“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards
History is full of inspiring examples of human resilience. People who have overcome incredible challenges and adversity to not only survive, but thrive.
Did you know that JK Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by 12 major publishing houses before being picked up? Or that Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor thought he lacked imagination? And Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times in his efforts to invent a commercially viable electric lightbulb before he hit the jackpot.
While perfecting the art of resilience won’t necessarily make you famous, it will help you navigate your way through testing times – and Coronavirus has certainly thrown some doozies our way. With Mental Health Month coming up in October, and Australia once again in lockdown limbo, there’s never been a better time to shine a light on strategies, like resilience, that will help get you through.
Resilience gives you the power to cope when things go wrong, to adapt and bounce back even stronger. And while resilience is a long-game, we thought we’d start small and ask Chelsea Pottenger, accredited mindfulness and meditation coach (and one of our most popular Keynote Speakers), for 5 actions you can take today to help you get through the week. One week at a time is manageable, right?
1. Start the day the right way.
How often do you wake up, roll over and reach for your phone first thing in the morning? Most of us are guilty of this. But did you know this can cause the release of cortisol (our stress hormone)? When the first thing you see when you open your eyes is negative news, an email from your boss or client that triggers your emotions, or your social media feed, it can start your day off on the wrong foot. Try leaving your phone in a different room when you sleep and use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake you in the morning.
2. Practice gratitude.
Research shows that just a small amount of gratitude goes a long way. Practicing gratitude can positively shift your mindset, build resilience and even improve your overall general health. Try thinking or journaling three things you are grateful for when you first wake up and sit with this feeling for a moment.
This simple exercise will put you in a great frame of mind for the rest of the day. If you’re feeling worn out or stressed throughout the day, try thinking about those three things – it will give you a new perspective.
3. Add movement to your day.
Exercise releases endorphins, which makes us feel good for the rest of the day. And we don’t have to engage in a vigorous workout or run 20km to experience the benefits. An article published in the Journal of Occupational Science found that just 10 minutes of walking at lunchtime improved people’s resilience and energy. So take 10 minutes today and get walking!
4. Start a meditation practice.
Research shows meditation can positively change your brain structure, helping you regulate your emotions and build resilience. Start small and build up to a 10min meditation practice.
5. Mindset reset.
Ruminative thought patterns can derail our day. When we are stuck thinking about a problem, stress or worry, we lose focus on what is essential. Dr Lucy Hone, a Professor and Well-being expert uses a powerful question to re-centre our thoughts. By asking yourself, “Is this helpful or harmful?” we can take a moment to reset our focus and start being productive again by breaking the negative thought pattern loop.
These 5 simple actions will help you build your resilience, enabling you to better tackle the challenges ahead… one week at a time. And who knows? Maybe you will make the history books!
Looking for ways to help get your team through the months ahead? We have some incredible speakers, including Chelsea Pottenger, available to present during Mental Health Month. Our Mindfulness and Resilience experts are available for live and virtual events of any size – get in touch with us for a chat!