The pressure on executives in work is enormous. Factors like squeezing more profit out of decreasing incomes, competitors slicing into your business margins, the costs of innovation, the high employment rates leading to valuable employees moving on and then there’s BRexit uncertainty and lately the threat of a global recession.
Staying resilient and guarding your mental health can be challenging particularly when pinch points occur. But are the pinch points no longer that, have they become the norm?
Emotional Resilience is about believing you can make it and bouncing back when shocks occur. Here’s a roadmap.
1. Have a Plan
It might sound obvious but once you know where you’re heading, how long it’s likely to take and what’s expected of you, you can plan for the journey and stay resilient.
2. Positively Accept Change
When you become highly stressed because of constant change, it can mean you see change as a negative instead of a positive and your resilience becomes undermined. Adopting a change mindset is critical to survival. If you don’t have a personality that thrives on change, perhaps it’s time to chat to your boss, move jobs or career.
3. Work/Life Balance
You can’t keep working at 100%, one hundred percent of the time. Work/Life Balance is crucial to safeguarding mental health. Doing an overview of your work/life balance is a detailed examination of how you expend your mental, physical, emotional, creative and spiritual energy. Are flexible work practices an option? Can you work from home one day per week? Is job share/job split a possibility for you? Keenly assess your exercise routine, sleep patterns, diet, holidays/short breaks from work, space for hobbies and friends, time in nature. Making a 3-month plan to introduce ‘fun’ and ‘joyful’ experiences will help you to stay resilient.
4. Do a Time Log
This overlaps with the Work/Life Balance audit however it focuses more on your time schedule. To discover what’s undermining your mental and emotional resilience, do a time log to see what you spend your time doing. You’ll quickly discover things that sap your energy (undermining resilience and confidence) and equally the stuff that boosts you. You’ll learn what aspects of your job should be delegated and where you need to take more control.
5. Setting Up Boundaries
Boundaries are a huge aspect of workplace resilience and safeguarding mental health. Examine: what reduces your resilient mindset? Be honest. Is it your job, your boss, a member of your team, your life partner, your children, your family? Have you committed to something that no longer fits into your life? Are you answering emails at 12 midnight when you should be sleeping? By starting the process of setting up some boundaries around your time, you’ll bring balance back which will give you more staying power.
6. Support Network
The work/life balance review and time log will probably show you where you have support and where you need help. Are you too hard on yourself always wanting to do everything yourself? Do you find it hard to even ask for help? None of us are an island and we all need support. See who you’ve got in your corner and who you need to ask for help? Then have those conversations and engage in those negotiations.
7. Meditate Daily
Meditation, Mindfulness, Breathing Exercises and Yoga are powerful supports. Literally, these practices can stop the endless internal chatter bringing you back to the source of who you are. Meditation can help you to feel less stressed, sleep better, concentrate better and be more present. Starting a daily practice helps resilience hugely. You can do Meditation almost anywhere: at your desk (with headphones), in a parked car, at home. And it’s free.
Maura Jakksen Byrne is a qualified Senior Executive Coach and Behavioural Analyst. She is managing director of Your Business Smart Coach, an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Consultancy.
Contact: www.yourbusinesssmartcoach.net e: firstname.lastname@example.org