If you’re tired of being too hard on yourself, of feeling stressed out and having no energy, focusing on your wellbeing will turn things around for you.
I know from experience that if I don’t make my wellbeing a priority I end up miserable, stressed and anxious. It’s so easy to get caught up in rushing around, working and running a home that making time for self care is right at the bottom of the list.
If you google wellbeing it's defined as a state of being comfortable, happy and healthy.
I see wellbeing as being comfortable in your own skin, happy with your life and mentally and physically well. You can manage your stress, know when to ask for help, are confident and resilient. You have a clear sense of purpose and know how to care for yourself. You’re content and have positive relationships.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
So, how can you improve your wellbeing?
From spending time working on my own wellbeing I've narrowed wellbeing down to 10 different elements ....start focusing on these and you will start to see some improvements in your stress levels, your energy levels and how you feel about yourself.
In no order at all, each factor has it's own merits and some will be more important to you than others.
1. Make time for rest & relaxation
Knowing how and when to relax are vital to maintaining a healthy mental state, as is having enough good quality sleep. When we don’t sleep well this can interfere in all aspects of our life, we make mistakes, are short tempered, have no energy and just don’t function well.
2. Eat healthily
What we choose to fuel our bodies with has an affect on how we feel both physically and mentally. We all know that feeling of when we've eaten foods that are high in fat and sugar; it feels good at the time but later we feel groggy and irritable. Making the effort to have a balanced nutritious diet can have a real positive effect on our state of wellbeing; when you eat well you feel well.
3. Connect with others
Feeling alone and isolated can really affect our wellbeing. Humans are social animals and we need close relationships and a sense of community; a sense of belonging. The best relationships are those where we have a sense of connection, where someone really knows us; our true authentic self, our darkest thoughts, our dreams and desires. We need to feel loved for who we are without fear of judgement to really thrive.
4. Have a sense of purpose
Having a sense of purpose gives our lives meaning and helps us to be more resilient; meaning we can handle life’s ups and downs. Studies have shown that having a sense of purpose helps us to live longer and have better relationships. Learning gives us a sense of purpose, of engaging in something meaningful and worthwhile as well as developing new skills and building our confidence. Being open to learning and growth is an important part of wellbeing, it’s the understanding that life is fluid, nothing stays the same and we need to change too, to be open to new experiences, to meet life’s changing demands.
5. Manage your stress
Effective stress management is about noticing when you’re stressed, knowing how to relax and knowing the difference between things you can control and those you can’t. Most importantly, it’s about having the ability to keep things in perspective and being able to chose how you respond to stressful situations.
6. Tend to your physical environment
I strongly believe that our physical environment affects our wellbeing, not just the noise levels, pollution, light and temperature. There is a lot to be said for having a comfortable environment, whether this is at work or at home. I know that when my home gets messy and cluttered I begin to feel out of control and find it difficult to focus, when it’s tidy, light and airy my mind feels spacious, I find it easier to relax and focus.
7. Be Kind to yourself
Your relationship with yourself is the most important one in your life, it’s the longest relationship you’re going to have and how you feel about and treat yourself has a massive impact on your wellbeing. I could write reams here but to keep it simple it’s all about our self-talk and our personal boundaries. Our self-talk is a key factor in our sense of wellbeing. How can we feel good about ourselves if we’re too hard on ourselves and constantly putting ourselves down? What I mean by personal boundaries is having the ability to say no, to live life according to our values and to have the courage to stand up for these values.
8. Move More
You don’t need me to tell you about how important regular exercise is not only for our physical health but also for our emotional states. Feeling energised, flexible and strong can help us to feel good about ourselves. I personally hate going to the gym, I’ve tried and I really hate it, I’ve come to realise it’s not for me and I’m OK with that. I’ve found other ways of keeping active that I really enjoy and look forward to. The key here is finding a way of keeping active that makes you happy.
9. Express your creativity
When we think of creativity we tend to think of the creative arts and I’m sure that most of us would say that we aren’t creative. However, creativity is about so much more than producing art work, it’s about taking risks, being open to new possibilities and most of all about having fun. It’s about coming up with our own ideas, problem solving and making our own decisions, we can apply creativity to our whole life, expressing our true selves.
10. Be Present
And last but definitely not least is the art of being present. It’s all too easy to get caught up with ruminating about the past or worrying about the future but being present allows us to appreciate what is going on, right now, in this moment, to enjoy and savour life as it is. Countless studies have shown how important a regular mindfulness practice is for wellbeing.
If you want support in improving your wellbeing and developing a regular self care routine then working with a coach (like me) can be really beneficial; you’ll get support with setting and achieving realistic goals, motivation and accountability.
What can you do today to improve your wellbeing?
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