BOOK REVIEW Resilience recipes by Fleur Heazlewood

“Having gone through what we’ve all gone through over the past two years, I’ve found myself facing new challenges that, maybe, I’m not really prepared for. The idea of a book with answers to some of my most pressing problems really appealed to me. After all, as an EA, your work life and home life can merge – surely solving some of the stresses in my personal life could only help in my professional life?

Resilience Recipes starts out with a simple wellbeing assessment test. Then it heads into strategies and exercises to help you manage stressful situations and take back control of potentially overwhelming areas in your life.

These are simple and practical tasks (sometimes that’s all you can take, isn’t it?) and because the author breaks them down into manageable chunks, you never feel like you can’t achieve any of them. Plus, you don’t have to do them all, or even in order – just pick and choose based on how you’re feeling.

My main takeaway was that we need to take more time for ourselves. Work can be so overwhelming and role of an EA – largely focused around looking after others – means we don’t always look after ourselves. But we should and we need to. I’m definitely going to be taking more time for myself… And stopping working 24/7.

I’ve also realised I don’t need to be in control all the time, which was very enlightening! And, in relation, reading this book has helped me finally realise that I don’t have to be perfect. Mistakes happen and it’s all a learning curve.

I would definitely recommend Resilience Recipes to anyone – but especially EAs. After reading, I absolutely feel more in control and far less overwhelmed with everything. But whether you’re struggling with stress and wellbeing or not, I think everyone can get something out of the exercises within the book.

Oh, and one thing to make clear from the start is that this isn’t a recipe book, so don’t be expecting the perfect lasagne recipe!”

Cathryn Smith is a PA and admin team leader at WSP.