I have been thinking a great deal about resilience lately. Living in Rockport, Texas where Hurricane Harvey made landfall I have been able to observe a variety of people and have seen the way the hurricane has affected their lives. Some have been able to “weather the storm” while others have been unable to pull their lives back together again. As I think about this the word resilience comes to mind.
Resilience is also important in nursing. You might be asking, just want does resilience mean and how does it apply in the world of nursing? Resilience involves the ability to bounce back from difficulties and challenges. Having the ability to recover quickly from adversity is another definition of resilience.
Dealing with difficult events can include the death of a loved one, serious illness or injury, or traumatic events. In nursing you might have to deal with understaffing, back stabbing from other nurses, constantly changing shifts, long hours, emotional draining work, I could go on and on. Nurses who have high levels of resilience have fewer stress related illness and less burnout. They are able to stay in the nursing profession longer because of this resilience.
The good news is that we can develop resilience. It isn’t something that we are born with. Resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that all can be learned. It is also very important to have caring, supportive relationships. These could be relationships within a family or with friends. It is essential to reach out to others and connect with others to develop resilience.
Nurses with a high degree of resilience also have skills in communicating and problem solving. They are also able to manage strong feeling and emotional reactions to situations and challenges. Resilience doesn’t make problems go away, but it can give you the ability to see past your difficulties and feel less stressed.
Although resilience can be learned the same approach does not work for everyone. Different nurses learn resilience by using a variety of different strategies. There are many resources on the internet about increasing your resilience. Some of the ways to increase your resilience include making and nurturing connections with other people, do things that give you a sense of accomplishment, and take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself can include getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, and using relaxation techniques. Doing things to increase your resilience can benefit you in numerous ways.