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CHANGE


3. Sleep, diet and exercise Most would at times admit to not getting enough sleep (WHO recom- mend seven to eight hours), eating too much refined sugar, drinking one or two too many caffeine drinks and not taking 30 minutes of exercise every day. However, all these factors are contributory to a lack of resilience if neglected over a long period of time. A healthy body and mind set a tone that can help build resilience to face chal- lenges in a more productive manner. Sleep is a key factor in building stamina and reducing stress. Te most effective way of maintaining good sleep patterns is to go to bed and get up at exactly the same time every day, and that includes Saturday and Sunday! Te body gets used to the predictabil- ity of this routine and responds accordingly. If you are struggling to get to sleep, avoid any caffeinated drinks after 2pm and avoid looking at digital devices, including the television, 30 minutes before your bedtime routine. To build resilience in yourself, it’s


important to begin to understand and recognise how your own levels of energy and performance differ throughout the day and the working





intensity period is also key to a resilient approach. Rest and recovery are vital in restoring mental and physical resources, especially from demanding work periods and long periods of travel where the body is under increased levels of stress. Te optimum length of time that


the mind can work at an optimum performance is between 90 and 120 minutes, and these productive periods should be interspersed with short rest periods. Working through a lunch hour is sometimes a necessity, but consider trying to get away from work for a period of time each day. Any business can survive without you for 45 minutes while you take a walk or


go for lunch with a friend (without your smartphone).


4. Social support “Research on


resilience has generally pointed towards social support as


being the most important protective factor ... probably the thing we know with most certainty”.6 Of all the research and papers


Ultimately, resilient people can deal with change more readily in whatever shape or form that represents


week. What is it that you can do, especially when you are confronted by more demanding periods of your life, to prepare yourself mentally and physically to meet that demand? Tis can range from ensuring that you clear the diary of any potential late nights the weekend before an especially busy week, maintaining hydration, take moderate exercise and enjoying proper social time or pursuing non-work related hobbies. Managing the end of that high


26 | February 2017 |


written about building resilience, this factor is a central feature. Having those around you that give you, not only support, but purpose and connectedness drives perseverance to work through difficult times. For those bouncing back from significant trauma, in almost every case study, the power of interconnectedness is cited. Some of the benefits this offers include the ability to talk things out and share one’s concerns; positive role models to learn from; being cared for by people you trust and receiving appropriate encouragement. Te flip side of this element was also deemed to be true. Tose who experienced a trauma but then themselves took on the caring role, as a rescuer position, found themselves to have more control and therefore became more resilient.


Conclusion


Te digital world in which we live and work offers wonderful opportunities for communication and collaboration. However, to thrive in this work environment now requires us, more


than ever, to develop a sense of self-discipline with that technology in order to not only delineate our work and our free time, but to understand its long term effects on our mental and physical wellbeing. Tere are many elements that build


resilience and no single method or skill works independently in its develop- ment and maintenance. Te hardiness that resilience brings comes from a need to accept that negative feelings and thoughts are perfectly natural; to adopt a sense of realistic, grounded optimism and appreciating what you have, not what you don’t have. It requires you to keep a good


social network that supports and encourages you and to find a meaning to what you do that gives you purpose, energy and increased perseverance in adversity. All this matters because, if we wish to succeed not only professionally but personally, we need to consider our levels of resilience and commit to making some changes now. “More than education, more than


experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience determines who succeeds and who fails. Tat’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.” Dean Beker, CEO Adaptive Learnings.7


Ed Chacksfield is a consultant at the Inspirational Develop- ment Group (IDG). He can be contacted at ed.chacksfield@ inspirationaldg.com or via www. inspirationaldevelopment.com


References 1 World Health Organisation, (2002), Mental health and work: Impact, issues and good practices Report.


2 Meichenbaum D (2005), Understanding Resilience in Children and Adults: Implications for Prevention and Interventions, paper delivered to the Melissa Institute Ninth Annual Conference on Resilience.


3 Siebert A (2005), The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco.


4 Reiz and Chalkson, (2016) HBR, How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Company


5 Robertson, D (2012) Building Your Resilience, Hodder Education.


6 Ibid 7 Coutu, D (2002) How Resilience Works, Harvard Business Review


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