Work life matters: Wellbeing

If your organisation is following the established patterns over the past couple of years, you’re probably drowning in wellbeing advice, support and guidance.  And that’s a really good thing. Helping staff with their wellbeing – in all its guises – is the RIGHT thing to do.

So instead of me re-hashing some of the information you will have undoubtedly already seen, this month I offer you a practical exercise which you can do yourselves.

This exercise is based on a tool called “The Wellbeing Deck” which was developed by Tamara Buckland and Riders & Elephants. It’s a brilliant tool for self-assessment and I’ve also used it frequently with my own clients and their staff to unlock some of the hidden thoughts and feelings AND find practices and action plans to address what you discover.  I’ve included a link to a free download of the tool below.

Talking about this stuff can be difficult for people. You can easily feel vulnerable. So I don’t suggest doing this in a group setting.  Make it a personal self-reflection task or at most (to begin with) a one-to-one with a close friend or partner.

  1. Visualise Your Ideal State

Think about the emotions you feel when you are thriving. Write down half a dozen emotions that come to the fore when you are at the top of your game (at work or in your personal life).

  1. Explore Your Low Points

Think back to when you were feeling at a low ebb. What kind of undesired feelings were you experiencing?  Think of six or so of those.

  1. Triggers

What situations might cause you to feel those undesired feelings?
eg.  Sleep deprivation, physical pain, fear of rejection, family friction…

  1. Practices
    What kinds of activities help you maintain those positive (“thriving”) feelings from Step 1? What influences you to have positive thoughts and emotions?  Spending time in nature, yoga, rest, dancing.
  2. Critical Moves

What are the absolute KEY things which you can use to stay focussed on your personal wellbeing. Where will you generate the most traction to help develop the positive factors and manage the undesired feelings when they occur?

  1. Action Plan
    Reflect on steps 1-5 above and write a three-step simple action plan for your own personal wellbeing. Simple wins here. Just get started with it. Make a commitment to yourself. You can always refine it later.

In the spirit of vulnerability and sharing, I regularly take myself through this process (about once a month just as a reflective exercise). This is what I thought about an hour ago.

  • My ideal state = fulfilled, energetic, involved, confident, trusted
  • My low points = impatient, apathetic, disconnected, lonely, insecure
  • My triggers = too much to do, interpersonal conflict, failure, physical illness, spending too much time alone
  • My Practices (things I want to do more of) = sleep, mindfulness, playing games
  • My Critical Moves = playing more sport, spending time with friends, live music… because these 3 tick all the boxes in Step 1
  • My Action Plan
    • re-start playing at the Dads’ 5-a-side football on Thursdays
    • meet local friends in the daytime for coffee
    • find some summer music festivals to attend (I didn’t get a Glastonbury ticket! ?)

There’s a lot more to the card deck that I’ve described here. If you struggled to think of desired or undesired emotions when you were at steps one & two – don’t panic. That’s normal. It’s like being given a blank sheet of paper.  That’s where the prompts of the cards come in really handy.

Remember you can download the cards as a PDF for free at the link below.

Or if you’d rather talk with me about using these in practice (and I can share with you my experiences), then just get in touch via my bio below.

Rich Lambert is the founder of Morale Solutions Ltd. He specialises in helping professional services firms create brilliant workplaces through bespoke research and data-driven strategies.

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