Be More Resilient at Work — Even in a Pandemic




  • the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Are we born resilient? Or do we build resilience over time? The most resilient of us somehow cope with life’s little crises, surviving setbacks without breaking a sweat. The rest of us need to work on our resilience skills more than ever. 

Most people who work in the motion picture industry have found the last year a struggle. A global health crisis, a recession, civil unrest, and our industry in turmoil — it’s all happened, and it’s had an overwhelming impact on our collective mental health. But resilience helps us cope with these challenges and regain control. 

One thing that tests our resilience is the workplace — a demanding boss, a long commute, irritating co-workers, or all of the above. There are other pressures when working from home — the lack of human contact, lack of structure, and Zoom fatigue. It all takes its toll. Thankfully, scientists think we can build resilience and manage job stresses more effectively. 

Why Is Resilience at Work Important?

Resilience helps us manage job stresses, control our emotions, and prevent burnout. Research shows that 83 percent of Americans feel stressed from at least one thing at work. 

The most stressful stressors? 

  • Low pay
  • The commute
  • The boss
  • Fear of being fired or laid off
  • Unreasonable workloads
  • The fact we’re not in our chosen careers
  • No chance to advance
  • Annoying co-workers

What stresses you the most?

For all of us in the motion pictures industry right now, work can be seriously stressful. Throw other worries into the mix, like the ongoing public health and economic crises, and it’s no wonder that many of us experience anxiety, fear, and tension. 

But can building resilience make things better? 

How to Build Resilience at Work

The CDC has published a helpful guide for building resilience and managing work-related stresses. Here are some tips:

  • Connect with others.
  • Communicate with co-workers and supervisors about job stresses.
  • Identify the things that cause you to feel stressed and find solutions with co-workers and supervisors. 
  • Discuss how the pandemic is affecting your work (and our industry).  
  • Access mental health resources in your workplace. 
  • Take back control by creating a consistent daily routine.
  • If you’re working from home, take regular breaks to exercise, stretch, or reach out to co-workers. 
  • Spend time outdoors.
  • Practice mindfulness. 
  • If you have a mental health condition, continue your treatment, and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. 

Connect With Others 

The CDC’s recommendation to “connect with others” struck us the most. In a crisis, few of us get the support we need, but connecting with others in our industry helps us build resilience and manage stress. 

Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation provides one-on-one support for veterans in the motion pictures and theatrical exhibition industries, with a range of counseling services that build resilience and reduce stress. These services include supportive counseling, bereavement counseling, and eldercare guidance.

Final Word

Building resilience proves beneficial for managing work stress and dealing with the struggles that have affected our industry. But we need support, and perhaps a helping hand or two, to make this happen. It’s never too late to connect with others.