• Kate Maxwell

What is Wellbeing?

Updated: Oct 7

Looking to make a positive change but don’t know how? Heard of ‘wellbeing’ but unsure if its right for you? Maybe you’re already on your journey, but are interested to know more? Wherever you sit, looking after our health and wellbeing has never been more important. The best part – you don’t need to make huge changes to your daily life to reap the benefits. Below are five ways, or simple little actions we can incorporate into our everyday lives in order to improve the wellbeing of our families, communities and ourselves.

First up, it is important to look at the basis of what wellbeing is. Understanding what our end goal looks like can help us to appreciate the steps it takes to improve or change our day-to-day habits. Imagine wellbeing as the structures that make up a house – four strong, sturdy walls, secure foundations and a roof over our head. When the house is intact we feel safe, complete and empowered. But, if at any point one of our walls is missing or damaged, our overall wellbeing can be compromised and affected. Now imagine our house is made up of four main cornerstones or walls. Each of these walls requires an equal measure of strength and attention in order to keep our house balanced and upright. These are the overall foundations of our wellbeing. The four sides of our house consist of Physical Wellbeing (our physical health and fitness), Mental and Emotional Wellbeing (our mental health and outlook on life), Social Wellbeing (our friends, family and relationships) and Spiritual Wellbeing (our beliefs and values). This model can support us as we individually try to further understand our own wellbeing and health requirements and limitations. Every one of us will have a different view on exactly how the four cornerstones are important, with some taking priority over others. This understanding can enlighten us as to what steps we need to put in place, ensuring our structure remains balanced and whole throughout.

While setting up the foundation of our structures is crucial, there can always be room for slight improvements to our overall general wellbeing. These can come in many forms, but often simple and quick actions can be the most effective. These five actions below can be introduced into our lifestyle anywhere, at any time. Designed to help you refocus, gain greater enjoyment out of life and give you that well-deserved break, building these quick and easy factors into your day-to-day life can really help to boost your health and wellbeing. Check out these five ways below, as well as some example ideas of how you could incorporate these into your daily lifestyle.

Connect

Humans are largely pack animals. We need social interaction to survive. Not only does this connection help strengthen our bonds with others; it can also help to provide a sense of love, protection and safety. Connect with the relationships all around you – whether it be talking to family or friends, or getting to know your neighbours, colleagues, or sports team.

· Organise a catch up with a friend or family member. Try going out for coffee or pick up the phone for a chat.

· Smile at a stranger or say hello to a store assistant – you might be pleasantly surprised by the response!

· Join a new club or team. Not only can this be great for learning a new skill or hobby, but is also a great opportunity to connect with others.

Give

Doing something nice for another, no matter how big or small is a great way to connect and spread happiness. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture – sometimes your time, words or presence is enough.

· When talking to someone, take the time to actively listen to what they have to say. Sometimes sitting quietly is enough.

· Offer a compliment to let someone know what he or she has done well.

· Donate old clothes, books and toys to charity.

Take Notice

The world can be a busy place. However we are fortunate that there is so much beauty in it, if only we pause for a second to take it in. Stop and take notice of the world around you. Tune in to how you are feeling and reflect on those experiences that have had an effect on you.

· Try getting out into nature for a break. This could be a quick stroll in your lunch break, or bush walks with friends.

· Try mindful meditation where you focus on your breathing. Notice if it is shallow or deep, fast or slow.

· When in a busy location, try people watching. Taking notice of the interactions of others can give you pause to consider your own actions and routines.

Keep Learning

How lucky are we that in our ever-changing and evolving world there is always something new to learn? The days of mandatory trigonometry and spelling homework may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep challenging ourselves to learn a new skill or embrace new opportunities.

· Try learning a new language or recipe. There are so many options, so find one that fits you best. Maybe try learning a musical instrument or starting a DIY project instead?

· Put your hand up for a new opportunity at work – you never know where it’ll take you!

· Travel to a new place and learn everything you can about their culture and history – even if it’s only in a book!

Be Active

Being active is a great way to lift our mood and support our physical health. Exercise helps to flood our body with good endorphins, and best of all there’s an activity to suit everybody. Move within your limits and enjoy what you do.

· Go for a walk, jog or bike in the fresh air. Increase your heart rate and get a sweat up for the best benefits.

· Try getting out into the garden for some weeding or planting. Both your body and your garden will thank you for it!

· Keep active in your day-to-day, by building exercise into your normal routines. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or park an extra block away. You might like to read about how time outside can improve our mental health.

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