Going Beyond The Buzz: The True Meaning Of Resilience

May is National Nurses Month! With week one dedicated to self-care, I can’t think of a more valuable skill to contribute to your well-being than resilience. I know, I know – “resilience” is a popular buzzword that gets tossed around like so much confetti at a parade. But far from being the latest Zen-trend, resilience is an essential skill for healthcare professionals. Resilience has unique implications for how we accomplish our work and succeed in our personal lives.

So, let’s go beyond the buzz and discover what resilience truly means for healthcare professionals, how it benefits us, and how we can build more of it.

What Resilience Is
For healthcare professionals, resilience is the ability to recover and recuperate quickly from a difficult or challenging situation. It’s an understanding that stress is bound to happen, but you feel emotionally ready for it. I’m quite fond of this analogy – resilience is like a tree in a storm that bends but doesn’t break under the stress; it bounces back to grow and thrive.

What Resilience Isn’t
Resilience isn’t a personality trait that only certain people have. Resilience is teachable. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be developed. Like building muscle, resilience can be increased with time and intention.

Why Resilience Matters
Research shows that high nurse resilience reduces emotional exhaustion, increases workplace engagement, and helps with achieving personal and professional goals. Building resilience also lessens anxiety and depression. When we’re less anxious, we can think and communicate more clearly and feel more capable of handling our responsibilities.  

Make Resilience Your Superpower
Being resilient doesn’t mean you won’t experience difficulty or distress. It does mean that just like that tree in the storm, you will withstand and grow from your challenges. Here are three strategies that strengthen resilience:

  • Build your connections
    Connecting with empathetic, like-minded people can remind you you’re not the only one struggling. Having your feelings validated and collaborating on coping strategies bolsters resilience skills.

  • Cultivate work-life harmony
    Work-life harmony is about realizing that your work life and personal life shouldn’t compete – they should coexist. When you let go of the expectation of “balance”, it’s easier to feel satisfied, present, and optimistic in all areas of your life, which supports resilience.

  • Nurture yourself
    Positive lifestyle behaviors like better sleep, nutritious food, mindfulness, and meditation can strengthen your mind and body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression. Small changes and simple, daily techniques work – even if you only have five minutes!

I created TAP Wellness Coaching to help you develop essential skills like resilience. TAP is exclusively for healthcare professionals, designed by healthcare professionals to address your unique physical, mental, and emotional wellness needs. TAP also connects you with a supportive community of other healthcare professionals on the same journey. I hope you’ll join us and build the skills that empower you to thrive!

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