Rise, Phoenix, Rise

Rise, Phoenix, Rise

Easter celebrates rebirth, creativity and renewal. A man dies. A religion is born. This Easter weekend is a pivot for creative change.

A virus is causing suffering and death. Yet, compared with the WHO top seven (heart disease, cancer, injury, lungs, stroke, Alzheimers and Diabetes), Covid-19 is insignificant.

Our response, driven out of fear, has put the world on hold. While there have been 18,000 deaths in the US, there have been 16 million unemployed. Many countries are already in recession. Uncertainty is rife. Jobs, businesses and lifestyles will disappear.

Nature leads the way

Skies are clear. India can see the Himalayas. Water runs clean. Swans, dolphins and fish return to recovering waterways. Birds, including Tui, below, sing prolifically in our trees. Streets are quiet and safe. Auckland harbour glistens in perfection. Yesterday, a massive stingray. Today, a couple of diving kingfishers. Tomorrow, the dolphins or Orca may return.

Tamaki Drive (above) which runs along Auckland’s waterfront, usually a snarl of cars, motorbikes and buses, has transformed into a tranquil, family exercise venue. Families, couples and individuals from ‘our bubble’ wander all day.

Imagine a future where on weekends, cars are banned. Humans, birds and sea-life get to recover and enjoy some peace. Great opportunity. Who will step up to the creative work?

Easter. Phoenix rising. Shiva gives way to Brahma. Spring comes. The cycle of life.

We are in the crucible of transformation. As the old gives way, it is time for creativity.

Start with yourself

Can you feel a sense of relaxation? Perhaps a new rhythm in your day? Important reconnections at home? Maybe you feel the need for change? Are you asking what really matters? My top five creative focus points:

  1. Breathe slowly and smoothly; 4 seconds in and 6 seconds out
  2. Sleep long, regular and deep; connect your fitbit
  3. Get out in nature every day; walk, bike or if locked down, do yoga
  4. Counter grief with appreciation, anger with kindness, and fear with courage
  5. Be brutal with your thoughts; stay firmly in the present moment

Resilience is so much more than coping and bounce. It is growth, connection and flow.

Start with your breath, attention and presence. Inside-Out is available for less than a cup of coffee. Or start your Resilience Journey with an interactive dynamic Resilience App with assessments, recommendations, online courses, meditation guides, tracking and a chatbot coach.

Recreate your career

My wife has built her own website to launch a digital platform for her finance training. After years of procrastination, it is done. Traditional, workshop training – as well as school, retail, university and services – have already gone virtual and digital. Design, plan, digitalise and communicate your new offer.

Innovation is essential. You may have lost your job or your business. What are you doing right now to recreate a meaningful work and revenue stream? You have time. Use it well. Many gaps will open up. There will be a surge in demand. There is no time to waste. Execute.

If you are looking for a different way of working, isn’t this the perfect time to let go the past and recreate your future? Complete an online course, write, paint, photograph, network and explore what others are doing in your area of passion.

Realign your team

If you are still part of a team, make sure you connect regularly. Support each other to maintain optimal wellbeing and motivation. Brainstorm opportunities. Talk to your clients and see what they need. Come up with novel, timely and effective solutions.

Many businesses – travel, hospitality, airlines – have cratered. You may have lost many people. Get those who are still engaged together to re-imagine the business. Set up those skunkworks to break things down, mix it up and formulate new business solutions.

Perhaps this is the opportunity to refresh your board, leadership or teams. Who are the young, skilled and motivated people who can help your business thrive into this new world?

Community action

If you like the clean skies, waterways and resurging nature, what might you do to highlight some of the benefits and see if we can build them into the future. We are trapping the scourge of possums wrecking our trees and birdlife. What about getting together to have a “no cars Sunday” in your local parks? How about protecting certain areas from noise, drunken revelry and light at night?

The solution to our environmental tragedy is on full display. As we have seen over the past years, most people – especially the young – deeply care about our environment. We are running a stunning experiment in restraint. Nature is already celebrating. If you are a social entrepreneur and want a better future for life on earth, now is the time to organise, devise solutions, and get ready to counter the surge in consumption.

Please don’t let this creative window pass you by. The world seldom offers up such disruptive, rich and tantalising opportunities for deep change. Grasp it with resolve.

Be a better person. Forge better family connections. Recreate your life and work. Connect with those who share your passions and commitment. Make a better world.

Happy Easter😁

Rethinking Mental Health in the Workplace

Rethinking Mental Health in the Workplace

Originally published on www.resiliencei.com and reproduced with permission.

Work-related mental health conditions are overtaking physical safety as a critical risk in the workplace.

The World Health Organisation says anxiety and depression increased globally by 50% between 1990 and 2013 (Lancet, 2016). In May 2018, the American Psychiatric Association announced another 5% increase.

Leaders are scrambling to address the issue but it is so complex that many choose to turn a blind eye. They feel incapable of creating change.

The starting point is to be clear on definitions. When the term “mental health” is used, it is often thought of as a person’s level of depression or anxiety and their ability to bounce back from these conditions.

Mental health definitions

Clear definitions can help us address and solve the challenge:

Mental health = calm, alert, focused, agile, decisive.

Mental distress = distressed, anxious, depressed, hostile, withdrawn or delusional.

Resilience = a learned ability to recognise risk, bounce skilfully, and secure robust physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Diagnosis Mental Emotional Physical
Depression Confusion
Indecisiveness
Pessimism
Sadness
Disappointment
Fatigue/Apathy
Sleep Disturbance
Digestion Issues
Anxiety Worry
Catastrophising
Indecisiveness
Fear
Dread
Distress Symptoms
Hostility Tunnel Vision
Blaming
Anger
Frustration
Immune Compromise
High Blood Pressure

Resilience interventions deliver a 30% reduction in “mental distress” symptoms

At the Resilience Institute, we measure the impact of our resilience interventions using the Resilience Diagnostic assessment. Our latest global report reveals that training interventions deliver an average 30% reduction in symptoms of depression (with results up to 82%) and a 32% average reduction in anxiety symptoms (with the highest result of an 86% reduction).

With antidepressants having a 3% impact, and sleep 6%, it is clear that people need an integral and practical solution to their mental distress.

Factor-level results from a sample of over 3000 participants include:

Results, as published in the Global Resilience Report 2018

Enabling leaders to have more effective conversations about mental health

Our program, Mental Fitness, has been developed to help leaders understand mental health, have effective conversations and improve productivity.

Core components of the program:

  1. Understand the impact of mental health at work
  2. Taking care of themselves
  3. Have effective conversations about mental health
  4. Creating resilience in their teams

Available both as face-to-face workshops, webinars and video training delivered via the Resilience App, the content includes:

  • Defining mental illness
  • Symptoms and Signs
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Effective conversations
  • The leader’s role and boundaries
  • Securing support
  • Crisis management
  • From Distress to Flow

Mental Fitness introduction

Dr Sven introduces the Leader’s Guide to Mental Fitness program.