As we begin our fourth week of remote work, the newness has worn off and a new normal is forming for most of us. A new way of managing work, life, and ourselves has emerged, whether it’s perfect or not. Research shows that it takes at least 30 days to form a new habit. Whether you know it or not, you have been practicing a new habit for the past three weeks – it’s called resilience.
Resilience is that quality that allows us to successfully adapt, “just deal with it” and cope with uncertainty - and it really can be learned. In some of us, it was already a well-used strength and for others, it is a new muscle being worked for the first time. It isn’t necessarily something we consciously set out to develop, but resilience has risen to the top of our playlist of skills as we figure out how to serve clients, get our work done, take care of our families, and keep our lives on track. The American Psychological Association offers this great resource if you would like more information.
As you contemplate where you are on your journey toward making resilience a habit in your life, the chart below may be helpful. When we are in the fear zone, resilience is the quality that spurs us to leave that behind and move on to the learning zone, and finally move through to the growth zone.
Steps to strengthing your habit of practicing resilience:
- As the flight attendant tells you – attend to your own oxygen mask before helping others. We have to be aware of the impact that fear and uncertainty has on us, and address it with positive actions and thoughts.
- Keep things in perspective. This is a point in time and will not be a permanent state of being. Living in the present and not focusing on what might happen can help you truly experience the here and now.
- Consider what you can learn. You may gain a new awareness of your family members’ needs and strengths. There may be a new level of appreciation for teachers, healthcare professionals, and grocery store employees. You may find new strengths you didn’t know you possessed – like the power to make others laugh or feel comforted.
- Accept change. Longing for the way it used to be or worrying about what you lost in the market will not help you move forward, or help others. Control what you can control and develop a level of comfort with the fact that things are and will be different for some time to come.