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Do you ever want to run screaming for the hills?
Do you ever want to hand your adulthood back to anyone who’ll take it?
Do you ever find yourself with your head slumped in your hands?
There are so many things in our day to day life that just happen. Many of them are like water off a duck’s back. They’re the stuff of life… the challenges that appear just to assure us that we are alive.
The more strategies we have to handle these events, the less likely these series of moments are to transform from gentle waves that a toddler can frolic in on the beach to massive walls of water that wash us off our feet, slam us face first into the sand before sending us colliding into a palm tree.
It’s this daily negotiation of events that can come undone when layer upon layer they compound into challenges that test even the more resilient among us.
When the boss is being especially difficult. When the IT department decide to upgrade their systems in the middle of day you have a tender due by close of business. When your assistant resigns: effective immediately. When Human Resources are insisting that you counsel an under performing employee today. When your colleague preparing the tender with you goes home sick, not with stress – who could blame them - but because they are having trouble staying on task without needing urgent bathroom breaks.
Fortunately, these days don’t happen too often. But they can happen! And where your resilience levels are at the start of the day will have a crucial impact on your ability to get through the day without damaging your identity (among other things, like furniture, your keyboard or your forehead from being knocked against a wall repeatedly).
I am an advocate of the eight research based resilience strategies plus one that I know works for me. I have created a memory aid to keep them front of mind.
It’s BE A GEM
B is for BODY E is for EXERCISE
A is for ARTISTRY or ANYTHING that works for you
G is for GRATITUDE E is for EMPATHY M is for MINDFULNESS
And there are lots of elements in each area that help me keep my resilience levels as strong as possible. My offer to you, if you are feeling particularly fragile, worn down or simply lacking any type of resilience, is to just start with ONE THING. Pick one thing that you will enjoy doing from the list above. It might be eating more raw food. It might be a 30 minute early morning walk. It might be doodling or colouring in. It might be listing three things at the end of the day that you are grateful for. It might be offering a hand to someone from grabbing them a coffee to offering to help them move house (that’ll win huge brown points for ages to come). Or you might spend five minutes sitting on the edge of your bed every morning just breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
The key? Pick one and give it a red hot go! Let me know how you go!
Because your mind health matters.
Jacqui Chaplin email@example.com