If you ask a group of people what it means to look after their wellbeing, it’s likely that each person will give a different answer. Common answers include exercise, mindfulness, listening to music.
So, what’s the right answer? How do you figure out what wellbeing tips actually work for you?
The key to looking after your own wellbeing is understanding that it’s YOURS. Different things work for different people. You get to decide how to look after it. For some, lying on your bed with a book for 10 minutes or treating yourself to a good coffee might work, for others, they need a strenuous exercise class or a relaxing yoga session.
What’s important is that:
- You’re acknowledging that you need to make time for your wellbeing
- You’re actively doing something about it
The importance of positive mental health and overall wellbeing is a common topic, but the rates of mental health problems and stress are still on the rise. In fact, a recent ESRI study found that job stress among employees in Ireland doubled from 8% in 2010 to 17% in 2015.
It’s easy to get distracted but paying attention to your wellbeing inside and outside of work really is vital.
For example, working in Office Support recruitment I’ve noticed PAs and secretaries often put others needs before their own. I have met with numerous candidates who have told me that they often sacrifice their lunch to get something completed in time for the person they are supporting.
We all know that long hours and multi-tasking is often the way within Office Support, and across most sectors in the current work climate. However, to achieve that elusive ‘work-life balance’, you need to manage your workload.
Here are 5 ways that we can act to improve our wellbeing, inspired by Mental Health Ireland:
- Connect – In real life, not just on the internet.
Make a conscious effort to put your phone away and have conversations with your family and colleagues. Evidence shows that good relationships with family, friends, colleagues and the wider community are important for mental wellbeing. Make that extra effort today to ask someone how they are or if you see someone struggling with a task offer to help.
2. Be Active
Active doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in the gym five times a week. Something as simple as a brisk 20-30 minute walk will impact your mood and mindset for the better. If you’re stuck for time, make the time – whether that be on your lunch break, before work or after work. Many companies now even offer programs such as yoga or personal training. Find a time that suits you and you’ll reap the benefits.
3. Take notice
It might sound cliché to say ‘enjoy the simple things in life’ but this is one of the best ways to improve your wellbeing. Take a second to appreciate the sky and the sunrise before running for your dart in the mornings. Saviour that first sip of coffee and appreciate how lucky you are to be fit and healthy enough to go to work in the morning!
4. Keep Learning
Again, it sounds like another cliché, but you are never too old to learn something new. Whether it’s a new recipe, reading a book or taking a formal class to upskill.
Evidence shows learning new things as an adult boosts self-esteem, creativity and emotional resilience. Lifelong learning is also becoming more expected in a work setting, so if you’ve been putting off a certain class or training take this as a sign to take action today.
Do something nice for someone every day. Yes, every day! Whether it’s a colleague, a family member or a stranger. We all have our own struggles (however big or small) and a random act of kindness really can make a difference. Kindness also releases feel-good hormones, so it really is a win win.
These are only guidelines and it’s up to you to decide what works for you. The key to improving your wellness is to keep it simple. Take small steps every day and you will see a difference.
If all else fails and everything seems to be going wrong – I like to reflect on this old Irish proverb ‘a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything’.
Interested in more articles like this? Visit our wellbeing at work section. If you’re looking for a new job, particularly Office Support jobs within Legal and Professional Services firms, get in touch – I’d be delighted to advise.