Show Notes - Resiliency

Hello, my friends

 I am so excited to be talking with you guys today. I just finished my Coaching Training this past week and am now a Certified Professional Coach with the Aim Higher coaching who is accredited by the International Coaching Federation which is the Gold Standard for Coaching with accredited training, compliance standards of practice, code of conduct and code of ethics.  I am pretty excited and I am offering a Free discovery session if you want to chat.  I will leave a link in the show notes. 

Alright so let’s get started, I put out an inquiry on Facebook, to see what people wanted to hear about and one of my dear friends who is a Marriage and Family counselor herself, said Resilience.  I loved this. I worked for the government alongside military personnel in the hospital at Landstuhl Regional medical center in the Intensive Care Unit form 2009-2016 where we took care of patients that were injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It was difficult and very busy and very hard emotionally to see the soldier that came in.  And during the time, the military had been fighting this war for almost ten years and soldiers were tired, many had PTSD and many of the caregivers were struggling with compassion fatigue and burnout.  The military took a concerted effort to educate soldiers and their leaders about resiliency. In 2009, the Army implemented the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program (CSF). universal prevention initiative designed to train all soldiers and their families in mental fitness and resilience, so being that I was working with the military at this time, I was a part of this training.  

The goal was to help soldiers, and their families maintain normal functioning in the face of adversity. The training was based on positive psychology in the context of prevention, optimism, and growth mindset. 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back in adversity. The military has been able to provide some good data about resilience, I assume after this Covid craziness, we will be looking are residency factors and how people are handling the craziness of this situation 

I  was at the pool one day and I saw an instructor teaching this kid that was very young, about 2 years old how to fall in the pool, flip themselves over basically to float and call for help. I was amazed and impressed.  How brilliant. Teaching a child as young as 6 months old how to flip over in the pool, float, and cry for help instead of panicking and drowning. After they were finished with their lesson, I was able to talk with the instructor and she teaches what is called the swimming rescue technique for infants as young as 6 months old.  This technique has been taught to more than 175,000 infants and toddlers. This program teaches students how to adjust their life according to real-world circumstances. So when this child practices falling in the pool they may still be dressed, have shoes on or whatever, they aren’t necessarily in their bathing suit. There have been 788 documented cases of a child saving himself using the infant safety rescue technique.  

What a great resource for prevention and education for water safety  Today I am not talking about water safety, but I am talking about Prevention and education to help us as individuals to keep from feeling like we are drowning in the deep end of excessive workloads, emotionally draining work, oftentimes little resources, lack of control of our time and our own personal tendencies of control and perfectionism and just the craziness of Coronavirus and all the turmoil going on in the world around us.   My goal is to help us be able to jump in the deep end and know that it will be OK because we will have the tools and strategies needed to be able to call for help if needed or swim out gracefully.

Today, I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects and that is how to take care of you.  You can raise your hand, nod your head or just think to yourself if you have ever felt this way at some point in the last month or so

Physical and emotional exhausted  - you're burnt, you’re done, your drained

Trouble Sleeping - racing thoughts that prevent you from getting to sleep or wake you up in the middle of the night.  Nightmares or recurring dreams that replay over and over again, that you forgot something at work, or you didn’t do something you were supposed to do.

Physical symptom - increased blood pressure, heart palpitation, stomach ache, headaches, appetite changes overeating, not eating, substance abuse, you noticed you’re drinking a little bit more wine just to deal with the day, or  your reaching for those comfort foods more often

Increased illnesses - when we are constantly on high alert and our HPA working constantly to put out fires, it gets tired.  When your threat response system has been activated for a long time. Your immune system is down and you are more likely to get sick. 

Increased feeling down or anxiety- when you just find yourself feeling down like there is a black cloud hanging over you and it’s dark and misty outside. 

An absence of positive emotions, you don’t have to just feel down, but if there is nothing lifting you up, you can’t find something to feel good about. You find that your just feeling flat and unable to find joy 

Cynicism and sarcasm  - I saw this a lot in the ICU when we get burned out and we can't control all the craziness around us we start to become bitter, resentful and cynical.  It is a coping strategy to avoid dealing with the real issues when one feels out of control. 

Need example check out the office

The problem is Cynicism and sarcasm create negative energy and that can be felt by peers, coworkers, friends, loved ones, and children. 

 Lack of patience.  When you find yourself being short with everyone, being in such a hurry that you can’t cut someone some slack or everything irritates you because you're on edge. When you find yourself going from 0-60 in 2 seconds because someone is taking too long to use the copier, or the parking spot you wanted if full or the check line in the grocery store is wrapped around the aisle. 

All these symptoms are leaning toward signs of burnout. 

When you are feeling this way, it can affect every aspect of your life.  You work, home, family, social life.  You can’t deal with the noise of your small children or the drama of your teenager.  You can’t even fathom cooking dinner or doing regular household duties.  You are too tired and done.  When you are coming home physically and emotionally drained every day and just want to quit adulting for a while and lay on the couch or curl up in bed. 

Of course, every once in a while you're going to have an exhausting day and order pizza instead of making that four-course dinner.  But if this is consistent and you are finding that the overwhelming exhaustion is taking over and it’s beginning to be an everyday occurrence your may be approaching burn-out.  At this point, your family starts to suffer, your relationships start to suffer.  When you don't have the physical energy to invest in personal care or you're too tired to go out with friends, too exhausted to read a book with your babies, you have no time for the gym or going on a date night with your hubby, you could be approaching burnout. 

It is important to realize when you start giving up those things that are important to you, those things that feed your soul, when you stop diligently filling your cup, eventually you will become completely depleted. 

We all need to Recharge

We all have cell phones/computers/pads.  When the battery is low we know we need to connect it to an electrical source to gain more energy.  What happens if you let the battery completely die?  When you plug it into the wall does it bounce right back and immediately come back one?  Not usually,  it takes a few minutes.  We don’t want our charge to get so low, that it takes extra time to get back up. 

With this new update, my phone now says that my battery is at 80% and that it has saved the last 20% for when I need it at the end of the day.  What??? How smart is that? I love having that reserve.  That little bit of energy stored up for future use.  

We need to have a little bit of energy stored up for future use. 

So, what are some things we can do to prevent burnout and promote resilience? 

Prioritize: Locate the problems, Prioritize and create solutions

recognizing the things that Have to be done. Prioritizing.  As a critical care nurse taking care of very ill patients, sometimes I would walk into a room and feel so overwhelmed.  I had to calm my mind and focus, what is most important?  Where is my patient’s heart rate, where is his blood pressure, how is his oxygen level.  Yes, that other stuff needs to be done, but as Stephen Covey said take care of first things first. 

Plan:  SMART goals and smaller goals.  SMART goals are simple, measurable, achievable, relatable, and time-sensitive.  Break up your tasks into smaller achievable goals.  How do you eat an elephant - one bite at a time.  What is one thing you can get done right now, or in the next 30 minutes or by lunchtime?  

Prevent decision fatigue Brainstorm ways to work smarter not harder

You may have heard me talk about this before on the podcast, or I know I talk about it in my coaching program.  

We are so blessed to live in a world where we have so many choices.  Think about ordering your morning coffee from Starbucks.  There are over 80,000 ways to order a coffee at Starbucks, tall, short, hot, cold, foam, no foam, soy, chocolate sauce, sugar-free, nonfat, and the list goes on and on. 

Making decisions takes energy. 

Creating some routines to save some decision making energy can not only save that energy for something else but create peace in your soul.

For example:  

Figuring out what to cook for dinner every night makes me crazy.  Coming home from work cooking dinner every night for little munchkins that don’t even eat half the food was causing me too much stress.  So, I learned about freezer meals and crockpots.  I learned that one afternoon of preparation could save me a month of stress worrying about what was for dinner.   This saved my life working 12 hours shifts.  I actually would take one weekend and make 25 freezer meals for the month, Most of them being crockpot meals, that way, that was one less thing I had to worry about on a day to day basis. There is nothing like coming home from a long shift to an amazing smell of a roast in the crockpot and knowing that dinner is done!

Figure out ways to streamline your to-do list.  What kinds of things can you put together? And schedule them at a time of day that you are your freshes.  I work better in the morning.  I can get more done if I come in an hour early before school than staying an hour later.  Maybe you can’t make it in an hour early or stay late, figure out what works for you 

Remember Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs wore a black shirt and jeans every day, because he didn’t want to use his brainpower to figure out what to wear in the morning.  His brain was more important than that, preventing decision fatigue and planning ahead. 

Fill your cup and Nourish your Soul 

Breathe: Deep breaths are like love notes for your body

 Let Before any big task, important meeting, whatever it is that may cause some angst or anxiety.  Breathe in for 4 seconds, breathing in all the good energy, hold your breath and let it circulate around for 4 seconds and then let it go for 4 seconds.go of that negative energy.  This will physiologically slow down your heart rate and your breathing and help you feel calmer. It can help you be recentered and grounded. Just one breath.  

Find the positive. Identify 3 things that went well each day

Take time every day to find something that makes you laugh. Watch a funny meme or talk with a friend that always makes you laugh.  Whatever it is that brings a smile to your soul.  Add it every day.  We have to make a conscious effort to put the positive in every day.  I love shows like I love Lucy or Friends, my family teases me because I will break out laughing hysterically and can’t stop.  Those two shows always pick me up for a dreary day.  

Journal, Journal, Journal

Writing is therapeutic and gives voice to emotions too raw to speak aloud Traditional journaling can be self-reflective, increase self-awareness, and promote self-compassion and understanding. 

Journaling finds the meaning in meaninglessness and negates the emptiness through creative writing from the heart. It is an outlet, to tell the truth without being judged.  And if traditional journaling is not for you try bullet journaling or doodling. 

Increase connections and relationships

Build a strong support system

Find supportive co-workers, peers, and friends.  Get together and share experiences, problems, and solutions.  Find your go-to people.  Those who can make you laugh, those who have your back, those who are there for you. I did a half marathon one time, where at the end of the race during the last mile and half you could have a friend meet you to help run you to the finish line.  She was called my “go girl”.  Coming up on mile 10, I was exhausted and my feet hurt and I was barely jogging, but then I saw my “go girl” and we ran together and talked and laughed all the way to the finish line. 

Find your go people Develop and Nurture your relationships - Schedule it if needed. Spouse dates, kid dates, friend dates.  Make time to connect with those you love

Use a nurturing voice in your head - As women, especially, we hold ourselves to such high standards and we can constantly speak negatively to ourselves.  Think, would I talk to my best friend the way I talk to myself.  Be kind, what are my strengths, what strengths can I pull to help me through this situation.  Regularly review the strengths and resources you have.  They change from time to time, but recognizing them helps to provide strength and confidence in one’s ability to handle stress. 

Know what works for you - advocate for what you need. I talked a little bit about this in the boundaries podcast  Know yourself and advocate for your needs.  If you like structure or more freedom, do you like to sit in one place or to move around the room or building?  Do you need a strict timeline or a more creative space?  Know what works for you and figure out how to make your present situation work for you.

 Advocate for yourself and what you need. I need a lot of sleep.  If I don’t get enough sleep, I am irritable, I cry easy and my distress tolerance is very low.  I know that I need to go to bed at a time that will give me enough sleep.  Sometimes this means not hanging out with friends who go out late or not doing activities that will keep me up late.  Sometimes this irritates my friends or family.  I have to advocate for myself.  I know that I will not be a pleasant person and I might say or do something destructive if I don’t get the rest I need.  

Be aware of your Trauma triggers - Everyone has past stressful experiences that can be triggered when working with others. It is important to be aware of your own trauma triggers. It is important to realize when that emotion or memory triggers it zaps some of your energy.  That amount of energy depletes some of your resources whether you are using positive coping skills or not.  Realize that you are not 100% For example the loss of a loved one around the holidays can trigger unpleasant emotions and memories.  Being aware that you might not be as jolly or might not be as social during this time of year is OK. Being aware of your personal needs is important to help balance the stressors of a normal day that may be coming your way. 

Cognitive restructuring -  Brainstorm new creative ways to make a negative situation better.  Our Thoughts and perceptions influence behavior

  • Make a list of things to improve the situation
  • Write statements to counteract negative thoughts
  • Find new opportunities to think about positive thoughts
  • Finish the day visualizing the best parts. 
  • Learn to accept that disappointment is normal 
  • Say NO and stop over-committing.
  •  Have a self-care arsenal - Take time for self-care and relaxation
  • Keep a basket in your office of favorite snacks, fun notebooks, fun pens, 
  • Make your appointments for nails, massages, 
  • Get up and take a walk
  • Go see your go girl. 
  • Taking time to do something you love

I hope I have provided you with some skills needed to be able to jump in the water with the knowledge that it will be OK.   the shallow end, or deep end. Know that you have the skills needed to prioritize, focus,  find the positive, to fill your cup, and nourish your soul. 

Thank you guys so much for listening. Like anything else Resilience is a skill, with a little thought and preparation, you can recharge your battery and keep that extra percentage charged for unsuspecting times when you might need it. 

If you guys liked what you heard please leave me a comment.  I love to know what you are thinking. 

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Until we meet again, my friend

Peggy 

 

 

 

 

 

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