repeatedly, which improves your mental resilience.
Look after yourself
Your physical health has a big impact on your mental health. At the same time, stressful situations can take a negative toll on your physical health so maintaining this is imperative. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get a good night’s sleep and get regular health checks to stay on top on your physical health.
Take a break
Even in times when it feels like you have an endless to-do list, it’s important to take breaks both for your health and your productivity. Try the 50/10 rule where for every 50 minutes of work, you take a 10-minute break. This will help prevent burnout and increase your productivity.
Ask for help
Resilient people have a strong network of support around them. Lean on your network during challenging times and return the favour when it is needed.
Maintain your work-life balance
Have you heard the expression ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’? Similarly, stressful situations quickly drain energy, and you can’t expect to handle challenges at work well if don’t factor in time to switch off and recuperate.
Understand your emotions, triggers and reactions to stressful situations. Reflect regularly on what strategies that help you cope and bounce back from these. This will also help you research and practice more coping mechanisms to use in the future.

Need more guidance?

For specific and personalised help, speak to our team of Accredited Practising Dietitians by calling 1800 808 374 or you can request an appointment online.

Download tip sheet as a PDF

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