It’s safe to say that our working life has changed quite drastically these past twelve months. To help support workers in this very different new way of working we invited Khalil Rener, wellbeing expert and founder of Rener Wellbeing, to deliver the latest in our series of webinars.
In the session, Khalil provided solutions to address and overcome the most common problems we face whilst working remotely, and to help achieve greater wellbeing as a result. Here we summarise Khalil’s interactive webinar session, focusing on developing our own unique ‘Wellbeing Action Plan’ to ensure wellbeing is a priority especially during these trying times.
The Wellbeing Action Plan
Sometimes, we all need a little kickstart to look after ourselves and break from routine and bad habits. A wellbeing action plan is an action plan tailor made by you, for you – it identifies the ‘barriers’ stopping you from achieving greater wellbeing, what you can do to combat those barriers, and how the changes you make will benefit your life.
The plan focuses on the four factors that contribute to greater wellbeing whilst working; health, sleep, physical activity and nutrition.
Studies suggest that over 1 in 6 UK adults experience mental health problems, and 74% of us reported feeling so stressed they were overwhelmed and unable to cope, so it’s clear that whatever our barriers are to improving mental health, they need to be identified and overcome.‘Barriers to mental health’ are all the things that are currently stopping you from both managing and improving your mental wellbeing. This may include your workload; perhaps the stresses of your workday are stopping you from focusing and improving your mental wellbeing. Perhaps lockdown is a barrier for all of us – not being able to socialise outside of work and see friends and family is another barrier to improving mental wellness.
Once you’ve identified your biggest barriers, it’s then important to set out ‘action points’, the ways in which we will actively seek to improve our wellbeing.
For many, the solution could be something quite simple such as reading a book or writing a journal, clearly setting working boundaries, or scheduling in more virtual catch ups.
The benefits of physical activity shouldn’t be underestimated; Not only does it benefit our physical health, but it naturally provides a boost to our immune and mental health also. Engaging in some kind of physical exercise provides a necessary balance to your strenuous working life.
You may feel restricted by the current closure of gyms and so less motivated to be active, but too often we associate physical activity with strenuous exercise, when in fact it could be something as simple as gardening or a short bike ride.
Despite the restrictions, we can find ways outside of work to exercise and keep fit. This may be a jog on your lunch-break, or something as simple as parking at the far-end of the car park to maximise your walk to work each morning. As long as it works for you and it motivates you to get moving, then give it a go!
When did you last wake up feeling rested? How does it impact your work? So many of us feel drained each morning, which likely results in losing focus and attention at work.
A good-night’s sleep offers many benefits for the body, mind and soul. For the body, being well rested can improve our physical appearance as well providing us with more energy and a better immune system. For our mind, sleep gifts us with better focus, more ‘out of the box’ thinking. For the soul, sleep makes us positive people, less fearful and more ethical.
Improving sleep goes beyond simply going to bed earlier. By focusing instead on our ‘sleep hygiene’, we can create some doable and achievable action points. This could include avoiding caffeine or sugary drinks, or even reducing time spent on our mobile phones. By focusing on the factors affecting our quality of sleep, we can better our body mind and soul by becoming better rested.
Too often when we consider nutrition, we go straight to counting calories and checking our carb intake, however it’s far more important to instead focus on our ‘energy balance’ – a balanced and sustainable diet that is nutritious and offers you the energy you need for going about your day.
By moving away from simple calorie-counting, carb-stripping diets you can enjoy a balanced diet and therefore a greater feeling of wellbeing, but many find the working day a ‘barrier’ to achieving an energy-balanced diet.
Simple steps to overcoming this barrier can be taken; cooking in bulk, pre-preparing your lunches, eating away from our desks or opting for healthy snacks. A nutritious diet unaffected by your work situation could prove the difference in finally improving your workplace wellbeing.
Ultimately, your wellbeing action plan is made specifically for you. By providing unique solutions to bettering your sleep, nutrition, physical activity and mental health, we can better our livelihoods at work and better our performances in doing so.