Posts Tagged resilience
September 2017: Occupational Wellbeing and Resilience
Welcome to the September issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. In today’s workplace the word “resiliency” is brought up a lot. But what does resiliency mean to you and how can you apply your personal definition of it to your work and personal life? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change” however you could define it in several ways as we are asked daily to make micro-adjustments in our lives. This month, we hope you can take advantage of these blogs and webinars, and consider how they might help you thrive at work even more than you may be doing now.
For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our latest infographic for some tips on how to be more resilient. Always feel free to print these resources and post them around if you feel they would be helpful.
These next few months mark some busy times in the world of Employee Assistance Programs. As such MINES will be on the road talking about wellbeing and employee health all over the country. We may even be seeing some of you in the process. To help track us down we posted an overview of where we will be and what the MINES Team will be up to. Of course, as events and trips draw closer we will update you all so be sure to follow us on MINESblog! And for some more resilience resources check out this throwback post on the ability to bounce back.
As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!
To your total wellbeing,
The MINES Team
The Path: How to Improve Your Resilience at Work
Occupational wellbeing is just as important as any of the eight facets and so it is important to look at how to feed your happiness and sense of accomplishment at work. Resiliency is about bouncing back from setbacks and looking at those changes or setbacks as an opportunity to improve your situation. When we are looking at the occupational wellbeing and resilience, it is easy to see how they go hand in hand. If you are able to find a way to be resilient and accept change, you will be able to better succeed in your occupation, thus allowing you to feel personal satisfaction of a job well done. The first steps are finding the positive in every situation and communicating your struggles with those you work with as you never know what solutions or suggestions they may know of. With these two things accomplished you can find ways to thrive in your occupation.
Here are some quick and easy tips to help improve your occupational wellbeing and productivity!
|Tips for you:
Do you ever ask yourself, “What can I do today to change my life for the better?” Thankfully, research supports that there is something we can do about it, and it’s actually quite easy. Check out this month’s webinar on two actionable concepts that you will enjoy adding to your daily/weekly routine and that will help you live a resilient, happier, positive, more purposeful life!
The Connection: Get Involved
Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community. We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.
|Community Wellbeing Resources:
This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community. Check out your local community’s website for classes you could take or find a way to use your skills to help someone in your community.
If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section of trainings on Resilience! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.
|If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.|
|MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication. MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!|
What is it? Who has it? How does one get it? How does it relate to mental health and wellness?
I polled a few of my co-workers to get their perspective on definitions of resilience. One person stated that resilience is “the ability to absorb and cope with emotionally trying issues that come up and ‘bounce back’”. Another co-worker stated it is “the structural integrity to be able to withstand stress with minimal negative impact on the self”. Yet another co-worker added, “it’s like a rubber band—you can twist it, tie it, stretch it, throw it, roll it, snap it. When you stop messing with (stressing) it, it goes back to its original shape. The hope is that you can learn a variety of strategies to manage life so you can stay flexible.”
The above definitions of my co-workers are all similar but it is important to note the differences in meaning and perception. Everyone above works at a behavioral psychology firm and all have various understandings of behavioral and wellness issues. One person who provided a definition works in a Marketing department, one works in a front call center and screens all incoming calls and forwards them appropriately, and one works as a case manager, daily screening individuals/couples/families for mental health or substance abuse issues. While all have some knowledge on wellness and resilience, it is interesting to read the differing definitions depending on personal/professional experiences and their role in the company and with clients.
While most people do have some idea of what resilience means, that brings me to the next question: who has resilience? The simple and short answer is everyone; and everyone has different experiences and levels of resilience. However, there are some common characteristics that have been observed in people who seem to bounce back from trauma or even thrive after it while others crumble and really struggle. People can vary in the following qualities and this variation influences whether they have higher or lower levels of resilience.
- Flexibility – People who are observed as possessing higher levels of resilience are those who are flexible and adapt to new circumstances and thrive with change.
- Confidence – Going through trauma expecting to bounce back and having the confidence that getting better will happen.
- Awareness and Acceptance – An understanding that life is full of challenges and awareness of situations and reactions to them.
- Internal locus of control – Believing everyone has control of their own lives, and while some experiences are out of anyone’s control, knowing the power of choice in how to react to a certain situation lies with-in each individual.
On the other hand, people who tend to have lower levels of resilience tend to be less aware of their circumstances and their emotions and blame others for their challenges. They tend to have weak problem-solving skills and are unable to react beyond emotion to come up with logical, realistic solutions to experiences. These people are also less likely to ask for help when challenges arise and instead choose a “victim stance”.
When thinking about who has resilience, one might ask if people can obtain or even learn it. Given the answer to the previous question, it can be said that practicing these characteristics and developing the skills mentioned above can improve a person’s ability to deal with life challenges. When going through a crisis, people should ask themselves if they are utilizing these characteristics, or are they blaming others or not asking for help? Are they in control and aware of their situation or are they playing victim to life?
One thought that comes up is whether or not people are born with certain levels of resilience. How can two people born to the same parents and raised in the same circumstance grow up with one struggling in life and the other seeming to be completely successful? Researching this question will bring mixed results. There are some that say people are born with higher levels, and others that state resilience can be learned, practiced, and improved.
I think it is important to note that practicing the skills that lead toward higher levels of resilience are useful skills of life in general, and should be what people strive for whether it is for higher resilience or not.
The final question is how levels of resilience relate to mental health and wellness issues. Everyone at some point in life will struggle: with choices, grief, life transitions, emotions, and the list can go on and on. People struggle in life, relationships and in connections with themselves.
Let’s examine levels of resilience with the specific issue of grief. Whether it is due to the loss of a loved one, pet, job, or relationship, humans experience grief at some point in life. And while grief is a universal process, it is very individualistic. No two people experience grief in exactly the same way. Most have heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. No one goes through them in a linear process; instead, it’s often related to a roller coaster. Emotions go up and down and back and forth and the only real way to heal is to go through them all and accept the emotions as they come.
Resilience is an important part of the grief process as well. In applying the skills listed above for resilience, we can see that it helps people accept that grief happens in life and helps them make the choice to ask for help, either from family and friends, or from a professional. Having resilience means grievers have control over how they react to grief and they know they will be okay; that right now is hard but it will get better with time.
Resilience can be applied to mental health and wellness issues in how people are able to go through some sort of challenge or struggle and know they will be okay as long as they can accept that struggle is part of life and learn to accept their emotions as they come without judgment.
Resilience means knowing that life changes and is hard at times, and being able to make healthy choices in the effort to “bounce back” and still be okay. Everyone has this ability and it can be learned and practiced and improved. It is a very important part of mental health and wellness, and making the choice to improve resilience skills can improve one’s quality of life.
The Case Management Team