“We are embedding health and wellbeing at the heart of our business strategy because our people are our greatest asset, and we recognise that a healthy, happy and committed workforce is vital to our business success.” – Alex Gourlay, MD, Boots UK
What is wellbeing? Most of us perceive wellbeing as being an overall state of happiness, comfort and good health, which, of course, is accurate. Indeed, so accurate that it is how it is defined in the Oxford Dictionary. However, although that definition is plain, simple, clear and concise, it is, at the same time, pretty vague.
As when building anything, whether it be building or lifestyle, the elements are what make the whole. We must focus on all of the areas of specific wellbeing in order to gain overall wellbeing. This can be neatly organised into five sections. Once each of these areas is focused on an understood, you will be much better equipped to work out which parts of your life might require a bit of TLC. Not only does this make for a more complete lifestyle of wellness, it also makes the ultimate goal much easier to achieve.
1. Wellbeing as Part of Your Social Life
Social wellbeing does not only apply to your social life, it is also a huge part of your workplace wellbeing. Cultivating healthy relationships in all areas of your life is important. This involves careful consideration about all relationships. Who are your closest friends and relatives? Is everything good between you, or are there things that need addressing? Are there people in your life that are simply taking from you and not giving; offering one-way relationships? Honesty and openness are the way to nurturing healthy connections with others. If there are unresolved issues, perhaps it is time you tried to address those. If there are people in your life that you feel are harming your wellbeing, perhaps its time to have a chat, or even a think about how prominent they should be in your life.
2. Wellbeing in Your Career
Workplace wellbeing, as briefly mentioned above, is in large part about how you get on with the people that you pend your working hours with. We often don’t get on famously with every single person in our workplace, but approaching everyone with kindness makes an enormous difference; your connection may not always be deep, but it will be positive none-the-less.
Career wellbeing also includes whether you are happy in your industry? Is this the kind of job you are happy in, or do you desire a completely different career path? Does your current job support a healthy work/life balance? Do you feel comfortable and safe at work? These are all questions worth asking yourself.
3. Financial Wellbeing
For some of us, money is important, for others, financial success is not so important. Having said that, financial stability is important to everyone. For better or for worse, feeling financially stable has a huge positive knock-on effect to our overall wellbeing. Of course, this is all tied into your workplace wellbeing, and whether you are being adequately paid for what you do and the experience you have from moment to moment when at work.
Money is sometimes an uncomfortable subject to ponder on. However, financial stability is not simply about earning more money, it is about management and about making wise financial choices both in reference to big purchases and lifestyle habits. Perhaps its time to put your spending under scrutiny!
4. Physical Wellbeing
Feeling happy and comfortable in one’s body is hard in 2019. The conflicting messages around body image make it tricky to feel confident in the body that you live in. Therefore, making conscious choices about how you treat your body, both physically and mentally, is important.
Exercise does not have to involve intense weight-lifting or marathons, regular walks in nature count as well! I know that one exercise session can radically change how I feel about my body, regardless of whether my appearance has changed much. Endorphins are amazing, important things, and should be sought after!
5. Mental Wellbeing
This is perhaps the most important element and is tied into all of the other elements. Whatever your circumstance, there are many simple things that can be done in order to nurture your mental relationship to your current situation. All hard times are made much easier to deal with if you have a clear, calm, level and pragmatic head on your shoulders. Take time for yourself. Meditate. Relax. Love yourself, and all other elements of wellbeing will appear to be considerably easier to obtain.
By Chris Thomson
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to use on the path to overall wellbeing: The Overall Health Benefits of Mindfulness
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