Building resilience in the workplace – physical and mental

Oliver DearHow often after a bad start to the day does it spiral into a terrible one and take you a few hours after work to relax? How many times does having an idea not accepted, stop you from suggesting another one in the future? How many times do you deal with a difficult customer, who influences how you feel towards the next person you meet?

Building resilience and developing the ability to ‘bounce-back’, comes from training yourself psychologically and maintaining physical wellness.

Physical wellbeing
Some of the best and most impactful ways to build physical resilience is to stay well hydrated, make sure you’re eating breakfast, try not to skip meals and exercise as much as you can. Looking after your body increases the oxygen levels in your brain, meaning you can hold concentration for much longer, get tired less often and deal more effectively with the challenges you may face.

Much like any athlete, being physically well conditioned is only half the story – it’s equally important to focus on your ability to powerfully deal with pressure and adversity.

Mental wellbeing
In the competitive and busy world we live in, it’s often easy to get distracted when dealing with multiple customers at the same time, getting frustrated when the trains are busy, or rushing to make a deadline. How well we continue to perform and motivate ourselves, depends on how we respond to challenges.

Take the example of two teams who are of the same physical ability but both teams lost their games the week before. One team uses the loss to make changes to how they prepare, how they play and what goals they have; whereas the other team focuses on who made mistakes the week before and being angry with themselves. Who do you think is going to win?

A problem or a challenge – when you’re faced with a challenge, are you thinking about how to overcome it and what you can learn, or what the impact there will be if you fail? We can’t stop stressful situations from happening but we can change how we interpret them. Try to focus on how a situation will positively challenge you and look for ways you can learn from it.

Build signature strengths – when someone comes to you for advice or to share an idea, do you know why? Understand and be proud of the part your strengths have within the team and this can improve your confidence and your ability to recover from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments – it’s a great way to build resilience for the future.

We’re most tested when we’re feeling stressed, rushed or without control; how we decide to prepare for these inevitable events is crucial.

Resilience is increasingly seen as the number one way to have a motivated, inspired and energetic workforce, able to deal with whatever life and work throw at them. In this month of stress awareness, have a think about how resilient you are to the everyday challenges life throws at you. Are you ready to handle them and push yourself further?

Oliver Dear is national account manager for Mitie Client Services.

For more information on our resilience and coaching programmes, contact us and follow us on Twitter

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