What is ‘surge capacity’

‘Surge capacity’ is the physical and mental survival tactic that humans adopt during short-term periods of acute stress, for example natural disasters.

In cases such as these, individuals dig deep, they surge forward, they put on a brave face, and they adapt to their new environment with adrenaline-fueled grit.

But surge capacity doesn’t last indefinitely. After approximately 6 months of battling great uncertainty, chronic stress, and ups and downs, it eventually levels out leaving people feeling exhausted, despondent, unhappy, and even burnt-out.

So why is surge capacity relevant now? Simple. We saw surge capacity in full flight during the pandemic, but unlike natural disasters, or events of short-term stress, the impacts of COVID-19 will be lingering for some time. So, what do we do? How do we renew our surge capacity, and return to our pre-pandemic spritely selves? There is a way…

How to protect yourself against surge capacity depletion

Here are our top 3 strategies to refill your wellbeing bucket, replenish your energy, and restore your surge capacity post-pandemic.

Strategy #1: Create your Be Well Plan

The Be Well Plan, co-designed by psychologists, educators, social workers, researchers, physical health experts, counsellors, students, and wellbeing experts, delivers evidence-based wellbeing interventions that individuals can embed into their work and life. The best part is, the Be Well Plan is completely personalised to your unique psychological profile and life circumstances. It truly is your roadmap to better health and wellbeing.

Featuring best practice exercises, strategies, and even an app, the Be Well Plan helps individuals flourish, mentally, physically, and emotionally. From self-awareness and habit development to goal setting and practical wellbeing skills, the 5-week Be Well Plan program is a journey of self-discovery.

Transform your workplace with the Be Well Plan

For those employers reading this article, the Be Well Plan is a transformational program that can help your staff improve their productivity, customer service, teamwork, workplace interpersonal skills, work satisfaction, and everything in between.

It’s a no-brainer that happier, healthier more productive staff drive greater business performance. So, the bottom line is, the business case for this program stacks up.

Here’s what your employees receive:

  • Pre and post-program mental health and wellbeing measurements – the Be Well Tracker
  • 5 x 2-hour virtual workshops (for up to 20 people)
  • A booklet (for each employee) that comprises topics, reflections, activities, their own bespoke Be Well Plan, and an activity bank with instructions for each task.

Interested in the Be Well Plan for your employees? I can help!

Strategy #2: Put yourself first (no really!)

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that the last 12 months have been hard. Why? Because many of us have what’s called ‘ambiguous loss’ – that’s the loss of our freedom, way of life, structure and connections.

It’s important to give yourself permission to feel the way you do. Acknowledge that you’re going to have good and bad days, and that’s okay. Accept that things are different right now (but not forever). And, most importantly, give yourself a break by practicing self-compassion.

Secondly, make time to put yourself, and your wellbeing first by scheduling time for you (think of it like a meeting with yourself). The key here is to understand what replenishes you, and then actively commit to self-care rituals.

Here are a few questions to help you explore your self-care needs:

  • What gives you energy? What depletes your energy?
  • What do you classify as real ‘downtime’ or ‘rest time’?
  • What lifts your mood (fairly quickly) when you’re down (list at least 3 ideas e.g. listening to music or phoning a friend)
  • How can you prioritise more connection in your life? Who in your life makes you feel good?

Lastly, start by incorporating some super small habits into your day that can increase your wellbeing and ‘resilience bank account’. Perhaps it’s going to bed earlier, meditating for 5 minutes a day, practicing gratitude, saying ‘no’ to something that depletes your energy, or eating more nourishing food.

The key is to anchor your new habit or behaviour to an existing routine. The recipe to tiny habit success is explained here.

Strategy #3: Develop a growth mindset

A growth mindset assumes that your intelligence, abilities, qualities, and character can be developed and strengthened by learning, hard work and perseverance. It also indicates that you perceive failure as an opportunity to learn and are forever on a quest to expand your existing abilities (and are excited by challenges to do so).

In contrast, a fixed mindset indicates that skills and abilities are unchangeable, and what you’re born with, you’re stuck with.

So why is mindset so important?

Research has proven that a fixed mindset stifles your ability to meet your full potential, whereas a growth mindset provides an enhanced sense of free-will that leads to greater levels of achievement and success.

So, the question begs, which mind set are you and is this serving you? If not, the good news is a more rigid mindset can be changed. Here are a few tips and tricks to shift your way of thinking.

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