How to be resilient
SNAP founder Babb here. If you follow my personal social media you’ll know that last year was a massive year for me. A LOT happened. It included:
A period of debilitating depression and anxiety that left me unable to leave the house
The realisation that my marriage was a Bad Thing
Said marriage breaking up
Spending the summer shooting weddings with my husband while going through a break up (that was fun!)
Spending the year in therapy to deal with some of the issues that were driving my poor mental health
On top of that I shot 30 weddings (around 10 of them with a sprained knee), planned SNAP and the SNAP reunion, spent a few months homeless (intentionally) and sofa surfing, spent a week walking 100 miles to raise money for Mind, traveled to Thailand, Ireland, Iceland and the US and spoke at a bunch of workshops and events.
I should have been broken at the end of last year and emotionally I kind of was (divorce will do that), but on the whole I’ve managed to keep afloat because my resilience is a project that I’ve learned I need to work on and invest time in.
But what even is resilience? Resilience is a bunch of factors that all add up to total how robust you are, when the shit hits the fan. Factors that contribute to your resilience include:
Physical: strength, endurance and energy
Mental: optimism, attention span and ability to think flexibly
Emotional: self regulation, positivity, support and range
Spiritual: core values, your belief system and tolerance
Investing in yourself (i.e not putting all of your eggs in one basket!) across these areas creates resilience. Here are some of the ways I’ve done this, to support my physical health, mental health, growth and development over the last year:
Everyone needs time out, so schedule it. It’s so hard when we’re juggling all of the competing obligations but even an hour here and there where you switch off will give your brain and body a chance to rest and recover. For me, meditation, mindfulness, yoga nidra and even periods where I sit in a chair and look out of the window really help my brain to reset.
Habits are formed by making time for them. I know, now, that I need to schedule in time for the activities that help me to recharge, time for activities that help me to restore and I need to prioritise them over other things. I meditate in the morning when I wake up now, then I shower and then I sit and drink a massive cup of coffee before reach for my phone / computer to start working.
Self care is the buzzword of 2018/2019 that’s for sure but I feel like a different human since I learned to prioritise my self care. Self care is not about spending £70 on a massage (although that’s an awesome thing to do if you can afford it!), it’s about taking little actions that add up to being health and well. Getting enough sleep. Eating nourishing food. Taking care of things like going to the dentist. Taking 10 minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and an uplifting book.
I’m juggling two businesses and a full time job at the moment, so I really have to plan my work. I’ve also had to learn to let a lot of stuff go. I have a million things on my to do list at any one time and I know I’m never, ever going to get to the end of it, so I make sure I have rock solid systems in place to prioritise and reprioritise my work and I let go of the stuff that’s not important.
There’s a lot of evidence to show that people who practice gratitude are happier. I try to make a mental note of things that I am grateful for every day. I am so, so grateful that I have bounced back from a testing period of my life, although it’s taken work and investment in myself.
If all that sounds good, but you don’t know where to start practically building your resilience we can help! I’ll be leading a one day resilience retreat on the 22nd July in Birmingham.
We’ll explore personal resilience, including gratitude, mindfulness, and grounding techniques. We’ll boost our creative resilience with a mindfulness photo walk. I’ll share some tips for having a life while you're working, including time management strategies, habit forming and environment design. Most importantly you’ll spend a peaceful day nourishing yourself away from your day to day life and you’ll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Tickets are just £85. Book yours here.