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Sustaining Resilience – Getting Back to Basics

COVID-19 has been a real test of our resilience. The additional stress of what is happening in the world, uncertainty about what the future holds, financial stress, job security, working from home, supporting our family and friends in this time. The list goes on…

With so much going on around us, we need to make sure the foundations of our resilience are rock solid. Here are 3 areas you can focus on for sustaining resilience, along with simple and practical advice that can be put into action straight away.

Take the time to make sure your foundations are strong and work through these with your team to make sure everyone is performing at their best. 


1. Setting a Rhythm for Your Day.

A good rhythm for the day is a foundation for good wellbeing and performance. A ‘rhythm’ means creating rituals and a pattern to your day. It is these daily rituals and patterns that help us to maintain some dependability and control when things are changing around us. 

During COVID-19, most of us have had our daily rhythm changed so it is important to reset and establish new routines. 

Here are some things to think about while you’re planning your day:

Starting your day:

– Wake up at the usual time. 

– Dress for the day.

– Do something positive for yourself – a walk, a coffee in the morning sun, listening to the radio. 

Setting up your Work Day:

– Have a ritual to get you into work mode. 

– Set a to-do list for the day and work to achieve it. A good trick is to start with something relatively easy, to get started, then work on your highest priority next.

– Do something positive for yourself – a walk, a coffee in the morning sun, listening to the radio. 

Closing off your Work Day:

– Select your end of work day, at a time that is appropriate for you.

– Establish a transition activity to help you mentally seperate from work – a walk or kicking a ball in the park. 

– Close up devices and only check personal emails. 

– Spend a few moments thinking about what went well in the day. 

– Do some exercise, even if just 10 minutes doing squats in front of TV. It is for your mental health. 

– Ensure you have 7-8 hours sleep every night. 

For the full template and tips, Treacle’s Setting Up Your Day resource can be downloaded from our website.


2. Adding Joy to Your Day.

Positive emotions are not trivial add-ons to be done after tasks are completed. They are vital to mental health, performance and generally feeling good. They help us bounce back from difficult times. 

For survival, our brains are wired to notice negative/dangerous things at a ratio of 5:1 (negative:positive), making it easy to fall into a spiral of negative thinking. 

When things aren’t going well, we need to consciously add positive emotions that make us and those around us smile. Fun or light-hearted moments can make a big difference. 

Positive moments can also come from achieving something new or challenging. Mastering something helps to reinforce that you have what it takes to succeed at different tasks, building your confidence in your ability. 

When thinking about positive moments, consider how you can apply joy to your work life, home life and to yourself. 

We have given some ideas and tips for adding positivity below. Use these ideas as prompts and continue to add to the list and bring it to life for you. 


 3. Having a Purpose.

Having a purpose is essential when it comes to those times where a bump appears. in the road – without a purpose, you can be thrown off course and be left without any guide as to what you could do next. 

A purpose is about knowing why you do the things you do. It helps you set your world up to align with something thats bigger than the ‘right now’ and it can help you make decisions in every area of life. Having a purpose carries you through. 

Don’t feel overwhelmed – a purpose doesn’t need to be complicated or noble, just being honest about what you’re really doing it all for. At a workshop we ran with the Victoria Police after the Black Saturday bush fires, one senior constable identified his purpose simply as ‘to get home to my wife and kids’. 

It’s important to remember that having a purpose will not make you invincible. It won’t make you miraculously immune to any stresses or challenges but it does equip you to bounce back and move you forward. 

To get a real sense of the personal and the professional sides of your life – because the two will inevitably intertwine, whether you want them to or not, so be ready for it – and find the similarities between what you do at home and what you do as a leader. 

Once you’ve captured why you do things, boil it down to one sentence and then put it somewhere you can see, so that you remember your purpose through the times when you are thriving and through the times when things are not so easy. 


– Bringing out the best in others. 

– Keeping a community together. 

– Striving for positive workplaces.

– Available for all (a shoulder to cry on).

– The deep down ‘goodness’ of others. 

Treacle’s Sense of Purpose worksheet (downloadable on our website) gives you 10 questions to work through to help you define your purpose. 

These techniques are useful to revisit whenever you or your team are facing change. Please reach out if you have any questions.