These are uncertain times for many government employees, contractors and interns. Government policies are unclear or changing dramatically. Some federal agencies still have a hiring freeze, making it harder to get the job done in understaffed offices and overseas posts. Many agencies face potentially severe budget cuts.
The more resilient we are, the easier it is to be flexible and adaptable in times of uncertainty and stress. We are more likely to collaborate with others to find innovative solutions to the problems uncertainty brings to the workplace. This is why it is critically important to focus on building or maintaining high resilience during these uncertain times. Here are some tips on how you can enhance your resilience during this challenging period.
- Take care of yourself: Prioritize taking care of yourself and carve out time on your calendar for recovery, whether it’s taking a ten-minute walk every afternoon, joining friends for lunch, or cooking yourself a healthy meal after work. Resist the temptation to just work longer and harder since this will actually reduce productivity in the long run. Minimize alcohol and ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Focus on what you can control: Identify what you can control, influence, and not control. Use active problem solving to take more control over important issues. For example, if you feel like you cannot control your work-load, practice saying no and setting boundaries to give yourself more control. Develop strategies to influence issues that are important to you and try to stop thinking about concerns outside of your control.
- Maintain meaning and purpose: Remind yourself why you decided to be a government servant and explore what you need to stay passionate and committed to the work you do. Look for meaning and purpose outside of work through volunteerism, hobbies, family, and spirituality. Explore your alternatives if you no longer find meaning and purpose at work.
- Practice reframing: Look for the positive aspects of challenges you face. If your budget is cut, what are the potential positive outcomes? If you have fewer staff, how can you turn this challenge into an opportunity?
- Seek social support: One of the most important ways we enhance our resilience is to spend time with other people. Invite colleagues to lunch and commit to spending more time with family and friends.
- Laugh: Watch more funny movies and television shows, listen to funny podcasts, spend more time with friends and colleagues who make you laugh.
What do you do to stay resilient during times of uncertainty?
This blog does not represent official policies of the Department of State or those of the U.S. Government.