Last week I attended an online workshop about Building Emotional Resilience, organised by East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and led by the brilliant Anne Burton.  What I learnt on that workshop has really resonated with me, and I have been thinking about it for the last few days – I thought I would share some of the things I learnt with you over the next couple of blogs.

The first thing that made me think was when Anne defined resilience as the “capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” – in other words, bouncing back.  But what are we bouncing back to?  After the upheaval of lockdown and social distancing, when things return to “normal” I wonder what that will look like?  Will things ever go back to how they were (and, indeed should they?).

I am reminded of the brilliant quote I heard a couple of weeks ago from Dave Hollis

“In the rush to return to normal, consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to”

I have been thinking about what happens when all this is over, and what I would like the new “normal” to look like.  Having time to appreciate the small things – going for my daily walk (which, when I was working from home previously, I rarely did), spending time in the garden, having regular Zoom catch ups with family and friends – are all things I took for granted previously, but probably didn’t spend as much time on as I should have.

One of the other things I learnt on the webinar with Anne was that conscious thought only takes up 5% of our brain function (the rest of it being unconscious).  Our brains love patterns and habits – things that we have previous experience of and know how to handle.

At the moment, I am potentially doing more conscious thinking than usual, which may explain why I feel quite so exhausted!  Conscious thought takes more time to think things through, something I certainly have a little more of at the moment.

Putting together Dave Hollis’ quote and what I learnt from Anne has really triggered the conscious thinking part of my brain.  I have started to create more virtual classroom sessions for clients, utilising the great functionality of Zoom to still include group activity and delegate participation.  I am constantly thinking of other ways to interact with clients and offer them learning and development interventions that work now and in the future.

My resilience and bounce-back-ability is being tested, along with my IT skills, as I look to recover from the challenges that we are all currently facing.  I am actually enjoying the challenge, and understanding a little more about my emotional resilience has really helped me make sense of how I am feeling.

I feel ready for whatever the new world looks like.