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Resilience out of Inertia


While delivering fresh fish around Kent in a white van on Friday I began to feel subsumed into an overwhelming but not unpleasant sense of lassitude. A cosmonaut, floating in the infinite blackness of space and time, engines burnt out. Lying back into the padded comfort of The Numb. Drifting, rotating counter clockwise towards death. I say not unpleasant because inertia is just resistance to change, of not being placed under force in a different direction, in this case, by my Self. It’s pleasant, but fatal to one’s emotional health.


#inertia #resistancetochange #emotionalhealth

The rain was being swished off the windscreen. The tan on my thigh was fading. My latest proposals had been rejected or deferred. My best days were behind me. I turned off the radio. Turned off Covid. Turned off my future. Settled back in the seat and went with it. Inert. Chemically and thermodynamically unresponsive.


The tan on my thigh was fading. My latest proposals had been rejected or deferred. My best days were behind me.


When I arrived home, I did not shower off the funk of the morning’s fish, nor did I do laps around the rec, nor sweat through 50 sit ups as per my routine. I didn’t phone a friend. I didn’t bake a loaf or wash the dishes. No. I went to bed for 2 hours. The evening was thus forgettable.

The following day I smacked myself around a chops a few times and had a personal discussion out loud concerning a few raw facts. It became a productive day, bubbling with plans and new desires, like jam left unheeded on a high heat. I moved forward at pace and was positive in everything I did, especially in my interactions with people.


Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from challenging situations. In terms of mental health, it’s the elasticity that comes from regular cognitive endeavour, psychic weight training if you like.


Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from challenging situations.

In coaching resilience my approach is often the subtle business of developing a client’s agency around rhythm and good habits and of discussing what positive steps can be taken towards a future goal, however uncertain the path. Separating the thoughts on the event from the event itself builds the muscles necessary to both recognise the signs and to lessen the impact next time.


#resilience #goodhabits #divergentthinking

It’s good to acknowledge a bad day, to provide some perspective from the emotions and the shock of sinking into that damp mire. I help the person recall what they felt when they first recognised the slump and how they feel about that now. I repeat back any precious stones from their response and take care to note and reflect back any tones of negative self-judgement. After all, that was then and this is now. We have moved on. Delivering fish is stinky work. Stinky is honest x

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