Sterling News

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

4 Strategies for Building Mental Resilience During Difficult Times

What do you do when you’ve had a bad day? If someone, or something, at work is stressing you out, how do you respond? If you have a flat tire on the way to work in the morning, is your whole day ruined?

We’re all troubled by the little headaches of life, but many things we’ve learned to roll with and carry on. However, those little things can become big things. Maybe you’re finding yourself feeling burned out because of a series of events that didn’t go the way you wanted, or maybe you’re in a stretch of things that have you feeling a little helpless and hopeless.

In the past few years, it seems, there’s been a lot of talk about resilience, how important it is and how people can develop and build it. In our darkest times, it can feel impossible to be strong and to be sure that things will get better. But resilience is a practice that can help, over time, to build the strength you need when things go sideways.

Give yourself some credit and space.

Don’t beat yourself up for having big feelings. Feeling upset, depressed, frustrated, stressed, or any other emotion that might feel negative is a perfectly normal, natural reaction to hardships. The worse you make yourself feel, the longer it will take for those feelings to pass. Instead, take a moment to think about when you’ve faced adversity in the past and give yourself a pep talk. Every bad moment passes!

Take a step back.

Maybe you’re having a bad hour. Or a bad day. Or a bad week. Or a rotten month. Acknowledge it, but take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Sure, today might be trash, but remember last week when someone complimented you on a project you’d poured your heart into? Think about something you really worked hard on, something that mattered to you, and how many little headaches you worked through to reach that finished project. It might be a work-related task or one in your personal life; reflect on how setting a goal helped you feel really great when you achieved it. Remember that we all stumble from time to time on the way to our version of greatness. Not all is lost!

Try to find the silver linings.

There are going to be days where the only answer is going home and curling up on the couch, hitting a proverbial reset button in the hopes of restarting tomorrow with better luck. But in every hardship, there is something to learn. There is something to be grateful for at every turn. Take a moment to think about the good things in life when the bad things feel overwhelming. It might be hard to do this right away. It might take time. (Anyone who has lost a job knows how disorienting it can be, especially if it takes a while to find another great opportunity, but that day comes!) But it will come, and you know it will and that you’ll be in a better place. By focusing on the small things that make you happy, you can begin to help your brain start to right itself and to see the clouds lift, even if it’s a little at a time.

Reach out to your friends.

We humans are social creatures. That’s one of the lessons we learned, universally, during the early days of the pandemic, and it’s something we can take to heart when things get rough. Call a friend, relative, or someone who means a lot to you. Have a little chat. Try to meet for coffee or dinner if you can; if that person lives far from you, a phone or video call might do wonders to help lift you up. The people who know us can do great things to lighten the load and help us feel better, sharing stories or reminding us of when we’ve been able to conquer hard times previously. Or maybe you don’t talk about that at all — sometimes you just need to hear a friendly voice and be distracted to feel better.

Feeling stuck at work? Sterling Personnel can help you find your way to a new job!

We all feel bad sometimes. We all feel frustrated and a little lost from time to time. The world can be a scary, sad place and we can feel helpless. It’s ok! Take the time to feel how you feel, then start to take some action to make yourself feel better. The more you practice these steps — even if you’re not down at all! — the easier it gets. Building resilience is like building any other muscle. The more you use it, the stronger you’ll become.

If you find that your job is the main source of your bad days, it might be time for a change. Sterling Personnel is standing by, ready to help! Take a look at our job board and see if there’s a position that sounds like a good fit, then submit your resume and let’s talk about your interests, goals and skills. Our recruiters can even help put your resume on the desk of people making the big decisions with our recommendations! When you’re ready to make a change, give Sterling Personnel a call.