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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Six Ways to Build Resilience

As Black and Brown women in the workplace, we face unique challenges that affect our career path. Every day, we overcome stereotypes, combat microaggressions, and pursue our unique journey to get that seat at the table. It’s a challenge, so I was really thrilled to interview Amanda Muhammad on the Being Brown at Work Live podcast. She owns a mindfulness-based stress management company, so I can't think of anyone better to talk to about cultivating resilience, and our conversation was full of useful info I hope you'll benefit from.

From that conversation, here are some ways to build resilience in the workplace and combat burnout.

1. Take a preventative approach

Like yearly checkups, regular exercise, and wearing sunscreen, certain habits are crucial for the long-term. Making stress-check-ins a part of your life can help you manage your workload before it reaches the point of burnout. This approach works differently for everyone. For example, I love to start my day with my devotions and get regular exercise to slow down and burn off tension. Other people go for weekend hikes that keep them focused and clear-headed. Some folks just need a movie date once a week. Whatever it is, be sure you’re building mindfulness and self-care into your life.

2. Learn your stress warning signs

Have you ever been chugging along at work, pulling in long hours, and then one day suddenly you have a total breakdown, cry at your desk, and then come back the next day swearing it’ll never happen again? That cycle is something that can happen if you let your stress build up over time, so take steps to address your stress in small doses, rather than letting it build until it hits critical mass.

A good approach for this is to know what your warning signs are. For some people, it’s getting angry while driving, for others it's suddenly needing a nap every day or you feel like you won’t make it till dinner. Whatever your stress signs are, pay attention to them, and slow down when you see them. Treat the problem when you see it, not when it becomes too painful to ignore.

3. Start your mornings right

How you begin your day really matters. Your first moments of consciousness can totally set the tone. Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up late, spill your coffee, and start your workday off on a totally awful foot? It’s hard to recover from that kind of beginning! Off-days are inevitable, being deliberate about your morning routine can ground you in a solid place of mindfulness that can sustain you for the rest of the working hours.

4. Stay consistent

Little habits make a big impact. A daily lunch break walk can affect your clarity during meetings. Turning your phone off for five minutes can translate into four hours of solid work focus. Find those little habits that make an actual difference in your day and be intentional about doing them. Maybe you need a post coffee-break nap. Maybe you need to cut that midday coffee out entirely. I love gratitude journaling, breathing exercises, and meditation as ways to consistently build up that self-care muscle that is essential to avoiding burnout.

5. Pay attention to what you pay attention to

Your focus is a precious commodity. Advertisers spend millions of dollars to capture it, so why are you wasting it on activities that don’t serve you? Does scrolling Instagram actually relax you, or does it just make you feel bad about yourself? What you tune into, you turn into, so make sure that you’re intentional about how you spend your time and what you give access to your life.

6. Have a transition routine

The end of your workday can be an amorphous time. You’re done with meetings, but maybe you leave your Slack up while you make dinner-- just in case. Then you’re watching a movie and you glance through your emails just so it won’t take you by surprise in the morning. Have you really, truly stopped working?

Ending your workday means closing your laptop and starting your home time, and having a good boundary about the end of your day is key to getting good, solid rest and relaxation.

If you need help identifying your resilience-building plan, or maybe you just want to talk about your specific situation, I can help! Click here to put a one-on-one consultation with me on your calendar, and let’s talk.

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