Wellbeing 101 - What People Don't Tell You
Date: 13 May, 2020
As time has rolled into somewhat of a loose construct of late, it’s been pretty clear that for most of us adapting to changes and processing new information and emotions has been fairly labouring. Some, naturally, might be thriving in this new normal but I don’t think I’m the only one that has fluctuated between feeling on top and in control and then absolutely lost with a brain that feels muddled.
I’ll start with this - what jumps to mind when someone refers to the term ‘wellbeing’?
Perhaps it’s images of yoga and happy people running around, or maybe it’s meditation and people laughing while eating salad (you’ve seen the memes right?). Jokes aside, is it all actually this dreamy, idealistic and calming or is there more to dive deeper into when it comes to wellbeing?
After sitting and chatting with Wellness Coach and teacher, Catherine Creagan, I’m opting with the latter.
Cat (featured right) is an Armidale local who works as a teacher and Wellbeing and Wellness coach with over 15 years experience. Recently, she founded her new business ‘The Set: Mind, Body and Soul’ to help empower people to actively seek their passions and purpose and live an inspiring, fulfilling and balanced life.
In an intimate webinar entitled ‘Wellbeing 101: The Things People Don’t Tell You’, Cat revealed some pretty interesting and encouraging truths about what wellbeing is and what it can mean for us in our lives. At the heart of her message:
Everyone needs balance.
Wellbeing in essence, is almost entirely centred upon this idea of creating and sustaining balance within our lives.
According to Cat, there are 5 keys to wellbeing and she’s provided the details for us below.
Wellbeing IS for everyone.
It sounds simple right? But there is power in remembering that it is for you regardless of where you are currently at. Wellbeing is not about having it all figured out all the time, it’s about taking the time to look within ourselves, get to know ourselves and continue to find ways to balance life throughout the ups and downs. In doing so, we’re more likely to feel confident, resilient, happy, be more adaptable and have more to give.
Wellbeing is a journey.
Life is ever-changing. All the time, every day, big and small, constant change. Similar to the changes in your life, wellbeing is also a bit of a rollercoaster. There will be some things you can control and some things you can’t. For example, right now we can’t control the fact that we are restricted from certain social practices or travelling to our homelands in some cases. What is critical here, is choosing to focus on and think about what you CAN control. That might be the fact you can choose to freely go out for a walk in nature, or call a friend who is far away. Taking note of and appreciating what is in your control can help you to accept what isn’t, even if it’s temporary.
One size doesn’t fit all, mostly.
What one person needs right now will look and feel differently to someone else.Everyone is unique and the way we manage and handle situations in life is destined to be just as individual.Although we all have different needs and requirements, there are four key things that can help everyone be better equipped to manage what we can and can’t control; resilience, outlook, awareness and generosity.
Reflection is vital
Why is reflection vital to achieving balanced wellbeing? According to Cat, it’s because self-reflection makes us the owner of our thoughts, feelings and attitudes and is our greatest tool to look within. When you are aware of what is creating issues in your life and can understand why and what it is you actually need, you can make positive changes to improve your situation.
Little by Little
You know that phrase, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’? The same applies here. Start small, be persistent and by making conscious changes every day, little by little you can improve your own life.
Cat suggests trying to find some time in your day to be kind to yourself and focus on you. What does that look like? It will differ for everyone, but maybe it’s 30 mins to yourself reading or walking outside or doing some gentle movement. If you have less time/more time, whatever you have got just try and make it yours. Putting energy into this ‘self inner-work’ can provide huge benefits for you and your quality of life.
Anxieties around change, the unknown, negative repercussions being felt like lost income, isolation, performance pressures and homeschooling are no doubt being experienced by us all in some capacity. If you were trying to live long and prosper (excuse the pun) before any of this, how do you go about it now? The interesting thing is that for so long for many of us, the stress or the anxiety came from overly ‘doing’, from filling our plates up too high, overcommitting and placing far too high an expectation on ourself in every facet of life. Now? It’s almost the opposite. The ‘not doing’ is the issue that is made further confusing by the presence still of the innate desire in each of us to try and continue thriving. It’s stressful. Considering the above, is just a handful of ways we can manage our wellbeing in a way that takes all of this into account.
Cat suggests the real question we all need to ask is:
What is one thing I need?
One thing that helps you realign, helps you find clarity and balance when you need it.
It could be physical activity, mindfulness apps, getting work done, but whatever it is, spend some time working that out so that when the balance starts to tip and you feel yourself losing a strong sense of your wellbeing, you can rebalance the scales and thrive.
A big thanks to Catherine Creagan for contributing to this post and if you are interested in finding out more about The Set: Body Mind Soul, you can head to their Facebook page or contact Cat directly at email@example.com.
If you feel you might need further support please contact any of the following:
UNE Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
(02) 6773 2897
For UNE Students and Staff
13 11 14 (24/7)
Author: Alexandra Cook