Take a break, build your resilience

Take a break, build your resilience

As the year draws to a close, it’s a natural time to reflect on the challenges and achievements we’ve faced in 2023. For communicators, 2023 has been another year of unprecedented change, challenges and uncertainty. While managing labour shortages and increasing workloads, we’ve also had to address a rise in misinformation, disinformation, and AI infiltration.

Many of us are feeling less than peppy at the end of another long year, so it felt like the right time to write about why resilience is especially important in our profession.

In the face of these challenges and constant change, it’s more important than ever for professional communicators to be resilient. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to change, and maintain a positive outlook in the face of adversity. 

Why is resilience important for us?

There are many reasons why resilience is important for us as professional communicators.:

  • The world of professional communications can be very demanding. We’re constantly under pressure to meet deadlines, deal with clients’ demands, manage multiple projects, and produce high-quality work. This can lead to stress and burnout, affecting our physical and mental health. The more resilient we are, the more we can manage these challenges on an ongoing basis.
  • Resilience helps us to adapt to change. Our world is constantly changing. New technologies are emerging – this year alone, we saw artificial intelligence dive into our work and personal worlds. New platforms are being created, and old faithfuls leave. This year, we “lost” Twitter and gained Threads. New communication trends have developed, we have moved on from placemats, and now everyone needs a narrative. Resilience helps us to adapt to these changes and learn new skills to keep up with best practices.
  • Resilience helps us to build strong relationships. We need to build strong relationships with their colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. Resilience helps us to communicate effectively, manage conflict, and build trust.


How to develop resilience

There are many things that we can do to develop our resilience. The upcoming summer break is a great time to give them a go! Here are just a few:

  • Practice self-care. Take time for yourself each day to relax and recharge. This could include activities such as exercise, reading a book, meditating, or spending time in nature. Find your thing and take time out.
  • Create boundaries. As communicators, we are great at multitasking and very good at taking on too much. Make one of your 2024 resolutions to be better at setting boundaries. If you have Fridays off, do not agree to a meeting. If you are on leave, do not open your laptop.
  • Develop a positive mindset. Focus on the good things in your work life. While there will always be challenges, what do you love about working in communications? Do you love your team? Had a successful meeting? Focus on those things that make your day great. This can help to improve your mood and outlook.
  • Build a support network. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who can help you through tough times. Find your person. It might be your work wife, a great boss or a mentor. Have a person you can talk to.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Instead, learn from them and move on.

Resilience is a journey, not a destination. It takes time and effort to develop resilience, but it is a worthwhile investment. At the end of the year, it can be tough to feel resilient. We all feel a bit tired and over it. But the summer is such a gift to take time out and rebuild before another busy year. 

So do it, take a break!

Melanie Gibbons

Melanie Gibbons is a passionate communications professional who is all about helping clients engage with their audiences and other communicators be the best they can be. She is also Past President of IABC Canberra.


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