Life is busy, and I love that. I am the sort of person who enjoys having a diary packed full of work, voluntary commitments, and studying, amongst other things. I used to think that managing wellbeing was a luxury, not a necessity, reserved for those with more time on their hands. I used to wonder, ?how does anyone possibly find the time to look after their wellbeing?? Sound familiar? I?ve learnt a valuable lesson over the years: taking the time to manage my wellbeing is the best way to ensure I can continue my busy lifestyle without burning out.
I?d like to share with you my favourite wellbeing tip: the Five Ways to Wellbeing. The reason I love this technique is because they are really simple actions, split into five categories, that are easy to fit into a busy schedule. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give. So how do I fit these into my busy week?
Connecting with my friends over a coffee is so important to me. My friends are my social buffer, the people I know I can talk to when I am struggling or finding things difficult. Building strong relationships with the people around us really helps us boost our wellbeing, and socialising with friends gives us some down-time away from the rush of our daily lives.
Being active and exercising regularly is important to me, and during some of my most difficult struggles with anxiety I found that the more I ran, the less symptoms I experienced. I continue to run as much as I can to maintain that control – plus, it helps me keep my weight down!! Now, I?m not suggesting that anybody who reads this blog has to sign up for the next London Marathon to manage their wellbeing, a brisk walk is as good as anything for keeping active.
I keep a small notebook on my bedside table, which I call my ?positive book?. Every night I write down three good things that happened that day. When I first heard about this technique, needless to say I was skeptical. I wondered how something so simple could possibly help. I?ve been doing this for around a year and a half and it has literally changed my thinking, moving my focus from the negative to the positive. This is how I take notice of what is happening during my day.
Whilst in school and University I used to do a lot of performing, playing the saxophone and singing. Granted, there were occasions when performing was the source of my stress, but it kept me learning. Nowadays, I don?t perform as much, but use music as a private hobby to maintain my wellbeing. Our hobbies give us a sense of purpose and a boost in confidence, and they generally help us to relax.
I am heavily involved in my local Church, giving my time to volunteer with children and young people. I?m sure a lot of you are probably reading this thinking to yourselves, ?WHAT?! Youth work is how you manage your stress?!? Yep, I?m serious – knowing that I am contributing to my community and helping others really boosts my mood. However, giving can just be holding a door open for someone, or smiling at someone who looks like they are having a bad day – it?s just about doing something nice for somebody else.
So there you have it – this is how I manage my wellbeing throughout my week, using the Five Ways to Wellbeing. What will you do to manage your wellbeing?
Bethan is one of Valleys Steps Well Being Course Practitioners delivering Stress Control and Mindfulness for Everyday courses in different venues across RCT & Merthyr, click here to find your nearest course