Swans are the most elegant of creatures, always appearing tranquil and graceful. Little seems to phase them as they glide through life. Beneath the surface, they may be paddling like mad, but we only see refinement. In this article, we draw inspiration from the swan as we explore resilience.
Every July, a flotilla of rowing boats travel along the River Thames from Abingdon Bridge to Sunbury. Dressed in red, those on board are looking for swans and cygnets.
Traditionally, the annual event of Swan Upping was undertaken to determine the ownership of these impressive birds. Now it has become a conservation project. Each swan and cygnet is lifted onboard to be weighed, measured and checked for injury. They receive a British Trust for Ornithology tag before being released back into the water. This disruption to their day doesn’t seem to faze them. They simply drift off down the river.
What can we all do to keep moving forward through the challenges of life, whilst presenting a calm exterior?
What is Resilience?
The dictionary defines resilience as; the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.Do you know someone who always seems to competently deal with all that life throws their way? Are you good at using your skills to deal with the different demands that fill your day?
Resilience is something that we can develop and there are everyday actions that give us that inner strength to take life in our stride.
I’m sure you have found that it is easier to think logically, get things into perspective and come up with solutions on certain days. A relatively minor issue can be easily addressed when you’ve slept well and feel relaxed. On another day, the same scenario might feel overwhelming.
Building Resilience with Self Care
We are all better able to cope when we feel calm and can approach the challenge with a level head. For this reason, self-care is a crucial element in finding our inner resolve and bouncing back.
After a hectic day, it can be tempting to reach for the wine bottle or a chocolate bar. You deserve a treat, but can we encourage you to switch to a self-care option?
Self-care can take many forms, but it focuses on taking an opportunity to do something positive for yourself. Ideally, you can schedule at least 20-minutes every day for either a:
- Pampering relaxation – take time for a fullskincare routine. This could involve a soak in the bath followed by smoothing organic skincare moisturising body oil over your skin.
- Nutritious delights – prepare and tuckinto a bowl of your favourite healthy foods – can you create a rainbow of colour on the plate?
- Enjoyable activity – would you prefer a yoga workout, dog walk or dancing to upbeat music? Do you feel energised after a gym workout or pottering in the garden?
- Calming bedtime routine – calm the senses with candlelight, a good book and a spritz of pillow spray to encourage a good night’s sleep.
It may seem an unnecessary indulgence to invest this time in yourself, but these precious moments allow you to recharge. They are a reward for everything that you’ve achieved throughout the day. What’s more, they put you in the right frame of mind to cope with what tomorrow brings. This is what it takes to become swanlike.
Nobody is Good at Everything, but Everyone is Good at Something
Being resilient is not about dealing with everything single-handedly. There are some challenges that we have the skills to resolve on our own, but it is often easier if we involve others. Be confident about asking for a helping hand. Support may come from a supportive friend, an experienced colleague or a professional specialist.
Resilience is typically greater in those who have a good social network. Seek out individuals who you feel comfortable around. Find people who share your interests and values.These connections will build your self-worth and you can make a valuable contribution to their life at the same time.
Is there someone in your support network who helps others stay afloat? They might have helped you to overcome a challenge. Do they deserve a self-care hamper to ensure they recharge?
Not all connections build your strength and resilience. If an acquaintance or colleague drains your positivity and confidence, it is wise to keep your distance. When surrounded by the right people, your skills will shine and almost anything becomes a possibility.
A Self-care Commitment
Having read this article, I invite you to commit to spending at least 20-minutes doing something for yourself today. How are you going to spend that time? What self-care treat do you have in store? What will put you in the best position to glide through tomorrow like a swan?