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Tips on increasing resilience post lockdown

By Dr Lynda Shaw, neuroscientist, business psychologist and change specialist.

Change is inevitable but huge global changes like we are facing today can overtake all of our resilience reserves. However if we can build our resilience to face new challenges, ultimately we can grow, we increase our empathy and compassion, find purpose, reconnect, reduce burnout, and ultimately improve our physical and mental health. Try making resilience one of your five a day!

Positive thinking

Build resilience by...Having a plan.

Plan for just today or perhaps the week ahead. Address important issues so they are dealt with. Careful time management and organisation are key and makes your capacity to recover from difficulties quicker. Work out your new normal. Routines help most of us feel in control whether we are a child or an adult but be sure to throw in a lot of time for fun and laughter.

Build resilience by...Adopting positive thinking.

Accept that we don’t know how long the challenges we face are going to be for but know that this difficult period will end.  Whilst we should all be allowed to feel how we feel, it is shown that those who face adversity with a positive mindset, deal with stress and problems better and have a better health outcome long term. Talk to other people with a positive mindset rather than those who drain you. Stay social and focus on what brings you enjoyment and fun.

Build resilience by...Playing to your strengths.

What can you do right now that you are really good at? Boost your and your family member’s confidence and self-esteem by playing to your strengths.  Are you a fantastic leader, baker, runner, organiser, teacher or gardener?

Build resilience by...Leading a healthy lifestyle

including regular physical exercise, a good sleeping pattern, low stress and a healthy diet. For example, a lack of quality sleep can weaken our emotional mental well-being and therefore our resilience. Exercise on the other hand helps to alleviate stress by reducing cortisol and norepinephrine whilst releasing feel good endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that may offset feelings of anxiety and negative self-talk.

Build resilience by...Taking your time.

One positive effect of lockdown is it forced many of us to slow down so try to keep elements of this new pace of life to have a good work/ life balance. Focus on the key priorities because everything does not need to be done at once. Avoid rushing big decisions, instead prioritise the issues which need to be acted upon first. Perhaps get up more slowly in the morning, have a longer down time before going to bed, make weekends a time of quality time with friends and family and establish device free time.

Dr Lynda Shaw

For more information on Dr Lynda Shaw please visit