What Does “Wellbeing” Mean?

World Wellbeing Week – 21st-30th June

This month features World Wellbeing Week, a series of events giving an opportunity for participants worldwide to promote overall awareness of the wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing.

But when it comes to wellbeing, what does it mean to you?

Some activities deplete your energy and others replenish it. It’s all about knowing what works for you. Self care is a crucial activity to include in your life to boost your wellbeing, so that you are not running on empty, and have something left to give to yourself and then to others.

Think about the excuses you give yourself to stop spending time on boosting your wellbeing… can you hear them in your head right now?  We need to change the rhetoric, and think about how you can proactively address those excuses or obstacles.

What is wellbeing?

When it comes to wellbeing there is such a variety of activities you can do to boost your physical and mental wellbeing. Common areas are physical exercise, social connection, learning new skills, practicing mindfulness and being kind to others.

Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” However, it is important to realise that wellbeing is a much broader concept than in the moment happiness. While it does includes happiness, it also includes other things, such as how satisfied people are with their life a whole, their understanding of their sense of purpose, and how in control they feel with the life that they have.

Our emotional, physical and mental state can be a fluctuating thing – by working on ways to continually boost our wellbeing we can protect ourselves from the moments that are harder in life and celebrate the good times in a more secure way. Wellbeing is multi-faceted in it’s nature and is often made up of the four intertwined ‘pillars’ of emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing.

Building powerful positive habits to create a sense of wellbeing that is right for you is crucial yet shouldn’t be complicated. It will require consistency and effort to establish these positive habits but they should become second nature to you.

So what positive habits do you want to build?  Self care and boosting your wellbeing should never be about what you think you ‘should’ be doing or the lifestyle trend of the moment.  These activities need to nourish your body, mind and soul so it is about choosing activities that resonate with you, that you want to practice day in day out and that lift you up and energise you.

Non-Negotiables

We can build resilience and boost our mindset by making sure that our “non-negotiables” are in our every day life. Start thinking about what the things that you need to have in your life, your “non-negotiables” in order to make sure that you’re living the best life that you can. Think about the things that you need to do in your day-to-day life to feel good, to make you happy, smiling, feeling like life is working.

It could be:

  • Gratitude Journaling
  • Having a daily run
  • Yoga twice a week
  • Enjoying a green smoothie each morning
  • A phone call with your best friend once a week

It’s great to have a checklist of these things, because there’s something really gratifying about ticking things off when you’ve achieved them. Tracking your non-negotiables to make sure that you’re doing the things that are important to you is a great way to build a consistent habit, so that at the end of that day, you feel that life is working for you.

Focus on what is truly essential

Often in life, we are not spending time doing the thing that we really want to be doing or spending time with the people we really care about.  This is something we can control and we can change even if we feel that life is creating barriers to doing this.  Try the exercise below to give you a little perspective on life and how you can make some changes for the better to boost your wellbeing.

Take some time out and sit down with a comforting drink, a notebook and an open mind.  Think about the following areas of your life and the question: How truly satisfied are you with them on a scale of 0-10; 10 being the most satisfied.  This is about the areas of life that aremost important to you and how much time you spend on them right now so feel free to add anything onto the list.

  • Health and fitness
  • Time for you
  • Friendships
  • Work/career
  • Side hustle or extra curricular activities
  • Family
  • Travel
  • Mental wellbeing

A lot of people tend to be spending more time on their work, whilst the things that matter most on the list, they are least satisfied with because they are not focusing time and energy there; such as children, health, friendships. Spend some time thinking and journaling what surprises you with your results above and how you can go on to do things differently to boost your numbers up to 10 out of 10. 

You are in control of your own wellbeing, as well as seeking support from those around you and the appropriate organisations, you can boost your wellbeing in a number of ways so long as you give yourself time and space to focus on what you want to change and take steps to move forward to achieve it.

You are in control.

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