Five Ways to Enhance Well Being by WIG facilitator Ruth Morris

Introduction

We are living and working in uncertain and unpredictable times.  Also, there are increasing demands on our time and energy as we work in challenging roles, often whilst fulfilling caring and domestic responsibilities.

In this context, it is becoming increasingly important to look after our own well being, and that of the people we lead.  We know from studies that this ensures a healthy workforce which deliver optimum performance.

Yet where do you start? Well, when things feel out of control the one thing you can control is yourself and the choices you make.  And still we often put ourselves at the bottom of the list! 

Here are some ideas that will help you look after yourself and become a role model for healthy living and working for those around you.

Make Connections

Connection is a fundamental human need and will have been important to you since the day you were born. This need doesn’t go away.  There is strong evidence that feeling close to, and valued by, other people contributes to our well being and productivity.

Ask yourself:

  • Who have I truly connected with today?
  • Could I speak with this person instead of sending a mail?
  • Do I know who this person really is? Do I know what’s important to them?
  • Do I take time to actively listen to the people I connect with?
  • Who am I not connecting with and why?

Stay Curious/Keep Learning

We know that life long learning enhances self esteem.  Research confirms that setting learning goals promotes well being and a sense of self worth and can even lift vulnerable people out of depression.

Ask yourself:

  • What have I learnt new today?
  • What people can I learn more about?
  • What subject would I enjoy learning more about?
  • Could I set up a book club?
  • What research inspires me?
  • Who can I learn from?
  • What new books can I read?
  • What language would I like to learn?
  • What word games or crosswords can I start doing?

Be Generous

Most people are, by nature, inherently generous.  We know that giving can improve our well being and promote happiness and fulfilment.

Ask yourself:

  • What act of kindness am I proud to have carried out this week?
  • What can I do to help others in my workplace/community?
  • Who needs my help right now?
  • How can I be more generous with my time/listening/wisdom?
  • What are my gifts and how can I use them to help others?
  • How can I be more kind and generous to myself?

Be Aware

Studies show us that taking notice of what is happening in the present directly impacts our well being. Being “in the moment” helps ground you and helps you focus and reaffirm your life priorities. The more we know ourselves, understand ourselves, the easier it becomes to make positive choices that are aligned with our values, sense of purpose and motivations.

Ask yourself:

  • When did I last enjoy the moment?
  • How often do I make time to appreciate my surroundings?
  • How aware am I of the mood of my colleagues? Do I notice how they are feeling?
  • When did I last really listen to a piece of music? What new experiences will inspire me?
  • How aware am I of my physical and emotional well being?  What is my body and mind telling me?

Keep Moving

Studies show that regular physical activity directly promotes well being and can lower rates of anxiety and stress.  Exercise is also essential for slowing age related cognitive decline.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I exercise regularly enough?
  • Do I move from my desk enough?
  • When did I last take fresh air or a walk at lunchtime?
  • Do I choose the stairs or the lift?
  • Why not walk with a colleague so that I “connect” at the same time?
  • Can I walk to, or part of the way to, work?
  • What sports do I enjoy? Could I organise a sporting activity at work?
  • What “easy” exercise can I engage in like stretching, loosening up, walking instead of driving, gardening?
  • What exercise groups can I join to promote a communal sense of achievement

 If you want to learn more about how to promote your well-being, you may be interested in participating in our brand new seminar on 28 November: Women's Leadership: Wellbeing - Drawing on my Resources 

  • Ruth Morris, Programme Director

    Ruth is CEO of Rema Consulting, a visiting lecturer at Cranfield and co-delivers the WIG Women's Leadership Programme.  She specialises in leadership and team development, organisational change, executive coaching and action learning. Her experience covers a broad range of market sectors across different countries and continents. She has a Masters Degree in Management Development and has achieved international recognition for her writing on leadership issues. She is a respected coach, with 20 years’ experience of running her own business, and is known for transforming leaders’ effectiveness. Clients include: Hewlett Packard, Independent TV Companies, RBS, Jaguar Land Rover, ABN Amro, HM Revenue & Customs, and Ministry of Defence.