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Wellbeing

Wellbeing

 

We hear many references to ‘wellbeing’ these days but what does it really mean?

‘The state of feeling healthy and happy’ – Cambridge Dictionary

Our wellbeing cannot depend on happiness and or health which are variable emotional and physical states, but working towards developing a lifestyle which supports wellness and encourages the best mental and physical health that we might be able to experience surely makes good sense?

We have a great capacity to underestimate the value of caring for our basic needs in response to the stresses and experience of life. Attending to our wellbeing first involves a measure of honesty. We need to take a little time to press the pause button on the business of life to ask some simple but important questions such as…

  • Where do I invest most of my energy?
  • How are my relationships?
  • If I could watch myself through the course of a week, what would I notice?

Why not create a mind map of the different areas of your life and write down how you feel about them?

Move  

There is much clinical evidence to suggest that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Avoid getting overwhelmed by activities you might pick up or start from new – just choose something small to begin with and build from there. Walking to work one day a week, going for a swim with a friend.  Increasing our daily activity by using stairs or walking to a colleague’s desk rather than emailing can begin to effect positive change.

Eat

We all know the benefits of healthy eating when it comes to our physical health but what about our mental health? Often our eating habits are connected to our moods and we can get caught up in unhealthy habits when we are feeling stressed and tired. Eating healthy meals with some regularity keeps our blood sugar levels in sync, this will stabilise our moods – ‘HANGRY’ really is a human condition. Find ways to adjust your eating habits and introduce nourishing food on a daily basis.

Sleep

Poor sleep has a negative effect on our emotional and physical wellbeing. The ideal amount of sleep is between seven and eight hours a night but we all have our own sleeping patterns. The most important thing is to create an atmosphere and routine where peaceful sleep can be encouraged. Simple steps like making sure the place we sleep is not the place where we work and that we do not engage in over stimulating activities or substances before bedtime are really helpful. Listening to calming music or stories can help ease us into sleep.

If sleep is difficult make sure that you are resting as and when you can to help you manage day to day. It might help to develop a mindfulness practice to help with breathing, calming and accepting. Make an appointment to speak with your GP to be sure there are no medical reasons for your sleep problems. Talking to a counsellor can be very helpful if you are experiencing chronic insomnia.

Learn

Why not consider taking up a hobby or learning something new. It can be a healthy distraction from the daily stressors and can generate a very positive energy in us. It opens up the opportunity to connect with others in a way that can feel safer that other social experiences and offers a very clear focus. It has the capacity to help us nurture our self-confidence and esteem and opens up the chance to feel of valued by others.

Play

Can you remember a time when you were deeply engaged in an activity or an exchange with another person? Often we have to think back to childhood to remember such freedom and connection. Try to encourage activities and relationships that make you feel good, that are safe and that you do just for the fun of it. Life is serious enough so making time for play is a worthwhile pursuit.

 

Be Kind

 

As you begin this process take a compassionate approach to yourself and your situation. Try not to judge how life has become, or the efforts you have or haven’t made towards change. Be curious and ask honest questions about how you are experiencing aspects of your life. Then begin with small changes to grow your confidence, this will give you the best chance possible to move towards your wellbeing hopes.

Join our Staff Counsellor Kate Ahl for 4 workshops on different aspects of wellbeing. Each session includes relaxation sessions, slide presentation and interactive exercises.

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