Wellbeing is a word that has become more prominent over the past 10 years. More and more organisations are starting to implement wellbeing strategies and employers are now providing specific wellbeing support for their employees.
All of these interventions show a positive change in people's attitude towards wellbeing. So what do we mean by 'wellbeing' and what impacts our sense of wellbeing?
There are many definitions of 'wellbeing' out there and they all differ slightly in their explanation. I like to keep things simple and have therefore opted for the Oxford Dictionary definition which is that wellbeing is.. "the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy".
I have been involved in developing a variety of wellbeing activities and interventions for clients and whilst they were all different, they did all have the same aim......to get employees away from their desks, help them to understand what wellbeing means and to provide them with time to reflect and consider their own wellbeing and how to make small changes to improve their sense of wellbeing.
This may sound like a small thing but it can have quite a powerful impact for some people. Our lives are so busy rushing to meetings, doing school runs, catching up on emails, trying to get through a never ending 'to do' list and so many other things. We very rarely have time to stop, pause and think about ourselves and how we're doing.
There are many resources out there that can help you to understand wellbeing and give you the chance to reflect on whether you should consider making some changes. Here is one I would recommend you take time to look at.
The Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW)
The Wheel of Well-being was designed in 2008 as part of a Big Lottery Well London’s programme. It is an ongoing collaboration between the Mental Health Promotion Team at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Uscreates and Maudsley International.
The WoW focusses on health and happiness both personal and professional. The WoW covers five key areas that impact on your wellbeing (shown below) and it suggests that making improvements in these areas of your life, or simply giving some of your time to focus on these areas can have a positive impact on your mood, reduce risk of depression, strengthen your relationships and support a healthy lifestyle.
The five areas on the wheel are:
1. Body - be active
Your body is the engine that powers your well-being. It’s designed to move. Physical activities like walking, waltzing or wii-ing can positively influence the way you think, feel and function. Practicing an activity you enjoy for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, is a necessary ingredient for a long and happy life.
2. Mind - keep learning
Studies are showing that life-long learners are some of the healthiest, happiest people around. Our well-being can improve by taking up a new hobby, practicing the piano or even struggling with Scrabble. Start WoWing your Mind now.
3. Spirit - give
Did you know that giving to others does amazing things like reducing your blood pressure and improving your sleep? Practicing random acts of kindness, volunteering time, or simply saying ‘thank-you’ all work wonders for your well-being.
4. People - connect
Close relationships with friends and family can add up to 7 years to our lives. That’s the same benefit as giving up smoking! So plan a party or get together for a gossip to connect more with the people around you.
5. Place - take notice
Noticing nature helps us press the pause button. It reduces the stress of our 21st-century ‘hurry-worry’ lives. Savouring our surroundings gives us, quite literally, more breathing space.
The WoW website (link shown above) also provides a wealth of resources and useful tips and activities for how to improve your life in each of these areas. Why not start today by simply doing a random act of kindness, or going for a walk outside at lunch time or even just giving thanks to someone at work.
It is these small things that all add up to create our sense of wellbeing.
If you or your organisation are interested in discussing wellbeing workshops, please get in touch via the contact page on this website or email on firstname.lastname@example.org