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Dr. Lillian Montague’s Resilience Strategy for Better Well-being

In the fast-paced symphony of life, we often find ourselves missing the subtle cues that can guide us towards better well-being. This blog post explores the concept of recognising burnout early and embracing resilience as a means of self-preservation. Dr. Lillian Montague’s groundbreaking research will shed light on the importance of proactive strategies for maintaining mental and emotional health.

The Subtle Cues of Life

Life is filled with subtle cues that can shape our experiences. Think of them as road signs in your journey:

  • Inscriptions on Roads: These guide our physical progress.
  • Urban Signposts: They help us navigate the bustling city life.
  • The Mystery of the Vanishing Monolith: Sometimes, these cues are enigmatic, leaving us pondering their true nature and purpose.

Ignoring Our Inner Signals

We often neglect the signals emanating from within ourselves, even when burdened by busyness and stress. Consider these scenarios:

  1. Lack of Restorative Slumber: Our relentless pursuit of tasks.
  2. Chasing Unwavering Focus: Our unwavering determination.
  3. Ember of Anxiety: Ignored while we push ourselves to the brink.

Embracing Resilience

Dr. Lillian Montague’s research offers a proactive approach to well-being. Her study examined a community facing an ongoing crisis—a dwindling water supply. They had a choice: invest in treatment facilities (like an ambulance) or safeguard their water reservoirs (like a fence). Dr. Montague emphasised the sustainability of prevention.

The Ambulance vs. The Fence – Joseph Malins’ enigmatic poem unfolds a narrative of a town divided between erecting a fence at the cliff’s edge to prevent falls and financing an ambulance to tend to the fallen. The town predominantly leans toward the ambulance, but an ‘old sage’ interjects with a reminder of prevention’s primacy over cure. In our journey, nature-time is the equivalent of that preventive fence, not a mere antidote for after the fall.

Invariably, we press on in the face of these cues, pushing ourselves to the brink. We persist until, inevitably, we morph into something akin to the ancient pasta remnants, hidden away in the recesses of the fridge.

But contemplate an alternative course: What if, instead of persevering, we paused and endeavored to rejuvenate ourselves at the initial whisper of burnout? Joseph Malins, in his 1895 prose “The Fence or The Ambulance,” weaves a tale of a community’s conundrum. They grapple with the choice between erecting a barrier at the cliff’s edge to preempt falls or allocating resources for an ambulance stationed below to address post-fall exigencies. The town overwhelmingly leans toward Team Ambulance, save for an ‘elder sage’ who imparts,

“It’s a marvel to me That people give far more attention To repairing the results than to stopping the cause, When they’d much better aim at prevention.”

In our narrative, the metaphorical fence embodies a concept that predates the fall—an engagement with “nature-time.” It’s a proactive measure, forestalling the specter of burnout, rather than a reactive cure.

The Science Behind Resilience-Time

Proactive strategies have a profound impact on mental and emotional well-being. Incorporating resilience-time into our lives helps us recognise early signs of burnout, safeguarding our holistic health.

Recognising Early Signals

  1. Physical and Emotional Exhaustion: Persistent fatigue and mood changes.
  2. Reduced Performance: Decline in work or personal tasks.
  3. Neglecting Self-Care: Ignoring rest and relaxation needs.

Implementing Resilience-Time

  1. Self-Assessment: Regularly check your physical and emotional state.
  2. Prioritise Self-Care: Schedule downtime for rest and relaxation.
  3. Set Boundaries: Establish limits to prevent overexertion.
  4. Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or professionals when needed.
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Stay in tune with your inner signals.

Don’t let burnout take its toll. Recognise the early whispers of burnout and embrace Dr. Lillian Montague’s wisdom. Prioritise self-preservation and embark on a journey towards better well-being amidst life’s subtle cues.  Personally I cannot think of a better place than to escape into nature for a couple of days to revive and sharpen my axe.