Bouncing back from the many daily challenges we face each doesn’t just happen. Moving through change with grace is not something that lucky people are fortunate enough to experience. No, responding versus reacting under stressful circumstances is something that we have to choose.
Responding versus reacting under stressful circumstances
is something that we have to choose.
To be resilient, it’s important to incorporate habits of wellbeing into our lives. Scientific evidence continues to show how our brains have ‘neuroplasticity’ and can be shaped, for example, by learning a new skill. We can design our lives so that the intentions we set, the choices we make, and the actions we take support us in being our best with regularity.
I’ve been reading Sink, Float or Swim: Sustainable High Performance Doesn’t Happen by Chance, It Happens by Choice and learning about habits related to mindset, movement, nutrition and recovery, and the interplay among them. It’s one thing to know that a positive attitude, moving throughout the day, eating healthy foods, and sleeping ~8 hours a night, for example, are good for you, it’s another to apply that knowledge on a consistent basis.
Moving like the energizer bunny 24/7/365 leads to burnout. At some point we become just plain exhausted. We become physically tired, emotionally drained, and less able to cope. Our bodies were not made to sprint marathons! They were meant to expend energy and then to rest – more like a series of sprints with rest and recovery between each one. The optimal performance strategy is to vary the magnitude of our energy in cycles of peak performance followed by rest.
|Consider these questions to enhance your awareness, the first step in creating personal change:
Ever notice that you are tired, but you push on, believing that if you just do this one more thing, you’ll be in a better place? If you’re like me, that doesn’t usually work out so well and often leads to one more thing and then errors and inefficiencies. Sometimes, of course, we are in a demanding situation that we cannot just step away from. Engaging in high performance strategies can support our moving through high pressure moments as effectively as possible.
|Try these strategies to move through high pressure moments:
The number #1 thing we can do to strengthen our ability to move through a challenging day is to get enough sleep, which for most people is ~7-8 hours per night. Research shows there’s a link between sleep and effective leadership, yet 4 out of 10 (43%) leaders report not getting enough sleep at least four nights a week.
|Consider how much your job requires you to perform the following activities, which are especially impacted by lack of sleep.
Didn’t get enough sleep and struggling? Consider a short power nap. A consistent recommendation is to sleep no more than 20 minutes. Just sitting at your desk and resting with your eyes closed in the dark for 5 minutes can be a pretty powerful recharge, too.
If you like this post, you might also be interested in these blogs:
- How to maximize sleep to enhance your performance (IBM Jobs Blog)
- Resilience is about how you recharge, not how you endure (Harvard Business Review)
- Leadership Resiliency: Handling Stress, Uncertainty and Setbacks (Center for Creative Leadership)
* The photographs were taking in my backyard. The closing image was created from a photo I took at Dilek National Park in Guzelcamli, Turkey.