It’s Friday and we have made it through another cold, dark January week. I hope that you feel a sense of accomplishment in what ever you have been doing this week. Whether you have been working, home schooling or just getting through each day at home. However big or small the tasks you have achieved this week, it is important to tell ourselves that you did well. You got through it and what ever challenges you faced this week, they were there to help you become stronger.
It never feels like that at the time, but reflecting back on a Friday or at the weekend is a good way reset our internal resilience charger. We may feel emotionally drained from feeling anxious, stressed, low in mood, lonely, difficulty concentrating with work and school work. They all drain our internal reserves of energy to help us get through each day. All those feelings are normal, acknowledging we feel them and having the ability to move to a different emotional state within the same hour or day helps build our resilience charger. Having the ability to be emotional flexible and self-regulate our emotions is like adding a booster pack to our internal battery! Take time to notice the things that make you smile, laugh, feel warm, peaceful and content. Recognise what you achieve each day to boost emotional energy.
Physical energy is easily drained with long hours at home. Taking the time to prioritise taking regular breaks to stand up, move around and build in exercise that gives you energy is important. Ideally getting outside if you feel safe and able to do so in daylight helps to boost our resilience charger. Pilates, Yoga and gentle full body exercises in the morning and evening help us stay mobile and strong. Ensuring you have a regular evening routine and at least 7-8 hours sleep helps our body to rest, repair and digest.
Ensuring you are mindful of what you are eating is hugely important for our energy and resilience. A high sugar, refined carbohydrate and highly caffeinated diet gives only quick fixes but long term drains our energy and resilience. Eating little and often, following a plant based diet rich in vegetables, nuts and seeds all helps keep our resilience topped up with a good intake of vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats.
How we communicate with ourselves each day can deplete or resilience. Be kind to yourself, try not to put pressure on yourself. Be mindful if you have fixed ways of thinking about things. If you can be open to change, other opinions and doing things differently this may also help keep your resilience levels high. These all help with mental flexibility.
Feeling a sense of purpose each day really is as important as eating well, daily exercise, sleep and emotional regulation. Whether you are looking after a pet, family member, feel part of a church group, volunteer, are able to work all contribute to having a purpose in your day. Feeling without a purpose is like living without a battery.
Resilience is like an internal battery, it helps us have the ability to adapt and recover from the challenges we face. Given we are all facing huge daily challenges, being mindful for a few minutes each day of the ways you stay resilient, that keep you feeling mentally and physically strong may help you get you through each day with more ease.
If you feel depleted of emotional and physical energy reach out to others who can help. Being in a constant state of stress with our fight or flight mode switched on for a year drains even the strongest of us. If you notice regular fatigue, low mood, irritability, poor sleep, poor concentration and lack of connection with others consider talking to your GP or local support service.