If someone would ask you how the pandemic has affected you, what would be your answer? I’m sure a long list will follow of big and small changes in your personal world. Across the past months, everybody experienced changes in their work activities, free-time, social relations, holidays, diet, exercise, (social) media consumption, etcetera. The flexibility that we needed to show due to all the restrictions and constraints, is immense. We had to reinvent ourselves when it comes to the use of space, the way we connect with people, and how we relate ourselves to our society. Our mental and physical health, or resilience, has been challenged thoroughly through all the continuous changes and uncertainties, driving (some of) us towards the dangerous edges of our capacities. In the past months, workers across Europe have reported to be more physically (32%) and emotionally drained (23%) by work, while 29% reported being too exhausted to do household chores after work (source). All in all, we can conclude that the risks for burn-outs, depression, and lay-offs are rising and rising (source). It is of utmost importance for organisations, to prevent people from feeling awful at home while sustaining effective organisational performance, indicating why maintaining productive and engaged employees, and saving a lot of costs on sick leaves, is beneficial for everyone now. This might be time to prioritise the health of employees and keep them resilient. We all want to be capable of navigating through the challenges of the pandemic together.
What is resilience?
This capacity of flexibly adapting towards changes is known as the new buzzword: resilience. Resilience can be seen as a holistic substitute for health that focuses more on your (flexible) relationship with your environment (source). From the cocktail of all the challenges you face these days, you need to find a path that makes you handle/solve these challenges. Whether this is through finding new (creative) strategies, or by using old strategies you’ve built already, the more paths you can take in the face of challenges, the more freedom and resilience you experience. For example,