One of the hashtags I use is #bekindtoyoutoo. I’m reminded of a quote by the Dalai Lama: “Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible.”
Today, the action is simple… Find a way today to be kind to someone else, and find a way today to be kind to you too! And if you doubt the importance of turning this suggestion into action – think of the last time you benefitted from someone being unexpectedly kind to you.
In the midst of all the acts of kindness you have done this week motivated by compassion, care, or a desire to help others, take time today to offer that same level of compassion and care to yourself. I wonder what difference that will make to your day: I know it will make a difference to your personal resilience.
Affirmaton: “I am building my personal resilience by focussing on kindness to others and to me.
I wonder if you keep a journal. I have a list at the front of my journal which gives 26 reasons for journaling. This picture shows some of my journals so you can see I journal regularly. I don’t make a chore out of it and don’t journal every day but a few times a week. I recognise it is something I have done more of when life has given me lemons!
Writing can help us to get rid of some of the jumble and structure our thinking; it can help us to explore our feelings in a safe way; it can help to give us perspective; it can help us to let things go; it can helps us to reflect; it can help us to process challenging experiences.
Perhaps you are thinking ‘I don’t have time for this right now!’ Set your phone timer for 6 minutes and just start writing. When the 6 minutes are up stop… Try that for a few days and see what happens.
Affirmation: “I am taking time to clear my mind for six minutes every day.”
In terms of developing and sustaining personal resilience, Intention is important. In order to avoid the phrase… ‘I had good intentions’, it’s important we put actions, accountabilities, and checks in place to support us to meet the intention.
Of course, it goes without saying that for there to be any commitment to an intention, the intention has to have real benefits or outcomes in the first place. So pause… what do you need to be intentional about right now in terms of self care and resilience. It is likely to be something pretty simple that could have a profound incremental effect for you. It is also likely to be something that is best done frequently, even daily.
What do you need to be intentional about?
Affirmation: “I will back up my intentions by putting checks in place to support my actions.”
My curiosity is roused to wonder how much Hope and Hopefulness has played a part in your mental landscape this week. And if so, what is it you hope for? For me, Hope is, and always has been under-rated.
As human beings we have the ability to future focus, and imaginations to allow us to experience the full range of thoughts and emotions of some imaginary place and time, and research confirms our future imaginings are as powerful as actually having the experience.
One of the best things you can do right now to protect and enhance your resilience is learn the art of Hopefulness. Take some time today with a cup of tea or coffee, and pen and paper and simply take time to dream and hope and give your brain the chance to be filled with possibility and hopefulness.
Affirmation: “Today I am creating a positive mental space of future hopes and activities.”
Much has been written about Gratitude in recent years. It is good for our health, our mental health, and our sense of self to remind ourselves of what we have around us.
Today’s personal resilience challenge is to take a pen and paper (I know that requires some action on your part) and write down in three minutes as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for right now.
If this task is too easy for you, you might like to try putting 5 things on your phone you are grateful for every day for the next 28 days, one of them about yourself if you really want a challenge. I guarantee if you do this for 28 days you will feel the shift in your mood. How many things are on your gratitude list?
Affirmation: “I feel gratitude for all that makes life good.”
This picture was taken last year, and I love the expectation on the little faces looking at the beauty of the bright daffodils on a dark night.
Just for fun I could write the conversation they are having. What are the things that you most often do just for fun? And perhaps most importantly, when did you last do something just for fun? This requires first and foremost intention and permission.
Intention to loose yourself in something that brings me peace or joy, or that simply takes you out of myself. It may involve others – it may not!
Play is not just for children! Make sure whatever else is happening – you plan to have some fun today.
Affirmation: “I am choosing to be playful today and to create opportunities for fun.”
I’m curious about what energises you! The differences between us means we may be energised by different things. Perhaps the best thing you can do to sustain your energy levels is pay attention to what energises any human body… and also what energises You!
There is strong evidence for the benefits of physical exercise in enhancing mental health and re-firing the brain with good chemistry. We are also energised by quality sleep – so go all out during stressful times to maintain or establish the best sleep routine possible to get maximum benefit from the hours you are off duty.
So take a moment and write down 3 things that you know energises you and make it a priority to find space to act on these every day this week.
Affirmation: “I am exercising every day so my body and my brain can be energised for action.”
For me downtime is being engaged in an activity where I am so absorbed in what I am doing that normal thought is suspended. Evidence suggests that doing something that gets us into that state of flow has exponential benefits for our health, well-being, brain, emotional health, the list goes on. For me that can be getting lost in a book, playing piano, counted cross-stitch, being in the garden and getting my hands into earth!
Sit down and write a list of the things that you know take you to that place of downtime, when you are completely absorbed and focussed. Be intentional about engaging in one of your downtime activities every day starting now.
Affirmation: “Every day I am learning the importance creating space for downtime.”
I’m curious about the choices you have made this week. Recently someone said to me on a Friday: “It’s not a problem how late it comes through, I’ll be logging in tomorrow anyway”. Like this person, sometimes I choose to flex boundaries, and sometimes I choose to keep the boundary in place. This is an invitation to you to be intentional about the choices you are making right now to balance effort with recovery time. We need both activity and recovery time in order to sustain our resilience. Check out your choices for sustainability!
“I’m building my resilience by making good choices.”
If I had been videoing you all week what would I have been watching and what might I conclude about the balance of your life? Perhaps I would have noticed behaviours driven by compassion, helplessness, joy, fear, frustration, humour, anger, love. Are there others you would add? If you think about it most of our outward behaviours are driven by our feelings or our values.
To get the balance right between what we want to deliver for others; and what we need to preserve in, and for, ourselves can be a challenge. So I encourage you to do at least one thing today – even if it is for a very short time – which will ensure you remain resilient for all you plan to do throughout the rest of the day, or which will re-energise depleted reserves so you can continue to make impact tomorrow.
Affirmation: “I am choosing sustainability and wellbeing by balancing tasks with recovery time.”
Due to the success of the Resilience Alphabet blog released by us in March to support personal resilience during this time, we have just launched the Resilience Alphabet for Kids with support from Aberdeen City and Education Scotland.
Quote of the Week
May your choices reflect your Hopes, not your Fears.
Question to Ponder
What action have you taken today to build your personal resilience, team resilience and organisational resilience?