Executive Health: How to bounce back

A lifetime of good health means looking after our mental as well as physical wellbeing. Maintaining good emotional health is vital. We need to continually make sure our resilience is shored up for times when it will be tested. And what we need to bounce back effectively is likely to alter over time. Like exercise, we can work on this every day – even if it is just small amount.
Resiliency refers to an individual’s capacity to adapt to adversity or change. Resilient people are characterised by flexibility and sense of perspective. They can bounce back from disappointment, difficulties and changing circumstances. They accept these as natural part of life and are able to move through and onwards.
The benefits of emotional resiliency are becoming increasingly appreciated by New Zealand employers. Over the past couple of years, resiliency training has become the workshop most requested through Southern Cross Health Society’s corporate wellness programme.
Resiliency training acknowledges that the lives and strengths of individuals will vary hugely. Rather than address certain situations, resiliency training works by giving people the tools, information and ideas to use when faced with challenges – focusing on things such as nutrition, exercise and sleep.
The heightened popularity of these courses is in large part due to the extra pressures of the economic downturn. People are being asked to do more with less, or there may be the uncertainty of restructuring or financial difficulties on the home front. Equally, the customers your people are working with may be that much more stressed.
Resilient employees are better equipped to deal with these situations – they are able to ‘keep calm and carry on’, keeping productivity and team morale high.
But for the businesses we work with, it’s not just about the bottom line. They genuinely care about, and want to help, their staff.
In September, the overwhelming response to resilience workshop Southern Cross Health Society organised in Christchurch reinforced just how important ongoing workplace support for wellbeing is.
More than 400 people turned out to free three-hour workshop for the city’s employees. Over 18 months had passed since the devastating February 2011 quake, yet the appetite for information and ideas on how to manage stress and keep well was as strong as ever.
The workshop covered building emotional resilience, better sleep and physical wellbeing, and was run by Christchurch workplace wellness provider Synergy Health.
Brad Norris of Synergy Health says major source of stress – and challenge to resilience – can come about when our personal values are not aligned with our work, activities or situation. An event such as the earthquake, and the resulting life changes, has created tensions in this regard for some.
Says Norris, “That’s why it’s really important to continually ensure the way we live, and what we do each day, matches what’s truly important to us.”
Peter Tynan is chief executive of Southern Cross Health Society.

Enhancing wellbeing
Eat real food – meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts & seeds, fruits.
Forget fake foods – foods high in refined grains, added sugars and fats.
Indulge sensibly – glass of wine, piece of dark chocolate, small wedge of cheese.
Get outside in place you find relaxing.
Embrace the sun – wisely without burning.
Play and have fun with friends or family. Random, spontaneous games add fun and laughter to your life and your fitness.

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