Wellness Pearls

26 October 2021

Resilience is not a Trait

It’s a relationship one has with their resources (Cavanaugh, 2021).   Sure, our internal characteristics help us access those outside resources.  But one can be as adaptable, gritty, and optimistic as humanly possible yet if we don’t have resources, failure or breakage ensues.  Picture an emergency department deluged with patients, ambulances arriving continuously.  There is a shortage of psychiatric beds in the state and the ICU is full with covid patients as more and more patients are “boarding in the ER “ lining the hallways.  The clinicians resort to “seeing” patients in the open waiting room.  Twelve hours of this kind of scarcity leaves people working in this environment depleted on every level, not to mention the difficult patient experience.  No amount of personal resilience will help this resource-depleted situation.     More space, more clinicians, a workable plan to move patients to the appropriate setting and level of care is needed.    Individual resilience is not the remedy.

Many people in the workforce are asked to attend “resilience training” and are likely to respond with a giant eyeroll… this is code for ‘do more with less’ they may be thinking.    Because the work landscape is constantly shifting, what we needed are more resources, not less.

We are all embedded in families, companies and communities and without resources, there is no resilience.    Resilience, the ability to bounce back after difficulty springs from well-resourced  systems.

Cavanagh, Michael. (2021).  University of Sydney (Australia) 
presenting his research on Resilience at the Annual 
Institute of Coaching, 2021 Coaching 
in Leadership and Health Care Conference.
Harvard Medical School.  September 25. 

This is not your responsibility, but it is your problem. 

Cheryl Strayed

Choosing Wellness:  The book is doing really well and I’ve spoken to many groups about it in recent weeks.  There are a number of book clubs popping up that want to discuss the ideas in this book, so we have created discussion questions for that purpose.  Thank you all so much for the support and feedback.



Fantastic, Polarized Sunglasses

As a person who is hard on sunglasses, I need polarized glasses that I can sit or step on, drive or bike over, lose, wear in the ocean and get hit by a wave, or otherwise destroy without regret.  I discovered Carfias this summer and  impressed with the price ($20), quality and designs.   Highly rated and here I am wearing mine with my lads this weekend.

Dodgy Science

Ben Goldacre in 2011, author of Bad Science, still highly relevant on how bad ideas spread.


2 Responses

  1. Malathi Michael

    Wow, well said! Finally words that articulate perfectly my thoughts and give voice to my experience. This couldn’t be a more relevant topic in our current work-life culture. Thank you for sharing.

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