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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

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Crediting Your Emotional Bank


One of the more surprising discoveries when we moved to France was that almost no-one here has a credit card. Many banks don’t even offer them, except in the form of a deferred debit card (where the full balance is cleared every month). It feels like the attitude to personal debt here is very different, which is perhaps reflected in the fact that household debt is lower than in the UK (although national debt is higher).

And this got me thinking about resilience and our own emotional bank. 

I remember when I was young, the first few days of any holiday were always stressful, simply because my parents (who worked extraordinarily long hours, running a busy village pub) were mentally and physically exhausted. (Of course, having three children and two dogs crammed liked sardines into a small tin box, which we affectionately called a caravan, might not have helped.)

I was slow to learn from this experience (although I’ve never owned a caravan). Like them, I worked hard to build my business, and often overlooked or played down the need to take time away from the day-to-day stress of that to pay back into my emotional bank. 

The point is this. If we’re already dipping into our emotional reserves just to cope with everyday life, what happens when unexpected changes (like a pandemic) strike? It’s surely easier to ride the wave if we’re not already underwater. 

That’s why, these days, I believe it’s important to credit your emotional bank whenever you can, by taking time out to do things that you enjoy and which ‘feed the soul’. 

That might mean spending time with nature or getting up from your desk and going for a long walk. It could mean practising mindfulness, or laughter therapy (ask Caroline Sergeant of Bounce about this).

For me, feeding the soul is likely to involve spending time with my two horses. Even if I only spend 15 minutes with them, I know I’ll come back smiling, but the perfect escape is to hack out alone into the forest on Merlin. If it’s raining, I might opt for creative writing, which requires all my focus and also provides a total escape from any day-to-day stresses. 

Paying back into your emotional bank does not require huge amounts of time (as Pen48’s 60-minute writing challenge has proved); it just requires time that is focused on activities that will benefit your emotional wellbeing. 

This is different to time doing nothing; if we’re already worried about something, those seemingly empty spaces are where we will tend to dwell on problems and increase our feelings of distress. This is not only unhelpful mentally; our worry is also likely to be unproductive. Our most brilliant solutions are more likely to come when we’re engaged in a mindful activity that gives our sub-conscious time to work things out at a deeper level that we’re not really aware of. 

So, my tip is to be aware of mindful activities that you enjoy, that pay something back to your emotional bank and schedule some time for these; I really think it’s important.

For lots more ideas that will help you develop your personal resilience, why not join me on my virtual workshop on 21st July. And, if you want to help others develop their resilience, there is, of course, lots of material within Trainers’ Library you can already use.

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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