More Smart, Savvy Ways to Build Resilience
In a previous blog, I wrote about stress in the American workplace and provided a few ways to build resilience so that when our days are disrupted with things beyond our control, and they will be, we'll have the confidence and courage to bounce back. Here are a few more smart and savvy ways to grow stronger and build resilience.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFESTYLE – Do you really need the bigger house or fancier car? Bigger houses require more upkeep. Fancier cars are more expensive to maintain. Both can rob you of time and money, and cause anxiety to keep.
Do your kids really need to be involved in every activity that comes down the pike? Racing around to get them to their activities after a full day of work can be utterly exhausting.
Do you ever stand in front a closet full of clothes and wonder, “What am I going to wear?” Maybe you’re looking at all the beautiful clothes that fit you last year but no longer do. How stressful is that? It perpetrates the negative self-talk: “I can’t believe I’ve gotten soooo fat.”
If it no longer fits, donate it to charity. There's always someone with a need for gently worn apparel. The next time you lose weight, you’ll probably want to buy new clothes anyway.
Smart, savvy and strong people simplify their lives, freeing them to focus on more of what they love and less of what frustrates them.
DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE EVERY DAY – When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes a day. When you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed with situations you can’t control, you may find pleasure in little things like going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a good book.
Studies prove that people who do something they love every day find greater fulfillment and happiness in life. Smart, savvy and strong people find their groove. Start paying attention to the things you like and want to do. Put them into practice and watch your life change before your eyes. Forget about your stress for a moment, do something you love. Why not? It’ll only make you happy, even if for only a short time.
DO SOMETHING FOR OTHERS – It’s often said that it’s better to give than receive but did you know that this is backed up by research? Focusing your attention on the needs of others has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve physical health and emotional well-being.
When you do something for others, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, it can provide a real sense of perspective and make you realize how fortunate you really are. It helps take the focus off your situation and enables you to achieve a more positive outlook.
Carrying out good deeds doesn’t need to take a lot of time or even cost money. In fact, some of the best things in life are free: smiles, hugs, or a handwritten note show you care.
Smart, savvy people do small acts of kindness over time and reap large rewards for their well-being.
SLEEP – How often do you lie in bed and lose sleep over something you’re worried or anxious about? A critical deadline on a complex project. A difficult conversation you need to hold with an employee or your boss. A dreadfully toxic relationship. Health issues. Finances. A wayward child. What keeps you awake at night?
A myriad of stressful situations keeps us awake at night, robbing us of the sleep we desperately need to think clearly, make good decisions, and react rationally to life’s challenges and daily disruptions.
Smart and savvy people get a better night’s sleep because they’ve mastered an attitude of gratitude, disconnected from technology, and say positive things about themselves and their situation before lying down to sleep. They have simplified their lifestyle and done something kind for another person. When they put their head on their pillow at night, they tend to sleep well and build resilience.
LIMIT YOUR SUGAR & CAFFEINE INTAKE – If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress.
Not only are sugary foods typically stripped of nutrients, but the fluctuations they cause in blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to irritability and poor concentration. If you've ever overindulged in holiday goodies like I have, you've probably experienced the not-so-merry moods swings associated with a brief sugar high, followed by a sudden crash.
Smart and savvy people tend to be more resilient because they limit their sugar and caffeine intake. That includes alcohol, which is loaded with sugar.
EXERCISE – You know that exercise does your body good, but you're too busy and stressed to fit it into your routine – and, let’s face it, if you’re like me you really don’t enjoy it. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you're not an athlete or even if you're overweight and out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Get up and move. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Park further out in the parking so that you take a short walk to your destination. Set a goal to walk 500 steps six times a day, and at the end of the day you’ll have taken 3,000 steps, a minimal and manageable goal.
Regular exercise can increase self-confidence. It can relax you and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise helps you feel stronger and improves your sleep too.
Smart and savvy people know that exercise can ease their stress and give them a sense of control over their body and life; so, they get up and move whether they feel like it or not.
People who take control of their lives and manage their minds and bodies, are typically stronger, healthier and more resilient. When their day is suddenly disrupted, and it will be, they’ll be more apt to go with the flow and more pleasant to be around. Their confidence and courage to remain calm during chaos and confusion will positively impact their team and possibly the entire organization.
Grow stronger with smart, savvy change. Build resilience.