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Dr Jess Miller chats with world renowned clinical psychologist Dr Rick Hanson about how to get the most out of the policing brain during Covid19...

Resilience comes with being able to really 'feel' what it's like to use your grit and determination to get through a difficult situation, to maintain your calm and confidence, to be courageous and motivated and still be able to look out for others and keep 'open'. When we are faced with challenges, we will find ourselves focussing and contracting around what we need to do. This is fine under 'normal' circumstances. But when a situation is so huge and seemingly so endless, being too 'closed in on it' can actually reduce our resilience. To really get through a tough time, we need to stay open and alert and really sense how we are getting on so our brains can 'wire in' new strengths for the future. 

Here is a preview of some advice from Jess and Rick:

  • Zoom out and make space: look up, imagine your brain is Google Earth and take in the enormity of all the people across the world all taking on the Covid19 challenge, think about the force of nature and our life with it
  • Reset with a long exhale: a First-Aid tip for a stressy time is simply to breathe out longer. Breath in for 3 seconds and out for 6 and repeat a few times until you literally feel your body relax, reset and your mind sharpen and smile.
  • Feel a Job Well Done: when you've finished a job, followed process, applied yourself, done your part- take a moment to just acknowledge "I did that, go me." The reality is you are helping and your bit counts. Massively.
  • Enjoy the gratitude buzz: if someone or something brings you a moment of happiness, amusement, comfort or ease, recognise it or 'them' and think "That was pretty cool for me" or "Thank You" and let yourself enjoy it.
  • Armour your body with good vibes: our bodies retain the stress response by default, especially with the hypervigilence which comes with policing. Resilience needs your body to recognise strength through ease and wellbeing as well as fight-or-flight. Every so often, feel your feet sturdy on the ground, your upright stature, relax your shoulders, let your tummy go loose, unclench your jaw, have a wriggle and say "yes, body, we got this!"

More from Dr Rick Hanson and Jess' conversation will be coming soon...In the mean time, for more information about resilience during Covid 19 visit: https://www.policecare.org.uk/covid19-resilience/ and follow @policecareuk and @millerjessicak with #Covid19TIPT and #policingbrain

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