Head of People
You’d have to be living in a cave with your internet connection down to have missed the media attention around “well-being”. It’s great this topic has been getting the airplay it needs, and even the Royals are on board, but what does it actually mean?
Today on International Stress Awareness Day, we explore the cornerstones of positive well-being. It might be a good idea to score yourself for each area and see where there may be room for improvement.
Worrying about bills and debt can be a huge cause of stress and anxiety. Thoughts about how to manage our finances can permeate the working day, whilst also causing sleepless nights. In the UK, financial worries topped the list of concerns, which was backed up by 30% of employees surveyed. Money worries can be extremely detrimental to our health, but there is help available. If you’re struggling to make ends meet you might consider:
Sometimes we plough on, only acting after strain has turned into stress. Having good mental health means feeling equipped to cope with the normal pressures of life. We know better than anyone else what “normal” is for us: Perhaps we feel more irritable than usual, more withdrawn from friends and family, or we might be starting to feel overwhelmed. Being in-tune with how we’re feeling and taking action as soon as possible is key to positive mental health, to do this you may think about:
The mind and body are linked, and when you improve your physical health you’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being. If we eat poorly, we have less energy to be active, and this is when illnesses can start to occur. Physical exercise, which releases happy hormones into the body, has been proven to be as effective as anti-depressants. If the gym doesn’t do it for you, find something you do enjoy, like dancing or walking the dog. Again there are lots of great resources out there:
Your phone might recently have started telling you how many hours you’re spending online; and there are other digital well-being apps to see how glued you are to your handset. Unfortunately, these won’t actually make your phone less addictive. If you know you’re reaching for the technology too often, you’ll need to take charge and replace this habit with something more conducive to well-being. Reclaim your evenings and be protective of your personal time, ring a loved one over checking those work emails! Perhaps you struggle more with checking social media. A significant amount of research suggests that many of us are now addicted to checking our social media channels. From 2014 to 2016, the number of accidents on the road attributed to mobile phone usage rose from 8% to 31%. If you think you’re spending too much time online, whatever the reason, you could:
We know work shouldn’t have a negative impact on us; and we don’t want to be overloaded, stress, or experience conflict with colleagues. But is work having a positive impact on your wellbeing? Do you feel as stimulated and challenged as you want to be? We know that feeling under-utilised can be as stressful as being over-stretched, and we are creatures who naturally love to learn and grow. Work can play an important role in social wellbeing, helping you feel connected, supported, and having a sense of belonging to something. Speak to your line manager if these areas are falling short for you and, if you can’t get the job satisfaction you need, it might be time for a move.
We need to take a holistic approach if we want to feel happy and fulfilled. Financial, mental, physical and social well-being all play a key part in keeping us healthy. We can fail if we try to change too many things, so give the one thing that will make the biggest difference to you personally your full attention. Once mastered, you can move on to the next thing that will help you have a healthy and happy 2019.
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