There are many strands to our life that contribute to our wellbeing. Here are perhaps the most intrinsic:
Career / Vocation
Our career / vocation is probably the place where we will spend most of our waking hours for most of our adult life. It makes sense therefore to make sure we are in a role or working for a company where we feel valued and accepted, positively challenged and encouraged to grow. Importantly, it aligns with our values and we feel fulfilled. At least most of the time!
If we’re not feeling happy with our work over a prolonged period of time, it is quite likely that the impact this has on us will leak into the others areas of our lives as well. We might fill conversations with our loved ones about our job, we might feel anxious, stressed or depressed, and start to lose motivation and energy for what normally brings us joy. And we may find ourselves turning to unhealthy habits to cope, further impacting our sense of losing control.
Consider roles where your talents and skills would be best utilised.
Consider whether existing issues could be overcome or improved with tweaks such as having an open and honest conversation with your manager, additional training, improved time management etc before looking for a new job.
Get clear on your vision of your ideal future and ensure you’re working towards it.
Consider whether reducing your hours to accommodate other interests or responsibilities would help.
Another element of our wellbeing is money. Having a good relationship with your money is essential. There is an important message with regards to wanting more and that is that your spending will adjust the more you earn, so will there ever be enough?
Learning to live within your means and manage your money, regardless of how much you have, along with the added bonus of practicing gratitude for all it affords you (whether it’s the basic essentials or more refined luxuries), can pay dividends towards a healthy bank balance.
Stick to a budget every month
Put some aside for emergencies
Plan for the future – what do you need in 5, 10, 20 years?
Prioritize the most important purchases
Mental / Emotional
The brain is a muscle that requires regular exercise to keep it strong and agile, much like the other muscles in our bodies. This can help improve memory, focus and clarity and decision-making and much more. Becoming more aware of our thoughts also brings more awareness to our emotions, which influence our actions, behaviours, habits and even our physical health. This invaluable awareness can help us learn to cope with life’s difficulties in more healthy ways as well as understand ourselves (and others!) much better.
Checklist of activities and ideas:
Regularly go outside your comfort zone (eg take a different route to work, try new foods)
Learn a new hobby, language or try a different exercise
Travel to a different town, different country, different continent
Read books and informative articles
Hang around people who inspire and challenge your thinking
Learn how to reduce stress and overwhelm
Know your boundaries and implement them
Learn your triggers, the underlying causes and healthier ways to cope or respond
Build a support system and be a good provider too
Cultivate more compassion for yourself and others
We all know we need to move our bodies on the daily. The human body was not made to sit for long periods never mind all day behind and desk and then all evening in front of the telly. We need to get the breath and blood flowing, the muscles working, the bones strengthening, the digestive system moving, the brain focusing….
And this also includes being mindful of what we eat and drink. No amount of exercise can undo the effects of an unhealthy diet. If we want our bodies to perform well, if we want to be happy with our bodies, we need to love the foods that will love us back.
Quick checklist of ideas and suggestions:
Incorporate more movement into your day wherever possible. Take regular breaks to stretch the body and eyes, if sitting in front of a screen for a long time.
Schedule in exercise to your weekly timetable and make it a non-negotiable.
Choose exercises you enjoy as you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Choose whole foods wherever possible, limiting the processed foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and salt.
Control your portion sizes but ensure you eat a good amount (and good variety) of fruits, vegetables and salad at every meal.
Avoid snacking on sugary/unhealthy fat snacks – always keep a healthier option to hand so you’re not caught off guard.
Cut back on or quit smoking, alcohol and any other little Go-To habit you use to self-medicate, numb or distract yourself. Get help with this if you need it as it can take a lot of work alone!
Build up and maintain a good awareness of how you feel at your best so you can recognise and act early if you notice first signs of illness
A spiritual practice includes following a set of morals, ethics and values that not only help guide us along the path of life but also cultivates hope, faith and direction. It helps us open our minds and hearts with a sense of curiosity and desire to live life with meaning.
Get clear on your values and morals
Meet everyone with a sense of curiosity and acceptance
Spend time meditating or in stillness every day
Practice mindfulness and presence in every moment
Tune into your life purpose and make it your reality
Your surroundings can have a direct influence on your mind, your emotions and your energy levels. Calm spaces inspire relaxation and ease, chaotic, cluttered rooms may feel suffocating or muddle our minds, outdoor spaces with dark corners may feel scary and wide open landscapes of fields might help us feel expansive and free. Use this awareness to create safe, comfortable spaces that support their intended use.
Clear clutter from rooms and spaces
Choose colours and furnishings that inspire the intended use of the room (eg calming colours in the bedroom)
Add lamps in dark corners and on side tables for softer lighting
Have a designated quiet space for spiritual rituals and practices
If you can, separate your workspace from your sleeping space
Social / Community
Humans love connection and thrive when feeling they belong. Getting involved with the local community and local groups can not only help with this, but can also help us feel we’re part of something larger than ourselves. Bonuses are it improves social skills, provides opportunities network and build new connections, contribute to worthy causes and improves the community as a whole.
Join local groups that interest you
If there isn’t something you’re interested in, start up a group yourself
Get to know your neighbours, at least on a polite ‘hello’ basis when you pass them in the street to build familiarity and a sense of community around you
An interesting and enlightening exercise would be to look at each area and evaluate your level of contentment, rating it on a scale of 1-10 and then reviewing the findings to reveal any areas that may need some love and attention.
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