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Build your resilience with the perma model




Resilience is the ability to take whatever life throws at you and come out the other side in a positive way. It is the ability to bounce back.

2020 was challenging for us all, with huge changes to work and home life, and our freedom of movement. As we come out of this unprecedented time, it is useful to take stock of where we are, and consider what we might need to do to maintain or improve on our resilience.

The PERMA model comes from Positive Psychology, and is a wellbeing theory, moving people from surviving to flourishing; which feels very relevant this year. There is a positive link between wellbeing and resilience, so this model can be used as a self reflection tool to reflect on your wellbeing and in turn improve resilience.


P - Positive Emotions: increasing positive emotions helps to build social, intellectual and psychological resources, which helps with resilience. This could be hope for the future, joy, compassion and gratitude. Ask yourself:

What am I grateful for?

What brings me joy?

How can I be compassionate to myself and others?

Practice regular acts of kindness, buy a stranger a coffee, give up the last cookie at Pret to the person next to you. Try it, it feels good!


E - Engagement: when have you been completely absorbed and energised in a task that brings you happiness? What is that task and how could you do more of it? For some people this is reading a great book or playing an instrument.


R - Relationships: we have a natural desire to be connected to others and feel supported, valued and loved. With restrictions on seeing our friends and family for nearly a year, and working at, or having to stay at home, it is not surprising 2020 has had an impact on people’s wellbeing and resilience.

What first steps can you take to start re connecting with friends, family, acquaintances and work colleagues? As a manager or business owner, how can you help others to do this?


M - Meaning: What keeps you persistent in what you do? This is about purpose and meaning in your life. Research tells us that this is not about money and status, but about deeper values and what drives you. It is different for everyone but once you know what it is you will generally be more satisfied with life, as you spend more time on activities that serve this purpose.

What really matters to you?

What drives you to do the work you do?


A - Achievements: What are you most proud of? We often forget the positive things we have achieved, especially in tough times, as our brain is wired to remember the negatives. Regularly thinking about your achievements will increase your confidence and self esteem.

What one thing are you proud of in the last week?

How could you spend time every week reflecting on what you have achieved?

Self reflection is a great way to be mindful of your wellbeing and resilience. If you need an extra hand, a few sessions with a coach can really help to reset and move you forwards.

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