“Wellbeing is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself”
There is so much publicised about wellbeing yet many of us still struggle with attaining it.
So, what might help us to weave wellbeing into our day to day lives?
Tip 1 – Prioritise yourself
Many of us have been conditioned to feel shame when we think of prioritising ‘ourselves’ but it’s a critical life skill to prioritise ourselves enough so that we can regularly attend to our wellbeing. It is in fact one of our basic responsibilities to ourselves and to one another .
“you must put your own mask on before helping others with theirs”
Tip 2 – Check your boundaries
“Boundaries are the distance at which /I can love you and me simultaneously”
Ineffective boundaries often stand in the way of us being able to attend to our own wellbeing.
How many times have you prioritised others over yourself and then felt annoyed with yourself for doing so? How often do you say yes to things because of social or hierarchical pressure even though you don’t want or don’t think you should be saying yes? To what extent, do you take on responsibility for other peoples’ problems which, by rights, they should be owning’? What tasks do you simply pick up because others haven’t done them or not done them as you might like? Only we can limit or stop this from happening (read Eric Berne’s theory about parent, adult, child communication patterns if you are struggling with this).
That might mean asking for and accepting help, stepping away from the mindset of ‘only I can do this’, being more demanding of bosses who insist that everything is a priority or family who sees you as the one to do everything around the house. None of us is an infinite resource.
Tip 3 – Have wellbeing routines that suit you uniquely
What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another so make sure you choose ways of looking after yourself that suit you and your lifestyle.
Work out your ‘reset’ routine – a routine that tends to restore you after you have been through a particularly demanding time. It might include simple things like reconnecting with your family, a good meal, a hot bath, a long sleep, a workout and some good tv! Whatever it is that works for you. Once you are conscious of what it is, use it to deliberately ‘reset and restore’ yourself even if sometimes, necessity means that you have to do an abbreviated version of it.
Tip 4 – Rebalance yourself
Think about antidotes to whatever is currently using up your resources. So, if you feel you’re not getting anywhere, do smaller tasks which you can easily get done, to give you that sense of completion that many of us crave. If you feel your life is too crammed, take some time to be still and this will help rejuvenate your mind. If you feel like everything around you is uncertain, prioritise routines in your life to give you more certainty.
Tip 5 – Look after the four core aspects of your wellbeing
Find ways of looking after yourself across the four core aspects of your wellbeing rather than just focusing in one area i.e.
(you can find more detail about how in the Whole ‘Being’ Wellbeing? article.
If you find yourself feeling low, it might be that you have given some of these areas insufficient attention.
Tip 6 – Have a good morning routine
The most successful people in life, often list a good morning routine amongst their habits.
There appears to be something very valuable about ‘framing’ our day before we start it. Doing things for our minds and bodies which make us feel good and setting positive intentions.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of picking up your phone as soon as you wake, checking emails, news, weather and social media. Maybe switching on the tv before grabbing a shower and breakfast but does a routine like that help our wellbeing?
People who start their day more ‘mindfully’ if you like, resist connecting to the world at all until they have connected with themselves. They do this through practices such as stretching, yoga or working out, often followed by meditation/mindfulness activities and maybe then, thinking about what they want to get out of the day as well as setting a positive intention about how they would like to feel throughout the day – maybe by setting an intention to be happy whatever happens. This shouldn’t take that much longer but if it requires getting out of bed a few minutes earlier, it’s worth it.
Tip 7 – Take steps now
Take as many steps to wellbeing as you can each day and flex where you need to – understanding that sometimes you’ll be able to take more steps than others.
Tip 8 – Make attending to your wellbeing a habit
As with any habit, we need to give ourselves time to form it through trial, error and a positive attitude to our learning, until we can be confident that we have built it into the rhythm of our lives. The enjoyable feelings we get from the benefits are what’s most likely to convince us.
Think of wellbeing as a series of healthy routines and/or rituals which make us feel good and support us throughout our lives.