Resilience: prevent (chronic) stress and burnout.

May 27, 2021

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Why is coworker X never losing any sleep over a high working pressure, whereas coworker Y goes haywire when you invite him last minute for a meeting? Mental resilience is the answer to that.
What is mental resilience?

Resilience is the ability to respond well to setbacks and difficulties. Everyone is confronted with stressful situations at some point, during or after work. Resilience ensures that you can take a mental beating.

Without mental resilience stress can become chronic. In that case, your body produces too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which is why you can get physical and mental symptoms.

How do you invest in a resilient team?

The good news is: you can train resilience. And it pays off to focus on this for your team. Resilient employees have a more positive mindset, find solutions more quickly, can put things into perspective and collaborate well with others.

Spend time on and pay attention to brain knowledge, energy and focus training, then you will jump ahead as a team.

Brain knowledge

A stress response is the answer of your brain to a (potential) ‘dangerous situation’. For instance, an organisational change or a conflict with a coworker.

Know how your brain functions under stress, then you can learn how to act calmly and adequately and respond to uncomfortable situations. The prefrontal cortex, the part near the front of your brain that helps you put things into perspective and make thoughtful decisions, plays an important role in this. So this also applies when you are being overwhelmed by work and questions of coworkers.

Your brains are plastic or malleable. As long as you live, you can train your brain and choose new pathways. Your response to a situation will often stem from an established pattern. Being conscious of your responses and patterns is the first step. Everything else is training.

Energy boost

If you feel unhealthy stress for too long, you’ll be prone to a burnout. Numbers do not lie: in four years the amount of people that have to stay home due to a burnout for longer than a year, increased with 40%.

*https://www.riziv.fgov.be/nl/statistieken/uitkeringen/Paginas/langdurige-arbeidsongeschiktheid-burnout-depressie.aspx

How do you prevent a burnout in your team?

A burnout is an energy disorder. Guarding that energy is thus crucial. Exercise sufficiently, eat healthy and get a good night’s sleep. You have an impact on those things.

As employer or manager you can stimulate your team to lead a healthy life. Healthy employees have more energy. They can better deal with everything that happens throughout the day.

Focus training

Aside from your energy balance, focus also ensures mental rest.

Smartphone notifications that scream to get attention constantly Emails flooding your mailbox And then you also need to respond to that urgent chat message. You’re expected to be ready 24/7. So it makes sense that you lose your focus. A continuous connection is not healthy or productive.

How can you support your team?

  • Give ‘disconnection’ a prominent place in your well-being policy. Stimulate breaks, walk during a discussion, end the day with online yoga or ensure a Friday without meetings.
  • With a few focus tips you can support remote workers in their attention, even with children at home. Download the remote work guide for your team members or request one tailor-made.
  • Mindfulness is an attention training that is getting more and more attention at work. With several techniques your team members learn how to focus and to calm their brain.
More energy and resilience in your team?

In the programme ‘Healthy in 100 days’ your team gets to know all aspects of physical and mental health. Exercise, healthy nutrition, sleep hygiene, mindfulness and brain training are all topics we discuss in this programme.

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maartje vanewijk

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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