HR: Building Strategies for Resilience and Wellbeing in Schools

HR: Building Strategies for Resilience and Wellbeing in Schools

Posted  18th November 2021

This summary is based on Judicium’s HR: Building Strategies for Resilience and Wellbeing in Schools ‘Sofa Session’ from the 17th of November, with our expert Marie Fishlock MCIPD. 

This session was centred around how a positive mindset delivers, how to address stress and building boundaries, and creating team effectiveness.

10 Top Tips For A Positive Mindset

1. Giving

  • Share your skills or offer your support.
  • Ask yourself whether you are the right person to provide the support.
  • Do you have an open-door policy that is hindering your work? If so, set boundaries so you can balance supporting others with your own work and wellbeing.
  • It is ok to say ‘No’ or ask for a break before tackling difficult situations.

2. Relating

  • The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so invest in strengthening those relationships.
  • Turn off distractions or actively try to minimise their effect.
  • Make time to focus on specific topics and think SMART.
  • Know who to turn to when you need support.

3. Exercising, Eating and Drinking

  • Regular activity is stimulating for the mind and body. Endorphin boosts can increase confidence and positivity.
  • Take time to think about what you enjoy and incorporate that into your daily schedule.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Working through lunch can be counterproductive as it often leads to ‘brain fog’ and poor nutritional choices. Healthy eating will increase energy and productivity.
  • Drink plenty of water! Our memory, energy, concentration, and mental health all suffer when dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water also fight depression and anxiety!

4. Awareness

  • Self-awareness is a form of stepping back and observing your thoughts and feelings as they unfold.
  • Spend five minutes a day stepping back and reflecting.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive with your emotions.
  • Reflection is a fantastic tool to recognise and combat stress.

5. Try New Things

  • Learning new things is a great way to lift your mood and stimulate your mind.
  • Think about what you would like to try.
  • Find out more information.
  • If there is resistance, what is stopping you?

6. Direction

  • Working towards positive, realistic goals can provide motivation and structure.
  • When feeling overwhelmed, don’t look at the ‘big picture.’ Break tasks down to smaller, more manageable goals.
  • Choose goals that are meaningful to you.
  • Celebrate your progress along the way.

7. Resilience

  • Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
  • Although we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can choose how we respond.
  • Take time to reflect on your own resilience.
  • Identify areas where you excel and areas where you can improve, with a focus on building your resilience in those target areas.

8. Emotions

  • Positive emptions can build a buffer against stress and lead to lasting changes in the brain to maintain wellbeing.
  • Focus on things you are grateful for.
  • Make time to have fun!

9. Acceptance

  • No one is perfect. We are all human.
  • Accepting there will be failures along with triumphs allows you to move on and focus on the positive.

10. Meaning

  • People who have meaning in their lives experience less stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Often when faced with difficult situations or emotional circumstances, taking the ‘nice’ approach can provide short term gain, but long-term detriment. Handling the situation directly with meaningful, open and honest conversations often results in a more positive outcome.

The 5 Pillars of Resilience

1. Emotional Wellbeing

It involves how well you manage your emotions and thoughts, and how realistic your views are of yourself and the world. It is the most fundamental pillar of resilience.

Building emotional resilience in the workplace takes time and a willingness to break away from harmful habits. For example, negative automatic thoughts are a barrier to many people’s resilience. The best way to challenge these habits is with tracking and correcting.

2. Inner Drive

This is your ability to set goals and motivate yourself. It also allows you to adopt a forward-thinking approach to progress throughout life.

3. Future Focus

It is your level of foresight and your ability to focus on solutions and positive change. It also encompasses your acceptance of failures and adversity.

The two areas we recommend developing are critical thinking and accountability. Leading by example is an effective way to promote this within your team. Critical thinking requires stopping and thinking logically, rather than being swayed by emotions. It also means being open to admitting you don’t know everything and can ask questions to learn more.

4. Relationships

It is important to have a strong social network with friends, family, colleagues etc., which in turn provides emotional and physical support to you.

Three areas you can focus on at work are addressing toxic relationships, building genuine connections, and finding or becoming a role model or mentor.

5. Physical Health

Poor physical wellbeing can directly impact the other pillars. Recognising the importance of looking after yourself physically promotes all the pillars of resilience. The focus should be on promoting a good work-life balance.

Building Boundaries 

Maintain Perspective:

  • Learn from setbacks
  • Focus on solutions
  • Manage negative thinking

Give Yourself Permission to:

  • Rest when you need to
  • Smile every day
  • Let go of toxic relationships
  • Trust your intuition
  • Forgive yourself

Self-care…the more you invest in yourself, the more you gain out of it:

  • Take deep breaths
  • Drink lots of water
  • Do some sort of physical activity
  • Brush off negative thoughts and flush out negative people
  • Writing is therapeutic so you can maintain a journal to vent your thoughts
  • Build a vision board and revisit regularly

Address Stress: Perform a Weekly Wellbeing Check-Up 

  • Check - Where’s my mental health today? How do I feel?
  • Looking after my wellbeing – Am I drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet? How did I sleep? Is there anywhere I can improve?
  • Reflect – How’s my thinking today? Am I having unhelpful thoughts?
  • My Stress Container – How full is my container? Am I using helpful coping strategies? Are they working?

Helpful Links to resources:

Mental Health First Aid -

Samaritans -

Reading Suggestions:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Am I Overthinking This?: Over-Answering Life's Questions in 101 Charts by Michelle Rial

If you require any support in any of these steps or would like to talk to someone surrounding some support for your school, please do not hesitate to call us on 0203 326 9174 or email

You can also find details regarding Judicium's HR Advisory service here.

If you’d like to review Judicium’s forthcoming sofa sessions for the term, please click here