On most days we are asked “How are you?” and we might respond “Well thanks,” but how often have you stopped and thought about what does ‘well’ look like and feel like for me?
The concept of wellbeing looks at how we can be well across six areas – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and socially, so that we can thrive in all areas of our lives. Wellbeing enables us to create a deeper capacity within ourselves to make the most of the opportunities in our lives and respond to life’s little (and big) moments that test us.
Many of us focus on the needs of others in order to create a sense of wellbeing for our partners, children, friends, parents and colleagues – without really taking time and making the effort to ensure that we are nurturing and enhancing our own wellbeing. And just like in the case of the loss of accident during a flight, we need to ensure that we are taking care of our own needs before we can take care of the needs of others.
Through my work, I have seen many people sacrifice their own wellbeing for the sake of excelling in their careers or being there for their families. However, what many of us don’t realise is that it’s not a trade-off between our well-being and other aspects of our lives. Rather, by taking time to focus on understanding what we need for our own wellbeing and putting those things into action, we will actually be more effective in our all dimensions of our lives. We will have increased levels of energy, positive emotions, mental resilience, social connection and intellectual capacity.
I can imagine some of you may be thinking, ‘How on earth can I put time and energy into focussing on my own wellbeing when I already have so much on my plate?’ With some guidance, it can be a simple process.
I recommend that you get really clear on:
- What is important to you?
- What areas of your wellbeing do you need to focus on to achieve the things that are important to you?
- What activities would be useful to cultivate wellbeing e.g. physical activity, nutrition, meditation, spending more time with loved ones?
- What can you delete, delegate or defer to make time for those activities?
- What do you need in place to support your renewed focus on wellbeing e.g. support from your partner, kids, manager, family members, friends?
Once you have answers to these questions, it’s time to take action and create a commitment to yourself that you will focus on one thing to improve your wellbeing. To uphold that commitment, it may be helpful to keep some visual cues around you about your commitment, diarise activities and share your plans with your colleagues, friends and family.
I’d love to hear about the commitment you make to your wellbeing and the benefits that you start to notice in your day to day life. Please comment below or in our Facebook group to share your progress.