Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of hardship and adversity, and perform at your best on a consistent basis. Like a stress ball that returns to its original shape after being squeezed, the resilient recover more quickly when life’s pressures mount. Research has shown that dispatchers who are resilient feel more in control of their work and lives in general, use less sick time and are happier. Boosting your overall level of resilience affects both your physical and mental well-being. It can mean the difference between feeling overwhelmed and checked-out, or knowing your efforts are making an impact.
Why does resilience matter?
At a recent NENA conference I was speaking to a dispatch supervisor on the verge of retiring after 30 years in the profession. I was surprised at how youthful she looked given her long tenure. I had to know her secret.
“How’d you make it this far and not let the job get to you?” I asked.
“Oh,” she said, “a couple things have saved me. First, I have a life outside of work. I love my hobbies. I look forward to getting to them everyday, and it helps me leave work at work. I also make sure to take time for fun. I exercise regularly. And I do whatever I can to focus on the bright side.”
Because of her daily self-care practices, this 30-year veteran is going to retire well, ready to engage in the next chapter of her life. This is the power of resilience! To boost your level of resilience, it’s good to understand your stress levels. Self awareness allows us to take action early.