Prioritising your wellbeing by saying ‘Yes’ to yourself
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
by Rebecca Daniel
When was the last time you said ‘yes’ to yourself?
Sounds like a funny question, right?
But in all seriousness, when was the last time you put yourself first before others? Or when you prioritised your own wellbeing and self-care.
If you are reading this and you are recalling event after event where you have said ‘yes’ to yourself, then I am sending you a virtual high-five.
However, if you are reading this and struggling to recollect a recent moment where you did something (no matter how big or small) to improve your wellbeing, then today is the day where you can begin to make that change in your life.
Wellbeing is the “state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy” and if we really truly examine this dictionary definition, I don’t think I can think of anyone who would not want to feel comfortable, healthy or happy.
Making changes and forming new habits takes work and to be honest it can only really be achieved if the desire to change is deep enough. Various research suggests that forming new habits takes between 21-90 days and during this time our brains are able to fully form new neuropathways. With that said, the best time to take action is now, or should I say, yesterday.
During my teaching career I will be honest with you, my wellbeing and self-care was not firmly rooted in my vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what it meant to look after myself but I did not always know what that looked like. More importantly, I underestimated the impact my wellbeing (or lack of) had on my mindset, progress and success, both in education and in my personal life. I always seemed to find excuses and convince myself that I was too busy to take time out. There were always things that needed doing at home, books that needed marking, lessons to plan or data to crunch. Oh, the joys of adulthood and being a teacher.
My desire to change my lifestyle, prioritise my wellbeing and self-care came when I was pregnant with my daughter. Out of nowhere, I came to the realisation that I wasn’t happy with my life and knew that the only person who could change that was me. So, I did.
As a transformation coach and teacher my job is centralised around helping others to succeed. You may think that prioritising my wellbeing comes naturally to me but I’ll let you in on a little secret: even I have to consciously remind myself to take time out.
Our wellbeing is multidimensional and definitely something we all take for granted.
Our wellbeing isn’t just about our mindset but it also includes how we take care of our physical, emotional, social, intellectual, economical and even spiritual state.
Here are some of my top tips to help you, your family, colleagues and loved ones to begin looking after your wellbeing.
For some, looking after our bodies comes last on the list and for others it comes naturally. If I am really honest, I would much prefer to eat popcorn, sit on the sofa and watch a film. However, what we want to do versus what we need to do is something we need to consider. Like a car, if we don’t regularly maintain it and provide it with the necessary fluids it requires then it won’t perform at its best. Improving your wellbeing starts with you filling up your metaphorical tank with good nutritious food, being well watered before running that engine from zero miles per hour to a comfortable limit and setting off on your journey through life.
Satisfying our minds with positive thoughts and having a growth mindset as Dweck cites is another key part of looking after our wellbeing. If our thoughts are not in the right place this will impact on our emotions and the action that we choose to take in life. If there’s anything from this blog that you take away and put into action, I urge you to prioritise and practice gratitude as part of your wellbeing routine. Expressing gratitude and focusing on the positives rather than the negatives boosts our happy hormones and contributes to us feeling happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Surrounding yourself with positive people who motivate and support you is very important. My father always said to me growing up, “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Having positive people in your life is a key ingredient to feeling fulfilled. If there are people in your circle who are draining your energy and holding you back it may be time to reconsider those relationships and the types of people you want to be surrounded by.
As a massive lifelong learner it always gives me great joy to learn and explore new ideas, concepts and information. Expanding your knowledge doesn’t always have to involve enrolling on a course or programme etcetera, it could be as simple as reading a new book or listening to your favourite podcast. New information provides us with new opportunities and our intellectual wellbeing can help us to live not only an enjoyable but successful life.
Psychologist Maslow states in his hierarchy of needs theory that in order for us as human beings to feel truly fulfilled our basic needs have to be met. Our financial wellbeing is just as important as it can help us to buy the essentials in life such as food, water and shelter. Monitoring and managing our finances can help us to ensure our basic needs are met whilst also planning for the future and establishing what else we would like to have to enhance our lives further.
Connecting to our inner self is the last stage of improving our wellbeing. There is often a misconception that spirituality means religion – although this can be the case for some people not everyone who is spiritual believes in or worships a higher being. Being spiritually connected can improve your wellbeing as it can give our lives purpose and meaning. A connection to ourselves, another power or simply to nature can help us to become more grounded and at peace. Listen to guided meditations, relaxing nature tones or simply going for walks and breathing in the fresh air will help you to create more balance in your life.
About the Writer Rebecca is an award-winning social entrepreneur, qualified Teacher, Transformation Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and DISC Behaviour and Personality Profiling Practitioner. Rebecca passionately helps heart-centered and purpose driven professionals (including those within the education sector) and entrepreneurs to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Her core purpose is to empower her clients through powerful and transformational coaching, mentoring and training so they can live a happy, healthy and truly fulfilled life. Connect with Rebecca on social media http://bit.ly/rebeccadaniel Just for teachers… During these rather unique times I have partnered with friend, fellow coach and teacher Sarah Bramall and together we have launched ‘The Teacher Wellbeing Project’. We are offering coaching, mentoring, training and support on mindset and wellbeing to help our teaching community to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives doing what they love. On November 30th at 4.00pm BST we will be delivering a 1-hour free online webinar just to teachers to help them to shift their focus from the present and look forward to the future, spread peace and goodwill and create deeper connections so they can enter the Christmas break feeling less stressed and more positive for the future. Click here to reserve your space: http://bit.ly/TTWPFreeWebinar2020 To join our free, supportive online community head over to: www.facebook.com/groups/theteacherwellbeingproject