Watch the video ‘Lesson 5 – Build Your Resilience’, then do these 15-minute exercises to help you build up your resilience…
5.1 – Take part in activities you enjoy
Regularly experience things which give you pleasure or act as a buffer. Whilst seemingly obvious, this can be challenging to put into action. Think of something you love or would like to try, something easy to put into action. Tell someone about your plan. Use their encouragement and support to drive you forward.
5.2 – Know your early warning signs
These are usually small changes to your words, attitudes or behaviours which indicate you are feeling less resilient. Keep a lookout for these warning signs. When these signs are present, this means more buffering activities or more support is needed. Act on the presence of these warning signs to prevent you from experiencing more stress.
5.3 – Build awareness of your triggers
Build insight into events, people or situations that tend to create a negative reaction in you. You will recognise patterns and repeating themes which trigger you. This is the first step to being able to adopt helpful strategies and reduce the emotional response to these
5.4 – Recognise your buffers
Buffers are the things you do that shield you from stress. Make a list of the words, activities, strategies or people who help you at times of stress such as adopting a positive statement or mantra, having a workout, a walk, time with your pet or simply making time for the people who matter most. Make sure you build these buffers into your daily or weekly habit. They can become your ‘go to’ actions especially when you recognise the signs of stress in your life. Take a break and spend it with someone who supports you or lets vent. Invite humour into your life as a form of mental training.
5.5 – Play to your strengths
Think of a time when you handled a similar situation well and draw on this experience. Identify the strengths you utilised to manage this might help you here. Decide what you can put into action in the present tense to help you
5.6 – Take control
At difficult times take a moment. Name the problem that is challenging your resilience. Ask yourself ‘What outcome do I need in this situation? Write down 3 things you can do to resolve this problem. Take this question to someone you trust, asking them to share three possible solutions. Read all options but take no action for one day. Return with fresh eyes ready to reflect on options and choose the action that will have most likelihood of driving forward the outcome you need.
5.7 – Create a mental fitness action plan
This tool helps you to capitalise on your resilience strategies and encourages you to create the following habits regularly:
- Participate in activities that boost your mental fitness.
- Monitor early warning signs and act quickly when they become prominent
- Recognise and utilise helpful strategies as part of day to day life
- Act when you need to rally additional support from your team
Create the beginning of yours by answering these questions:
- What boosts your wellbeing which you can easily do regularly?
- What signals that I’m struggling will I notice first, and do I need to act on?
- Which one helpful thing can I do at these times?
- Who can I connect with who will support me at these times?
5.8 – Create a Resilience Rating System
This Action Planning helps you put into practice your own resilience rating system to recognise and stay at your best. It acts as a reminder to help you take action to boost your resilience
and when at the worst, it tells you when you need to ‘stop the bus’ and take a break.
- Green for go,
- Amber for slow down
- Red for Stop.
- Next to Green write down what you look like, feel like and behave like when you are at your best and ready for action.
- Next to Amber record the same information which describes you when your early warning signs tell you that you are less than your best.
- Do the same for red.
Your mission is to focus on the actions that keep you in the green zone. Make it your priority for one week to make time for the everyday actions which keep you in this zone. Keep on the lookout for your early warning signs.