Building my Resilience – practical strategiesIt has been a pleasure to create and run this workshop for you, and I truly hope that you find it useful. The key now is to remember to implement the ideas and actions that you have created. If there are any issues or questions you would like to discuss please contact me. You can reach me at email@example.com or 07779 646976. On this webpage you will find some extra information on the topics we discussed and some links to other resources. Remember only you can guage how well you are coping, thriving or how resilient you are feeling or how close to burning out you may be. Reaching out for help and support is a sign of strength, so do so if you need to. There are resources and support organisations at the bottom of this page.
Building Resilience and Avoiding BurnoutStress is “the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it,” that is, the rate at which we live at any one moment. All living beings are constantly under stress and anything, pleasant or unpleasant, that speeds up the intensity of life, causes a temporary increase in stress, the wear and tear exerted upon the body. A painful blow and a passionate kiss can be equally stressful. (Selye 1976) Stress has become synonymous with negative events, but that wasn’t always the case… HSE definition of stress: ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work’. There are good types of stress and a certain amount keeps us motivated and ‘on the ball’. Each of us have different levels of negative stress that we can cope with. The key is recognising where you are before you get too close to not coping. Defining burnout Burnout is not a sudden one-off event, but more like a “gradual emotional depletion and a loss of motivation and commitment” (Freudenberger 1974) Three characteristics were identified by Maslach, Jackson & Leiter (1986): Emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and reduced accomplishment. How to recognise whether you are coping. (see Skills for Care questionnaire) CIPD fact sheet: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/well-being/stress-factsheet VUCA short Harvard Business Review article: https://hbr.org/2014/01/what-vuca-really-means-for-you
Coping and ConfidenceHave the confidence & courage to speak up for yourself. Ask for what you need. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish, it is self-care (remember the flying and oxygen mask analogy). Beliefs cycle: beliefs, feelings, behaviour, results… Watch out for the tendency to need to be the rescuer – not helpful if you take away others’ abilities to look after themselves. Support by listening, but don’t take over. Loving Kindness Meditations: To others: May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease And to yourself: May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease Shad Helmstetter’s book “What to say when you talk to yourself”, and he has a Facebook page facebook.com/drshadhelmstetter/ Kristin Neff is a researcher in self-compassion, her website is https://self-compassion.org/ And here is a link to a YouTube video of a Loving Kindness Meditation youtube.com/watch?v=tY3NnodM3Ww
Five practical ways to increase wellbeing
Here is a short explanation of the New Economic Foundation’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing:
Connect – social distancing, should really be physical distancing. We still need social contact. How are you connecting? If managing others, do more now. Informal, phone, text, Zoom/Skype/Teams, quizzes, virtual cuppas. Wobble Rooms – to download/offload/ just wobble & recover. Wellbeing Hubs.
Be Active – government advice was to exercise once a day right from the start of lockdown. Why? Because the importance of being active was recognised. Not just for physical health, but for mental well-being too. Small activities as well as longer runs/walks, games of tennis or golf, gardening.
Do whatever works for you, but don’t stay in front of the TV to relax!
Be Curious – this used to be called “take notice” but has been renamed. Curiosity encourages a state of wonder, of seeking to understand rather than of knowing. What are you curious about? Where could you ask more questions? What small things can you look at and wonder, rather than know? Flowers, sunsets & sunrises, birdsong, as well as work issues, your clinical skills and people.
Keep Learning – at the start of the lockdown, so many people were signing up to learn a new language, complete an online course, learn how to sew etc… While it is likely that working for the NHS you had enough on your plate already!
But what have you learnt? It might not have been on a formal course or workshop but we have all learnt new skills and new ways of working in the past few months. We don’t often stop and reflect on the skills we’ve learnt. Take time to acknowledge the new ways of working, the online processes, the methods of coping and many other things you will have learnt over the past few weeks and months. And post-pandemic, we will continue to learn. New skills at work, new skills outside of work new recipes to cook, new routes to work, new ways of being rather than just doing.
Give – we can give gifts to each other, and research indicates that the giver benefits from this as well as the receiver. Many have also volunteered their time in the last few months. Time is a precious resource and giving it, even in the terms of listening to a colleague, is hugely important.
Other things that are important to give is praise, feedback and thank yous. Give these to others, to recognise them, not just for what they do, but also for who they are. Saying a heartfelt thank you, with reasons, is hugely important.