When I reflected last month on how I’ve kept a successful business running for 20 years, one of the points I mentioned was the importance of resilience. You could be the smartest start-up in town, but if you don’t have the stamina and the strength to keep going through the hard times, you won’t last very long.
Being alpha and feisty doesn’t necessarily mean you are tenacious – even the quietest and gentlest of souls can play the resilience card and succeed where others fail. Here are 6 tips to help you build on that:
- Prepare for the worst and have a plan B. Try to lay the groundwork for recovery before you need to. For example, keep your skills up to date to stay in demand in the market, and try to save some money in case of job loss, illness, etc. Of course, tragedies and devastating events can disrupt even the best-laid plans, but developing the right mindset, including the ability to reframe negative events, will help you if disaster strikes.
- Stay focused on your goal. If things are rough, it’s hard to remember the energy and enthusiasm that you had when you started out. Buy by having a clear mission and continuing to strive towards it in small ways, you will get there eventually. You don’t have to move mountains every day to achieve your goal – you’ve just got to keep the finish line in sight.
- Laugh! Did you know that laughter boosts your immune system? And it allows your body to completely relax. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins and makes you feel better. So in times of stress, create the space to laugh – it will help you gain perspective and de-stress you.
- Eat and drink right. Eating the right food affects your energy levels, your mood, your ability to concentrate, and your overall health. Drink plenty of water, make sure you’re snacking on nuts (they help you concentrate), and try to get your five a day. This should help your performance during the good times and the bad.
- Exercise. Even if it’s just finding the time to go for a few walks a week, exercise makes a huge difference to your mood, your sense of well being, your ability to think clearly, and your health. Find an exercise you enjoy and make it a priority in your diary.
- Turn off tech and spend more time connecting with nature. Studies show that we actually need weekends and nights off to disconnect and recuperate from the stresses of work. And according to research, just one hour interacting with nature improves memory performance and attention span by 20%. So try to spend at least part of your weekend with your phone off.
I hope these tips have been helpful – and do let me know your own ways of getting through stressful periods. I’d love to hear them.