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  • Laila Datoo

10 ways to increase your personal wellbeing

Learn how to significantly improve your personal wellbeing with these ten key areas.

These are:

1. Energy

5. Pause

9. Time

10. Fun

We will go on to outline each of these areas in more detail and explore what you should be thinking about, which of these areas make you feel good, which of them negatively impact your wellbeing. So let’s dig in.

Mapping your energy levels

Have a think about which activities, environments and circumstances give you energy and which are more likely to zap it. For example, do you work best in the morning? Does a walk during the day make you feel fresher? or do you work best in the evening?

By taking a look at your natural energy rhythms and being aware of the peaks and troughs, it is possible to map your energy. Using an energy chart, evaluate when you have energy dips and energy peaks.

Once you are able to pinpoint those times, you can then map your work, exercise, sleep, rest and the like, around it.

Where do you get your energy from?

Certain activities cause us to feel energised, whilst others can relax us completely. Going for a brisk walk can often give you energy whilst having a long soak in the tub probably won’t leave you feeling revved up for the rest of the day.

If you can identify some of the things that will help boost your mood and boost your energy, you can introduce them into your day and vastly improve your personal wellbeing.

Likewise some activities may impact your energy like mundane chores so it’s important to notice the impact of activities of your energy and plan them into your day accordingly.

What are you focusing your energy on?

It would be great if we could only do things that inspired us or made us light up, but in reality we do have to do the mundane as well. It’s not always possible to cut those things out of our lives. We need to do the food shop, errands, the laundry, housework etc, but perhaps it’s about the way we do them that counts.

Focusing on how you use your energy - are you doing all your mundane tasks in one go which might leave you feeling drained, or can you break them up into shorter bursts spread out over a period of time.

To give your energy a boost, it can be impactful to look at these things.

Finding your support network

When we say support, this could mean a solid support network, people you can lean on for advice or help when you need it. People like your family, your colleagues, your friends. If this area is looking a little low, then potentially look at what situations are impacted by your lack of support and identify what exact kind of support you would benefit from.

Things like;

- Advice

- Career guidance

- Coaching through a problem you’re struggling with

- Developing a skill

Each of those things may require a slightly different kind of support mechanism, that could be a person, a website or a group. Whatever it may be, can you research and find the right mechanism for you. You might find that those people already exist in your world so you could tap into this area.

Spending a bit of time looking for support with a simple problem like asking a family member to pick the children up from school to allow you to go to the gym. It might not change the world but it will make a small bit of difference to you and your energy which will then positively impact other areas like your sleep, work, etc. and so significantly improve your personal wellbeing.

Setting clear boundaries

If you imagine your boundaries like a wall around us, if you have holes in your boundaries and things start to leak out, it means that we have taken on too much and there are too many things going on in our world. Over time the boundaries and lines get blurry, and we lose sight of the things that really matter to us, things that could be essential to improving

our personal wellbeing.

It doesn’t need to be about things that we say yes or no to, it could be something that creates stress and leads to overwhelm. Things like;

- Your working hours

- Your workload and deliverables

- The impact of the world around you

- Your phone

- Your personal space

Starting with boundaries, if you can adjust those and allow the right things into you world, you could find that the other elements of wellbeing will build from that.

How to build your self compassion

Self-compassion can really improve your personal wellbeing. When we are hard on ourselves, we are our own worst critics and this can leave us feeling low, anxious and start to compare ourselves with others or even the perceived ‘better version’ of ourselves!

Why aren't I doing things the way that person is doing it?

Why aren't I able to perform like they are?

Why aren't I able to work at the same capacity I did before when I was younger/not a parent?

Why can't I deliver that project like they did?

Why can't I parent my children like they parent?

When we are holding ourselves to the standards of others, it increases our stress and anxiety because we have given ourselves an unrealistic standard and therefore even more things to worry about.

Be kind to yourself

This is a simple one, but where can you cut yourself some slack in your life?

Maybe it's around how much work you can output in the moment.

Maybe it's around how you're parenting your kids.

Maybe it's around the meals that you're feeding your family or yourself!

Maybe you need to forgive yourself, if work is heavy right now and you don’t have time to prepare freshly cooked meals every day for your family, that’s ok. This time will pass.

How can you take one action to be kind to yourself?

An example of this could be, batch cook the meals you want to eat at the weekend, to give yourself some slack during the week.

Stop the negative self-talk.

Stop comparing yourself to other people.

Stop the self-judgement.

Easier said than done but taking steps to get this under control is a big part of giving self compassion and improving your personal wellbeing.

Taking a pause can help our wellbeing

This point goes hand in hand with other points mentioned in this blog for example boundaries. There is no point saying “I want to pause more and take some time for me” if your boundaries aren’t very strong or being hard on yourself saying it’s wrong to take time out for you. So working on some of the other points first will enable this to happen.

Think about ‘pausing’ from a point of view of resting or doing things that are going to lift you up not bring you down. Pausing to do the housework is not the same as pausing to have a cup of tea or a chat with a friend for example. This is the biggest thing people neglect as their tendency is to fill the pause with the overwhelming need to be productive.

What can pause look like?

It could be 10 minutes here or there. Taking a lunch break and going out of the house/office for it. It might mean taking a day or a week or a weekend off, going away with your family or even by yourself. It could be as simple as building in a moments pause before coming straight home from work.

Giving yourself the time to pause can help you to recalibrate, especially between work and home, because it gives you a chance to switch off your mind and energy from one environment to another, even if that space is one and the same because you work from home. It is in fact especially important to do that if you do work from home because the boundaries can get blurry.

How can you fit a break into your life?

Could you ask your partner, your mum, your friend to take your children for half an hour, can you get up half an hour earlier to facilitate time for yourself? Can you block out half an hour on your calendar so you can build it into your working day?

How does our confidence impact our wellbeing?

Confidence isn’t something we’re born with, it improves our wellbeing because when we don’t feel confident, anxiety increases, and we start to worry about what people think about us. This also ties in with self-compassion as we can be hard on ourselves for our perceived weaknesses (it’s not weak to feel nervous when we step out of our comfort zone)

Our level of confidence affects what we believe about ourselves and our abilities and increases the stress associated with that if we think we are falling short.

Boosting your confidence isn’t a quick thing to do but taking one small step each day to do something that will boost your self-belief will increase your energy and your confidence gradually. A 1% change each day, pushing you out of our comfort zone will help you increase your confidence.

With that in mind, what is your comfort zone, have you examined it lately? What makes you nervous?

Take that first step towards overcoming those nerves. Be bold. Be courageous and just ‘do the thing’. Each and every time you take those steps, your brain remembers and logs it for next time and your comfort zone will grow bit by bit.

How does connection impact our wellbeing?

As humans we need connection to thrive and have good wellbeing, it’s why the Mental Health Awareness Day, back in 2022 was focused on loneliness because the pandemic brought isolation into our lives and we needed a way to reconnect.

The important thing about connection is to ensure it is with the right things. Connecting with things or people that bring you joy. With the wider world more accessible to us these days through the power of online connection, there are endless places to look for connection.

Have you neglected your old friends lately? Perhaps you could make a point of going for a coffee with a friend once a month.

Could you join a new group or learn a new skill that brings you into other people’s lives?

Thinking broadly about where you could build those connections, take one step at a time and make the plan.

Working from home, our levels of connection could be pretty low, connecting via zoom isn’t the same as connecting over a coffee in real life, so consider the type of connection you need. Ensure the isolation is not a contributory factor to your feeling of wellness by keeping regular contact with people, something as simple as a coworking space can be a breath of fresh air to the isolation of working from home alone.

Fulfilment - How do you find it?

Many people won’t stop and think about their life from this point of view, but are you feeling fulfilled? What does fulfilment feel like for you? Where do you feel satisfaction in your life?

Many people find their fulfilment in the workplace but it can often be misguided. What they perceive as the ‘job’ fulfilling them could actually be the sense of helping someone or learning something new, seeing personal development etc. That is what actually makes them thrive. The job is the means to facilitate that.

Sometimes we can’t see it without looking at ourselves, identifying what our needs are and what might make us feel fulfilled. There might be something you have never thought of that might satisfy that.

Equally if you are feeling unfulfilled, what is that you haven’t done or aren’t getting from your current activity that is making this unachievable for you? If you haven’t done any reading for a while, could you pick up a book, could you start a new hobby? What is your fulfilment based on and what can you do to give it a boost?

Dedicate time to your personal wellbeing

Your wellbeing won't improve and none of these things are going to happen if you don't dedicate some time to them so ask yourself these questions.

- How much time are you making for yourself and your wellbeing each week?

- How can you make more time for it?

- Can you make space in your calendar?

- Can you commit to booking in classes?

- Can you say no to more things so you can say yes to you?

- Can you put post-it notes around the house to remind you to go for that run?

- Can you set an alarm reminder to make time for something good for you?

Remember: nothing in your life changes if nothing changes.

Have fun

All of these areas link back to fun because if you're not enjoying doing them, if you're not enjoying the things that you pause for, if you're not enjoying the connection, if you’ve created support - you've asked for help in your family then you're using that time to clean the house and you're not enjoying it, what's the point?

Doing fun things boosts endorphins, our mood and our adrenaline.

Everything needs to come back to fun because when we're having joy in our life, we feel good and when we feel good, it's harder for us to feel stressed and anxious. We focus less on the things that are worrying us and more on the joy of the present moment we are in.

What comes next?

It’s very easy to read this and be overwhelmed by choice, wanting to work on every single area of this guide. Perhaps the best way is to pick one or two of these areas to work on in a three-month period and rotate around. Create a small action for each area to try, maybe it’s something that you used to do that you’ve got out of the habit of doing, something you used to enjoy. Pick it up again.

These are 10 areas that are going to help you improve your wellbeing, we’re aiming for incremental micro changes so that day by day, week by week you keep making those small changes that make a big difference.

A life more mindful

Hi, I’m Laila your blogging author, and I would love to know what your progress looks like after reading this blog and creating your action plan. If I can support you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks for making it this far through the article, I hope you will enjoy some other bits and pieces on my website.

Have a great 2023!


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