Your Wellbeing & Caring for Others | Great Health Guide
Your Wellbeing & Caring for Others

Your Wellbeing & Caring for Others

Written by Lyndal Hughes leading transformational consultant

When you care for others, it’s easy to prioritise their wellbeing over your own. However, the reality is that you are responsible for you. What you do for your health matters, and it impacts all facets of life, including your physical energy and psychological wellbeing.

Greater wellbeing creates a positive domino effect in all areas of life, both personally and professionally. Just as leaders invest in their people to build healthier and better performing organisations, individuals must invest in their personal wellbeing to perform and be the best version of themselves.

“Greater wellbeing creates a positive

domino effect in all areas of life.”

Making your own wellbeing a priority takes discipline and consistency. But before we get into it, let’s stop and do something simple but effective – take a breath. Quite literally. Sit up straight, breathe in through your nose for a count of 3, then out through your mouth for a count of 6. Remember deep breathing into your abdomen. Do this a few times. You are already improving your wellbeing.

To help push personal wellbeing to the top of your priority list, here are three key areas that are easily actionable and instantly rewarding.

1. Focus on physical energy.

Energy is how your body communicates with you. It is the foundation that supports emotions, cognition and the spirit. Start by noticing your energy levels. If energy is low, think about ways to top it up.

The first obvious solution to top up your energy is sleep. Quality sleep is perhaps the most significant need for our energy levels. Studies have shown that sleep allows our bodies to repair themselves and creates healthy brains allowing us to consolidate memories and process information.

For your long-term wellbeing, you should sleep between 7 and 8 hours to ensure your physical energy is maximised. Here’s a clue. If you find that you ‘get a second wind’ in the evening, then this is your adrenaline kicking-in. Not healthy. Go back to old school ‘bedtimes’ and discipline your routine, to prevent this from happening.

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2. Stop, breathe and repeat.

Let’s face it – life is busy, complex and at times stressful, especially when you are caring for others. To immediately bring down your biochemical responses as we discussed and practiced earlier, breathe. This is a form of meditation. Repeat the exercise we did in the beginning each time you experience feelings of being overwhelmed, tired or moments of pressure. Prevent the emotion from becoming stress.

The second method to reduce this feeling is to burn it off with movement or exercise. The aim here is not to get rid of the stress, but to take the edge off it, so you can stay more positive and get on with the day. This doesn’t have to be high intensity exercise or take up hours in your day. Keep it simple. You can try and incorporate movement into your daily life by taking your dog for a walk or playing a friendly game of sport.

3. Psychological wellbeing.

Lastly, be aware of your psychological wellbeing. This is when we feel good, and we have purpose. Corey Keyes talks about moving from languishing to flourishing. COVID-19, fires and now floods can make feeling good seem a long way away. However, putting things in our lives to help us feel more satisfied and interested is key to reducing the likelihood of mental health issues.

Community is important. Become involved in community events, even if connected to those that you care for. Yes, it will be good for them, but the connection you will get is also vital for you. Add that extra phone call or coffee with a friend. It is easy to drop these in busy times.

Then think about something to achieve. Mastery or achievement is key to wellbeing. Take up a musical instrument, study, prepare for a charity run, start tennis lessons. Keep it simple but achievable. Challenge yourself to add more happy and worthwhile moments, even if it feels difficult. Here’s the great part, as your wellbeing improves you will have a more positive impact on those who you care for the most.

Think more about the small things you can do to make more good days.

Author of this article:

Lyndal Hughes is a Q5 Partner and leads the health sector practice in Australia for Q5. This is an organization transformation consultancy that builds organizational health for the working world. She has over 25 years’ experience in implementing effective transformation and leadership strategies for blue-chip companies and government departments in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA. Lyndal produces measurable differences in workplace behaviors, well-being, organizational culture, and leadership impact.

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