Wellbeing | It starts with you!

Wellbeing | It starts with you!

Ideas and inspiration to help you take care of your wellbeing

A culture of wellbeing, driven by excellent people management, is good for employees and good for business. It makes the workplace a more productive, attractive and socially responsible place to work.

In our third wellbeing session, we explored the familiar cycle of change in the context of embedding a culture of wellbeing. At the very centre lies you. Managing people and their health and wellbeing is no small feat. If you want to be successful in driving wellbeing change (or indeed anything you undertake), you first have to take care of your wellbeing!

HR must look after its own mental health at this time of crisis

An article published in People Management magazine earlier this year on mental health, hit the nail on the head for many of us. Historically, People professionals aren’t great at looking after themselves, tending to forget about their needs. One thing we all have in common is the need to maintain our wellbeing for ourselves, our families, friends and colleagues. (Andrews, 2020) As the author so rightly pointed out, ‘ironically our lack of self care, only increases as more demand is placed on us.’

The article goes on to stress that our ability to support our organisations depends on us being fit and well, mentally, physically and financially. The road ahead is long for people professionals. Our employees look to us for support and resources. But, it’s not only the now; we’re looking to prepare for recovery post-pandemic and we will not pick-up where we left off before Covid-19 changed our lives. Embedding new ways of working: implications for the post-pandemic workplace

‘Our profession is shining in this current time of crisis, but more shining will still be required, so please take care of you too.’

What do you do for your wellbeing?

During the session, our attendees work in small groups discussing and sharing their wellbeing techniques; what worked well for them but also what techniques weren’t quite so successful.

The importance of sleep figured highly on people’s lists, along with walks. To still the mind one attendee suggested making a note of any thoughts you need to follow-up on, so you can then stop thinking about it, safe in the knowledge that when it’s time you can pick up on the idea you’ve had or the task you need to complete. Another good positive psychology exercise suggested, involved identifying three good things that have happened each day. If you’re on Twitter use the hashtag #3GoodThings

Additional tips included eating in moderation ‘don’t have to give up what you love just have it less and less often’, drink lots of water stay hydrated, and one we love is using outdoor virtual backgrounds to lift the spirits of those with whom you’re meeting (provided it’s not a formal meeting where the authenticity might be more appropriate).

We also shared some tools and techniques we use. The Wellbeing Wheel is a good tool to take a ‘temperature check’ at regular intervals. Not only does the tool encourage you to reflect on the life you’re living, considering not just happiness levels, but also the value of the nested domains that constitute human well-being (Henriques, Kleinman and Asselin, 2014).

We also explored The 5 ways to wellbeing approach to help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. You may recognise the technique which is used by the NHS and many mental health organisations.

We can’t talk about wellbeing without mentioning technology; we asked our attendees to think about their screen usage and particularly to consider that constitutes helpful versus harmful screen time. We suggested setting a routine with particular emphasis on free-time both in the morning and in the evening. Quality online moments might include sourcing recipes or watching video tutorials on preparing healthy meals or to discovering new hobbies and alternative forms of exercise. We suggested some activities away from the screen including puzzles, reading, drawing, cooking and other hobbies.

Finally, during our session, we asked all those connected to stand (or sit) up and stretch as high as physically possible and to reach for the ceiling. Then we asked them to stretch even higher, pushing hem beyond what they though themselves capable of achieving. Just before we opened our meeting, we all had a good stretch too, joined and encouraged by our dynamic Wellbeing lead, Paul Hamlin.

If you would like to contribute to some healthy employee wellbeing discussions, join us in February 2021 for our next session.

Many thanks to Paul Hamlin our Wellbeing Lead or such a practical session and to Steven Berry, Wasim Mir, Teodora Calin, Rebecca Westaway and Scott Simpson for their help in preparing and facilitating the session on the night! You can view the slidedeck below.


References

Andrews, A., 2020. HR must look after its own mental health at this time of crisis. People Management, [online] Available at: <https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/voices/comment/hr-must-look-after-mental-health-time-crisis&gt; [Accessed 11 November 2020].

Henriques, G., Kleinman, K. and Asselin, C., 2014. The Nested Model of Well-Being: A Unified Approach. Review of General Psychology, 18(1), pp.7-18.