Becoming more resilient is important for individuals and businesses. This is because building resilience means we can react better to situations. On an individual basis, this means we can deal with stress more effectively. For businesses, resilience enables a positive response to the ever-changing world of work, thus being in a better position to change and develop.

As we build resilience, we become better equipped for dealing with periods of stress. Consequently, we are able to better manage and support our wellbeing through resilience. However, building resilience and managing wellbeing is not always easy, nor straightforward. Specifically, there are factors and barriers that make it more difficult to be resilient. Mind (2023) explore the barriers to resilience in more detail here but some of the examples they provide include:

  • Experiencing loneliness
  • Experiencing discrimination and hate
  • Having a long-term physical health condition
  • Experiencing poverty and money worries
  • Having a mental health problem
  • Being a carer
  • Being a single parent

In addition to there being different factors affecting how we manage stress, we also experience different causes of stress. Accordingly, the meaning of resilience and stress differs from person-to-person and is therefore personal (Mind).

What is Stress?

The HSE define stress as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”.

Stress can occur in our personal lives as well as at work and can also be triggered by positive life changes such as moving house, getting married or having a baby because stress often occurs when we feel overwhelmed. When stress is encountered, our bodies produce stress hormones, which trigger a fight or flight response (Mental Health Foundation, 2022).

Causes of Stress

There are different causes of stress and as stated, stress is personal so what might be a trigger of stress for you may not have the same effect on people around you. However, some typical causes of stress that the majority of people will relate to are bereavement, relationship breakdown, job loss and money problems as well as work-related stress (Mental Health Foundation, 2022).

Stress is normal but high amounts of stress and feeling stressed for long periods has a negative impact, so it is imperative that we develop our own strategies for being able to deal with stress more effectively in the future. Some tips for this include:

  1. Identifying your own sources of stress and the impact of them.
  2. Priortise things that are important and make you feel good.
  3. Making time for fun and relaxation – whatever that means for you.
  4. Doing regular exercise.
  5. Connecting with others.
  6. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  7. Seeking professional help.

Signs of Stress

It is important to be able to identify stress in ourselves as well as those around us. Stress can impact how we feel, which can produce physical symptoms and can influence behaviour (Mental Health Foundation, 2022). These signs are:


  • Anxiety
  • Anger or aggression
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Depression


  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Digestive problems
  • Shallow breathing or hyperventilating
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Aches and pains


  • Withdrawal from other people or snapping at them
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Tearful
  • Sleep problems
  • Over dependence/use of nicotine, alcohol or other drugs

Work-Life Balance

We all want to achieve a healthy work-life balance but working in a demanding role and industry can hinder this, as there are constant deadlines, pressure to provide a quality service to clients and meeting their demands and needs.

At Maxwell Hodge, we try to support our people with a better work-life balance through:

  • A culture of openness to raise issues
  • Flexible working and alternate working structures, such as compressed hours
  • Homeworking, where possible
  • Volunteering days for people to give back to the local community during working hours
  • Paid Dependant’s Leave to support people with their caring responsibilities
  • Encouraging employees to use their full annual leave entitlement
  • Additional leave including birthday leave and long-service holidays for people to take more time for themselves

The most important aspect to consider in relation to work-life balance is thinking about what YOU need to meet your personal and professional needs and addressing this.


Overall, there is a lot to consider when it comes to stress and building resilience. We encourage further reading on these topics so that you can better understand your own stress and determine what works best for you to respond better to stress. For further reading, see links below.

Financial Worries


Substance Help

Work-Life Balance