A full bucket of resilience helps you to stay calm under pressure and maintain a positive outlook explains Lauren Parsons
Picture your resilience as a big golden bucket. When your bucket is full you are resilient and able to cope with all the challenging situations life has to throw at you. When it is running low, it’s much harder to cope and you can feel more easily overwhelmed.
We all have things that fill our bucket and other things that drain it. For each of us, these things can be different. Some people will find their bucket is topped up by spending time with friends, while for others spending quiet time alone may be vital. Some will be refreshed by reading inspirational words, while others get a boost by doing something active.
One key positive step to boost your resilience is to identify these things, and then be intentional to include them into your daily routines. At the same time, you can recognise the things that drain you and plan ways to reduce their impact.
Practical steps to boost your bucket of resilience:
1. Draw a bucket in the centre of a piece of paper.
2. Brainstorm all of the things that fill your bucket.
Write these at the top of the page with arrows pouring into the bucket. Think of daily rituals, routines and activities that build you up and make you feel calm and confident. (Don’t just think about doing this. Actually take the time, today, just a few short minutes, to put pen to paper!)
3. Now brainstorm all of the things that drain your bucket and write them down at the bottom with arrows coming out of the ‘holes’.
4. Put your pen down and read over what you’ve written on your drawing.
5. Circle any of the ideas at the top that you aren’t doing regularly at present and choose one or two to start this week.
Think about how you can add them into your life. (If you understand why you aren’t right now e.g. lack of time or lack of planning or other constraints, then brainstorm ways to overcome that and really commit to making them happen from now on.) Make sure you only focus on one or at the very most two things, this is important.
6. Next, circle any of the things at the bottom that you would most like to work on reducing or overcoming so that they don’t drain your bucket.
This may require setting up boundaries, saying no to some things or choosing how you spend your time differently. Picture what a difference it will make and again brainstorm any challenges that may come up and how you will overcome them to make the changes for yourself.
7. Once you have worked through this process choose one or two habits to focus on over the coming week.
Commit to the actions you will take. Write them down very specifically. (For example “I will go for a 20 minute walk outdoors 4 days a week” or “I will go to bed by 10pm” or “I will limit facebook use to 30 minutes a day and spend an extra 30 minutes with my partner” or “I will finish work at 5pm regardless of whether my to do list is complete”
8. Review your bucket brainstorm again in two weeks time and work through steps 5-7.
By using this process regularly over a period of eight weeks you will be able to add more and more positive routines into your life and boost your resilience while minimising the negative impacts of the things that drain it.
Maintaining a full bucket of resilience means you are resourcing yourself to cope through all of the highs and lows of life. Not only will you be able to sail through any situation with a full bucket, but everyday life will be so much more fulfilling.
We only live once, so make the most of it! You deserve an incredible, rewarding and fulfilling life!
Wishing you great resilience, health and happiness in all that you do.
What one habit will you start this week to fill your bucket?