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World Wellbeing Week

2023 signifies the 5th year of World Wellbeing Week. The perfect opportunity to raise awareness around the significance of wellbeing and explore ways we can prioritise looking after ourselves.

When we think of wellbeing there’s not one particular definition that comes to mind. However, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers have focused much more on what wellbeing really means. They’ve since defined it as ‘a state of positive feelings and meeting full potential in the world.’ In other words, wellbeing is not just about having good physical health. It’s much more centred around how an individual feels and their ability to cope with daily life. Let’s jump in and take a look at simple steps you can start to implement to enrich your wellbeing:

1. Are you getting enough sleep?

As we spend almost a 1/3rd of our lives asleep, it’s unsurprising this involuntary process can have a sizable impact on our wellbeing. Sleep is vital for our brains to recover, regenerate and function effectively during the day. Lack of sufficient sleep has been linked to psychological distress and mental health problems for years, so shouldn’t be overlooked! outlines key ways we can improve our sleep quality:

  • Cut down on alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
  • Take some time to do regular aerobic exercise, like light jogging or cycling.
  • Ensure the noise, light, temperature and ventilation of your bedroom is set to what makes you most comfortable.
  •  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is helpful to tackle more severe cases like insomnia.

2. Make sure you’re taking breaks

Work can be pretty stressful, let’s be honest, and it’s all too easy for us to sacrifice breaks in order to ‘get it done’. But, the easy solution isn’t always the best solution. Research shows taking breaks throughout the day has a positive effect on wellbeing and productivity, and even reduces the recovery time needed after.

Here are a few tips to help you slot in those valuable minutes of rest:

  • Use timers, calendars and post-it notes to schedule breaks into your busy day.
  • Start using breaks to do something you enjoy and look forward to such as grabbing food from your favourite café.
  • Take social breaks with your peers to remind yourself of the value of a work-life balance.

3. Communication is key

Communication isn’t a very obvious contributor to wellbeing. However, it’s a vital tool we need to connect with others and ourselves, aka maintaining any sort of quality of life! Unfortunately, communication skills don’t always come easy and this can affect multiple areas of our lives, from personal relationships to our role in the workplace. So, let’s run through a couple of small ways you can improve your communication skills:

  • Always listen so other people feel heard.
  • Check up on your body language - are you keeping eye contact?
  • Talk to people like you’d talk to yourself; treat everyone as equals.
  • Try and maintain a positive attitude in any situation.

4. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is described as maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts. In other words, it’s a chance for us to get outside our own heads for a minute and enjoy the world around us. It’s a great practice to appreciate little things we may have taken for granted before, and deal with stress and problems more productively.

The NHS website makes helpful recommendations for how we can be more mindful:

  • Try new hobbies to experience the world in different ways.
  •  Be more aware of your thoughts and help keep them calm through soothing activities like walking or yoga.
  • Discover different exercises such as tai-chi and meditation to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.

5. Look after your physical health

Although health is not the same as wellbeing, it still significantly impacts how we feel. There’s a whole list of benefits to spending more time eating well and engaging in some form of physical activity:

  • Improves mood
  • Reduces symptoms of stress
  • Reduces anger
  • Alleviate anxiety
  • Slows cognitive decline

You’re probably already clued up on what to do to improve physical health, however, it’s always worth refreshing your mind about the tiny changes we can make to feel better in our bodies. Drinking enough water, getting your steps in, eating more vegetables, cutting down on alcohol and limiting the amount of processed foods you eat are all simple lifestyle changes that can have a long-lasting positive effect on your wellbeing!

We hope this blog has allowed you to take a second out of your day to check up on your own wellbeing and act as a reminder of how important prioritising self-care is. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or in need of more support, we’ve compiled a list below of some of the UK’s top organisations to reach out to:

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