At a recent Women in Residential Property (WiRP) session on 7th October 2020, women from across the property industry met to talk about resilience and the steps we can all take to improve our mental health in these unprecedented times. The session was run in support of Ella’s Charity, supporting victims of trafficking, and you can make a donation here.
Hosted by WiRP Chair Emma Vigus (also MD of mio), guest speakers Alison Beech and Kelly Forrester shared their life experiences of where they’ve had to build and draw on their personal resilience to bounce back from life changing events.
Here are just some of the tips they shared:
- You have to look after yourself first and foremost to effectively manage those around you
On a plane, in event of emergency, the advice is always to put your mask on first. The same applies to day to day life. We all need to look after ourselves properly to be able to effectively support those around us, whether that’s our families, friends, or colleagues.
- Remember, you can only be responsible for you – you can’t control how others react
It’s all too easy to get sucked into other people’s problems that are outside of our control, or to wish you could change how other people are reacting to a situation. It’s important to remember that while we can support those around us, we can’t be responsible for how they are thinking and feeling, as everyone is reacting to situations based on their own life experiences.
Taking a step back and appreciating this can help us to manage the emotional burden of a situation and lead with a clearer head.
- We are only limited by the stories we tell ourselves
If you think you can or you think you can’t, you probably are right. If you want to feel more in control of a situation or positive about things, you need to change your internal narrative. Take a long hard look at the influences around you. Cut out what isn’t serving you, rethink the stories you tell yourself, and drop the victim status. If you start thinking you “can” and surround yourself with positive ideas and even a positive mantra, your mindset and strength of internal resilience will follow.
- We’re all trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense
Give yourself a break. We’re all trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense – and it’s emotionally draining. We were all thrown into this situation with no notice and continue to live in an unpredictable world with no real idea of when the next lockdown might be and how it might affect our families and businesses. As business women hard-wired to be looking for solutions, it can be frustrating to be grappling with this lack of information and still trying to find a solution. Take a step back and focus on what’s in your immediate control – instead of trying to make sense of the world.
- Be resourceful and think outside the box
It’s a cliché, but if there was ever a time to think outside the box, it’s now. Be resourceful and encourage your teams and others around you to do the same. The world is changing and we all have a part to play in reshaping the world around us. Coronavirus has called time on needing a frank conversation about lessons we can learn around productivity and performance management.
What inefficient processes and underperforming staff has your business been carrying?
- Stop using the phrase “the new normal”
“The new normal” is banded around a lot nowadays, but it doesn’t reflect the complexity of the changes around us – or how really (when you think about it) every day is different, a new opportunity to be shaped by the food and water we consume and the circumstances we find ourselves. We are adapting and evolving every day – it wasn’t just an overnight shift of “before” and “after”.
After all, the rate and pace of change may differ, change is a constant in life, as it always has been.
- Think about what YOU can work on
So much is outside of our control right now, but equally so much is inside our control. As a business woman you can develop the skills you need to better manage your team – from innovation, curiosity, and how effectively you collaborate, to resourcefulness, compassion and authenticity.
Does every business leader have these qualities right now? No. Can everyone develop them? Yes.
- Remember to do things that help you relax across your day
If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that fresh air is so important.
You can also help yourself feel better and better manage the stresses around you by joining a meditation group, reducing your alcohol intake (if you need to), asking yourself if you are using technology mindfully, and more!
- Know when to stop
So many people fall into the trap of trying to be strong for too long that they eventually break. It’s easy to do when you’re emotional invested in your business and everything you’ve worked so hard for, but it’s important to recognise when it is time to stop – and to remember that just because you are closing a chapter in your life, you’ll still have all of those skills and ambition to apply to your next venture when you’ve given yourself the time to look after you.
- Share your truths and don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s so important to ask for help and realise that you aren’t the only person who is struggling or having a hard time. When we’ve survived a life changing situation and bounced back from it, it’s equally important that we share our truths, and help others see that it’s ok to fail. By sharing our stories, we’re helping others to feel and learn from them.