Hints and tips - 4 minute read
Sarah Ash - Subject Advisor for Health and Social Care and Child Development
A new term has begun and with it a new lockdown. In this blog we consider how to maintain our resilience. 2020 was a year that is etched on the minds of most of us forever. We faced change and the pace of change was challenging. Life gurus would say that we should embrace, adapt and see change positively. When you can’t see, predict or determine the direction of change and it is unexpected it drains your resolve and resourcefulness.
Living through a pandemic has a maturing effect. Facing unprecedented challenges provided some of us with opportunities to create a new self and discover a new strength of character – resilience. But we’ve barely had a chance to stand still. Christmas and the New Year have come and gone, and here we go again, uncertain what tomorrow will bring.
Lao Tzu (Laozi), said that “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” This was thought to be written in 4BC during the ‘Warring States period’ in China. Thankfully we aren’t living through a war, but each day can feel like a battle.
Going with the flow or taking each day as it comes can help to protect our mental state. With each unpredictable change our resilience can be lowered, and we need to protect ourselves and learn how to maintain our resilience.
You are equipped with the knowledge and skills that are needed to support your students, but it is so easy to lose sight of what we are capable of when we are stressed. One way to protect yourself is to believe in your abilities. Meg Ray who is a clinical psychologist, in her TED Ideas talk, suggests some practical strategies to help you to recognise your strengths and cope with whatever comes your way.
In Meg’s article two of the tips that I identified with were:
Resilience doesn’t mean that we won’t experience distress or difficulty. As we face the new term with continued change and uncertainty we should be kind to ourselves. Resilience isn’t something we all have buckets of, but it can be learnt.
The American Psychological Association define resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress” and in their article on resilience they explain what resilience is and isn’t and strategies to help you develop resilience, they suggest that we can cope by finding purpose.
We can do this by:
In November my colleagues Lucy Carey and Phoebe Davis wrote a post on mindfulness and being kind to yourself this winter. In their blog they shared some strategies for coping with stress. After revisiting this article today, I found renewed strength and focus for the journey ahead.
If you do find yourself struggling to cope remember that there are organisations that can help. We’ve listed two below that you might find useful:
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Sarah Ash - Subject Advisor for health and social care
Sarah was a teacher of health and social care for ten years. This is her main subject area and her degree and PGCE qualifications are in this subject. She has also taught child development along with several other subjects at KS3 and moderated on the A Level Health and Social Care for another awarding body. Sarah worked in secondary schools and a sixth form college in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex teaching KS4 and KS5 and as a teacher in a care home for young people aged 16-18 and supported them in preparing to leave care. She now works as a subject advisor in our Cambridge office.