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In the final article of her three-part series, Catherine D’Arcy-Jones examines some tools and resources OH practitioners can use to promote resilience within the workplace, and discusses why Covid-19 is making it even more important for organisations and individuals to build their resilience.
This is the last in a series of three articles that have been looking into different aspects of resilience. The first article explored the theoretical and psychological theories behind resilience, including the use of resilience scales. The second brought in organisational and individual factors to consider.
But what about practical recommendations occupational health practitioners can guide employees to? In my experience, there are many activities that can easily be introduced or revisited with employees who have stopped applying tried and tested research-based choices when their resilience becomes low. The result of this can be a downward spiral, exacerbating symptoms of low resilience and leading to further unhelpful choices of actions and behaviour.
About the author
Catherine D’Arcy-Jones, SCPHN, RGN, BSc Psychology, MSc Health Psychology, BSc Occ Health is director of occupational health company OPA Health
The role of occupational health can be seen as a guide to direct people back to those healthier lifestyle choices that individuals can easily apply and resonates with their outlook in life. It is not the case of advising in a “one size fits all” scenario and not necessarily the case of suggesting that individuals make huge lifestyle changes they are unlikely to adhere to. As OH practitioners, it is about conveying a tailored practical transference of health education and advice to individually suit each employee.
The role of nutrition
We know that well-nourished individuals are healthier, can work harder, are more efficient and have greater physical reserves, making them more capable of withstanding adverse events and shocks (Dufour et al 2014).
There is plenty of evidence linking the relationship between dietary habits and psychosocial conditions, but less so relating diet directly to psychological resilience. However, Bonaccio et al (2018) applied the 25-item Connor-Davidson Psychological Resilience Scale (discussed in the first of this series of articles, published in the September edition)