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Thursday, 27 April 2017

How to Build Resilience and the Reasons Why You Should


Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook and founder of the Lean In Foundation) has been in the news this week discussing her new book, Option B, and about how resilience helped her through the grief of her husband's sudden death.  We can't always control what happens in our lives but we can make sure we're resilient enough to cope with all the eventualities.


AXA PPP Healthcare did some research and found that over half (62%) of all Brits would like to feel more resilient.  Their main reasons for wanting to be more resilient are to help them in their day to day relationships, to help them at work, because they fear what faces them in the future and because they don't currently cope well with change.  I can relate to these, especially the fear of the future.  It's natural to be scared of the unknown.

Thankfully, as a result of this research leading psychologist Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, has launched a guide to help us build our resilience and become better equipped to face life’s challenges.


How to Build Your Resilience



To help you feel better prepared to face life’s challenges, here is a sample from Dr Winwood's guide to help you to thrive. By focusing on five key factors – energy, perspective, priorities, relationships, and emotional intelligence – you can build your resilience:

·         Improve your energy – Energy management is key to building resilience as it influences how well we sleep. Taking regular exercise, staying hydrated and reducing caffeine intake can all help control our energy levels to support good quality sleep.

·         Get some perspective – A considered and reasonable approach can help us to see the bigger picture when we’re thinking over a problem – and then come up with solutions. Taking a short, brisk walk can help our clarity of thought and problem solving by allowing us to reflect.

·         Think about your priorities – It’s important to take time for ourselves in order to relax and think about our goals in life based on our values and strengths.

·         Create meaningful relationships – Having a support network of family, friends, colleagues and other social groups helps us feel connected and valued. This is important when we’re facing awkward or difficult situations because we know where to find support, advice and comfort.

·         Work on your Emotional Intelligence – Being able to identify and manage our own emotions, as well as identify others’, can help us see things objectively. This can help when we feel threatened. Our interpersonal skills also help us connect emotionally with others as part of building resilience.


People often think that some people are born with more resilience, but resilience is like a muscle, we can build it.  Dr Mark Winwood comments: 

“While we’re not necessarily born with an ability to deal with potential setbacks, some people can appear to be better equipped – or more resilient – than others to face life’s challenges. But resilience is something we can all develop and grow. Being aware of the lifestyle choices that can increase our ability to bend rather than break when we face adversity can help us not only survive, but thrive.”

Dr Winwood continued: 

“While committing to make big changes can seem daunting, taking a number of small steps such as reducing caffeine intake, taking a lunchtime walk and spending time with our friends and family can make a big difference to how we feel. I’m urging Brits to make small changes such as these and see how they boost wellbeing and resilience.”



Join in the Caffeine Curfew

So where do we begin?   I'm going to take part in the  Caffeine Curfew – cutting out caffeine after 2pm each day for 4 weeks to see how this affects my quality of sleep. You can sign up to the challenge and learn more about resilience here and join the conversation using #TRYit.

I think this is a great idea.  I always avoid caffeine during the evening but I'm interested to see the difference that cutting it out from 2pm makes, I know I'll struggle with the "three O'clock slump but with drinking lots of water and peppermint tea my body will  soon settle into a new routine.

Find out more here:  https://www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/health-information/mental-health/resilience/
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