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How Resilient Are You? Take the Test!

How Resilient Are You? Take the Test!

    When faced with a crisis, some of us bounce back just like a fully inflated ball while others of us hit the ground with a thud and stay there, totally deflated.

    How good are you at bouncing back? Just how resilient are you?

    Take this test* to get your answer!

    To get a good idea of how resilient you are, be as honest as possible when taking the test!

    For each item, fill in the blank at the end of the item using the following scale:

     

    1 = Absolutely disagree

    2 = Disagree

    3 = Neutral

    4 = Agree

    5 = Absolutely agree

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    1. When confronted with a crisis, I usually start working on a solution right away rather than first just hoping it will go away. _____

    2. I don’t worry too much about the future. _____

    3. I am not embarrassed to tell my friends and family when something bad has happened to me. _____

    4. Every time a crisis occurs, I can easily remember that I’ve made it through bad things before. _____

    5. When something bad happens in my life, I don’t spend a lot of time wishing I had done something differently or thinking constantly about the bad thing. ____

    6. I often think about what I’ve learned from a crisis after it’s passed. _____

    7. When I get stuck in traffic and am going to be late for an appointment, I am very calm rather than frustrated and stressed. _____

    8. I write a gratitude list at least once a week about the things I’m grateful for. _____

    9. When something bad happens, I prefer to be around others rather than withdrawing and being by myself. _____

    10. I’m not very hard on myself most of the time. _____

    11.  I think it’s okay to occasionally smile and laugh when something really bad has happened. _____

    12. I have a go-to person – like a mentor – when a crisis occurs in my life. _____

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    13. I don’t tend to get stuck in the past. _____

    14. It’s easy for me to believe that a crisis or catastrophe in my life can be a good thing. _____

    15. When a crisis happens, I come up with a lot of different solutions rather than just freezing. _____

    Now total up your score!

     

    Scoring:

    60-75     You’re a superball! You have very good resiliency skills and habits and you can bounce back from just about anything.

    45-59     You are bouncing right along  . . . most of the time. You have good resiliency skills, although sometimes it’s hard to engage them right away when faced with a crisis.

    30-44     Meh. Your ball has gone a little flat. You need to pump more air into that ball. Crises tend to throw you a bit. Add some flexibility to your life and be open to handling problems differently in the future.

    15-29     Uh-oh. Your ball is completely flat. Looks like you need to really work on your resiliency skills. Check out the section below for more ideas. And don’t worry: learning to bounce back in life is like learning anything else – you just need to practice. Be open to responding to setbacks in a different way than you have in the past.

     

    Detailed breakout:

    Here are the components of resiliency that made up your scores. If you were low in one particular area, try to increase that particular skill.

    Acceptance: the art of non-resistance

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    Items 1, 5, 7, 11

    If you scored yourself a 1, 2, or even a 3 on these items, realize that denial is a common response to adversity and is actually a protective mechanism. Just don’t stay in it too long or you won’t bounce back at all! Teach yourself to see the reality of your situation and act on that.

    Also consider how much energy you are expending when you fight or resist your problem. You can give in without giving up. The difference is that giving in allows you to keep trying to solve the problem without using up precious energy resisting the fact that the problem is here. It’s here in front of you. Don’t resist it – accept its presence and work on it!

    Remember that it’s okay to experience positive emotions and laugh even when in the midst of a crisis. This kind of emotional experience will help release oxytocin and endorphins that you need to help you through the storm.

    Perspective: see things clearly and from different angles

    Items 4, 15

    The key to this component is to remember that you have had difficult times before and made it through. Remember your past experience!

    Also, keep in mind that there are many angles to a problem and therefore many solutions. Break out of your old mold and try something new! A great way to prep yourself for future difficulties is to develop your creativity. Try Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head for some fun, mind-expanding activities and ideas.

    Social Support: ya gotta have friends

    Items 3, 9, and 12

    There is a lot of research showing that social support is a main component of resiliency. Even if you’re an introvert, having just one person you trust to talk with about your situation can be extremely helpful.

    It’s also really good to have a more experienced, wiser person or mentor you can turn to when trouble hits. This can be a parent, friend, or anyone you look up to and respect.

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    Positive Actions: creating positive emotions during times of crisis

    Items 2, 8, 10, 13

    As mentioned above, it’s important to experience positive emotions in your life, even in times of crisis. Researcher Barbara Fredrickson’s work shows that positive emotions not only help you feel good, but they expand your ability to problem-solve well.

    Rather than worrying about the past or future, try to stay in the present as much as possible. Listen to some mindfulness meditations to help you remain centered in the current moment.

    Be kind to yourself! Even if you got yourself into a mess, remember that everyone else has at some time in their lives, too. Treat yourself as you would your best friend who is having problems.

    Finding the gifts/Learning the lessons

    Items 6, 14

    Adversity frequently brings opportunities for self-growth and new experiences. Even though you would rather not have problems, remember the old saying: The sand that irritates the oyster often becomes a pearl.

    Well? How resilient are you? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!

    *This is a non-scientific test used for informational purposes only.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

    Reference

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