One gloomy Wednesday in Manchester, I joined a virtual workshop hosted by Laura Sanderson Vice President of Bloom North, and Alex Heywood, co-founder of 4and20Million to learn about boosting resilience at work.
They kicked off the workshop by validating what I think everyone is feeling at the moment – “Our waking hours suddenly contain more responsibilities, more loneliness, more disconnection and more uncertainty than at any point in our professional lives. Our support networks have been disrupted. Our usual rituals have been put on hold. And we are expected to simply figure it all out.” I nodded to myself – used to working in bustling coffee shops and having drinks in the Northern Quarter with my friends after clocking off, my kitchen table and the ritual weekend walk is getting old fast. But then came a piece of advice that I believe everyone needs to hear:
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
If we give ourselves the tools to cope with chaos instead of resisting it, things suddenly become a lot easier. They described three ways in which to do this: changing perspectives, learning to adapt, and supporting others.
Give out compliments
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to support each other now more than ever. One easy way to do this is to actively compliment those around us. It can be a struggle to see the amazing and positive things about ourselves sometimes - so by telling someone what great work they’re doing, or how delicious their banana bread was, or how much you enjoyed going on that walk with them, it can help make them feel strong and resilient. Feel free to insert your own lockdown hobbies instead – I’m sure not everyone has become obsessed with baking and going on walks right?
Extra points if the compliment is unexpected, or you go the extra mile to help someone out. Being kind is another way in which we can empower others and spread positivity. Understanding that everyone has bad days, but that we can directly affect the emotions of others and help turn that day around, is so important. If they we all feel supported, we will be able to bolster our resilience. In the workshop, they described it as a ripple effect – pass those good vibes on!
Finally – you must be kind to yourself. No one is perfect – not even Beyonce (although she comes very close…), and just because you have made a mistake or failed or given up when times got hard, does not mean that you deserve to be written off! By showing yourself and others sympathy, it can allow everyone the opportunity to try again. Bad things happen to good people, and everyone makes mistakes, that’s just life! It’s how we pick ourselves up and carry on that counts. Resilience even in the hardest times.
I’m sure you can agree that all of the techniques here seem approachable, achievable, and inspirational. Personally, the workshop made me feel reassured that no matter what this year might bring, there are always ways to boost your resilience and thrive. At the end of the workshop, suddenly the weather outside didn’t seem so gloomy after all.
Thank you to everyone at Bloom and 4and20Million for hosting such a great session! Do you have any ways in which you boost your resilience that weren’t covered here? Let us know!
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