Resilience for Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Resilience: Resilience is a term used to describe our ability to bounce back or recover from times of stress, change, hardship and illness. Developing a state of mental and physical resilience can be achieved with practical strategies, which can be learned over time. Resilience provides a buffer to the affects of life’s challenges and can help to prevent burnout and mental illness and to recover from these, should they occur.

Conditions and strategies that make people more resilient to stress and mental illness are:

  • Proactive stress management and coping skills
  • Keeping fit and healthy Good social support and contact
  • Positive relationships at work and home
  • Responding to signs early and getting the right treatment
  • Positive attitude and realistic expectations
  • Maintaining good energy levels through sleep and diet

The strategies below are proven to build resilience and help manage stress. They are based on balance and self-care:

The Body

  • Regular physical activity and exercise
  • Healthy and balanced diet
  • Maintain a good sleep routine
  • Develop a way to unwind and relax (separate from beer, wine and drugs)
  • Rest and take breaks
  • Visit our doctor or GP for check-ups
Your Mind
  • Slow down and take a ‘problem solving approach’ to frustrations and barriers
  • Ask for advice and talk things through
  • Plan and record your goals
  • Develop your self awareness
  • Identify and work to your strengthsDevelop a positive attitude
  • Develop a switching off technique
  • Use a ‘checklist approach’ to order your life and gain a sense of control
Your Lifestyle
  • Create and nurture a purpose and goal for work & life
  • Get involved in your own social network and social activities
  • Take up a regular sport or hobby
  • Know your personal energy limits and set some boundaries to keep the fuel tank up!
  • Take a bit of time to think about your big picture – your beliefs, values and even spirituality (what gives your life meaning!)
Your Relationships
  • Talking often AND talking early - to your family, friends, workmates or supervisor when you need to
  • Make and spend quality time with key people in your life
  • Discuss and clarify mutual expectations
  • Give and accept compliments when they are due
  • Thank others for their help and offer to help them
  • Brush up on your listening and communication skills
  • Be open to hearing feedback about yourself, don’t take things too personally and foster a learning approach
Resilience Building Steps:
  1. Identify your personal coping strategies and use these deliberately when you need them.
  2. Identify the main sources of stress or pressure in your life and seek solutions to these if they can be changed.
  3. If you can't change the situation, then you'll need a plan for ongoing coping and adjustment, which can be achieved with support.
  4. Identify and recognise your personal warning signs of stress and strain so you can catch things early and gain control of your wellbeing.
  5. Add resilience strategies to your life and routine.