Most of us have some level of awareness of how we are doing mentally/ emotionally from all the rapid changes and unknowns we have all endured in the last 12 months. The Coronavirus which can vary from A to Z with some people asymptomatic and others succumbing to an untimely death - this is the granddaddy of stressful times. The exacerbation of political strife and domestic tensions just heaps more stressors on top of an already flaming fire.
When the calendar rolled over into 2021 we all knew it meant more unknowns, and the potential for more political chaos, financial hardship and increased distress.
When I asked a good friend of mine for their thoughts and goals for 2021 they replied-“ I just want to survive the year.”
I think many of us have had that same sentiment. And yet, in the midst of all these challenges, difficulties and unknowns, we can still engage in resilient habits that allow us to thrive rather than just survive.
Resilience is that ability to bounce back after adversity in as good or better shape ( physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally) then where we started prior to the adversity or difficulty.
Where is your mindset, thoughts and attitudes? Are you merely trying to survive these precarious times?
At Live Well Kitsap we feel strongly that it is up to each one of us to take the proverbial bull by the horns and lead it where we want to go, unknowns notwithstanding. Why increase our distress by over focusing on all the conditions and circumstances we cannot control? They will occur with or without us. Obtaining resilience is about controlling what you can.
To achieve wellbeing in every way, we must have good resilience skills.
Here are some to cultivate and practice every day:
Check your Mindset in the Morning- Are you aware of what anxious or negative thoughts you are chewing on? What are your first thoughts in the morning? Are you turning on the news immediately, or are you waking up more slowly and intentionally?Our advice at LWK, forego the TV or internet first thing and focus on a mentally healthier you. Read, pray, meditate, or take a walk. Even a few minutes of deep breathing is preferable than inviting all the cacophony into your brain.
Make some time for fitness daily. Even a 10 or 15 minute walk twice a day can increase circulation, lower stress, access your parasympathetic nervous system and take you away from all that extraneous noise. Even better, set days and times you will do different workouts- choose something calming like yoga once or twice a week, and fill in the other days with something a bit more sweat inducing- lifting weights, jogging, cycling etc.
Fill your body and brain with the right fuel. Serving up healthier food means a greater likelihood of enjoying a good mood, energy and outlook. When we eat right, we often feel right. You are not imagining that the “comfort foods” you’ve been indulging in temporarily cause you to feel better. Carbs produce serotonin, a feel good chemical, however the effect is short lived and the extra weight is long lasting. Steer your diet to more organic plant based foods and feel the sustained energy that awaits you!
Consider what you can let go of today. As a busy leader, business owner or executive, you have many obligations. However, it is easy to do many of them simply out of habit. Ask yourself what tasks in your day are not highest and best use of your time and talent. Win cooperation from others and take some of those extras off your plate by letting others who have their strengths to show off take over some of your to do’s.
Remember part of what zaps us is exhaustion which results from doing too much. Reevaluate what things you can take off your plate freeing up time to engage in these other healthy habits on a regular basis. These four things alone can set you on the path to Resilience.