The definition of resilience is sometimes hard to pin down. It is often thought of as the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity but as you will see, it is not that simple.
Does one think that an individual who goes through a trauma and returns to work the next day is more resilient than the individual who goes through a similar trauma, suffers with PTSD and has 6 months of therapy but then returns back to work? Both individuals have bounced back, but one took a little longer, and that’s fine. The question is whether we can maximise our ‘springiness’ when it comes to bouncing back.
Two important days are recognised in June that are relevant to this discussion. The first of which occurs in the USA on June 4th is ‘National Hug Your Cat’ day and the second is June 8th, which is ‘International Best friends day’. While they add a little chuckle as we search for a feline friend to cuddle the important point is that friendships are vital for resilience.
In 2012 a 1-year long study was carried out by the university of Brighton (UK) which looked at what impact ‘best’ friends have on resilience in adults. The study concluded that these types of friendships are really important to building psychological resilience. The same is true for supportive networks within the work environment and even having animal support at home.
The UK saw a huge spike in pet ownership since the beginning of the lockdown with 3.2 million people acquiring a new furry friend. The surge was thought to relate to feelings of isolation creating that sense to seek out contact. Of those studied, 74% claimed that their new pet helped them with their mental health.
In summary, whether you feel that you are resilient or not there are always methods to add more springiness to your resilience muscles. Whether you lean on a friend, moan to a work colleague or cuddle a cat, try and work out ways to regulate your emotions and start the journey to bouncing back.