Updated: May 4
Is wellness for wankers?
Is wellness just for wankers? Does it immediately conjure up images of hipsters drinking biodynamic, organic, sustainably sourced soy chai lattes after a Yin Yoga session?
My father, a highly respected surgeon in Ballarat during his working years, is a staunch believer in “real medicine” and believes alternative therapies are for wankers. That’s totally understandable, coming from a generation that considered mental health to fall in the alternative therapy category.
We have a different view!
It’s no secret that wellness is a big priority here at The Design Coach. We focus on ensuring our coaching clients strive for balance in their lives and have integrated wellbeing activities into past and future retreats. Our philosophy is that without personal wellness our business wellbeing will suffer.
The term “wellness” has certainly been tainted by overuse, abused by advertising companies and randomly slotted into the Operations Manuals of major companies around the world with appointed “Wellness Representatives” presented with a list of obscure guidelines to follow.
People often interchange the term “mindfulness” with “wellness”. Mindfulness (the practice of being aware in the moment) is certainly a big part of a healthy routine for mental health but should not be confused with overall wellness and wellbeing.
Wellness can be either an adjective (description of a state of being) or a verb (an activity focused on an outcome). Wikipedia defines it as “a state beyond absence of illness but rather aims to optimize wellbeing.” Our belief is that illness can infiltrate you via your physical, mental and emotional being, and as such we need to nurture all three of these pillars of personal health.
The three main pillars of wellness are:
1. Physical health – the ability to perform physical activities
2. Mental health – the ability to process and output information
3. Emotional health – the ability to process and express how you feel
These pillars are also directly affected by the following external influences:
At this difficult time, our wellness is being assaulted from many angles. Our physical routines are disrupted, our minds are overloaded with information and uncertainty, and the majority of us just don’t know how to feel right now. Taking time out to focus on ways to improve the 3 pillars of our health is more important than ever.
To help our members navigate these challenging time, we’ve created 7 tips for improving your wellness, with a focus on life in lockdown.
7 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR WELLNESS
1. Seek balance in your day
Look to balance work, play and rest.
If working from home, create a routine. Get out of your PJ’s and dress for work as per usual. Set up a cosy home office that makes you feel inspired and professional.
If you’re not working, it’s a great time to be focusing on that personal project you’ve been putting off, or professionally upskilling to make you ready for the next ideal job.
Grown ups need play time too. Whatever makes you giggle or feel creatively inspired is good.
Crochet? Paint-by-numbers? X-Box? Listening to an online DJ and dancing around the living room? A walk around the neighbourhood with your camera? Kicking back whilst listening to your favourite tunes?
Schedule this activity into your diary as if it were an appointment with a client.
Make time to rest. Move away from your mobile devices and find ways to decompress (see Tip #2).
2. Be kind to your body, mind and spirit.
Put down that chocolate bar. Step away from the drinks trolley. Get off the couch.
Give your brain a break and switch off: read a book, meditate, immerse yourself in a long recipe for something fabulously slow-cooked. Exercise!
Keep your spirits elevated by listening to uplifting podcasts, watching educational and inspirational TV or reading a book with a positive message.
3. Don’t overdose on news.
Find a reliable source of facts and limit your exposure. Choose news programs that avoid sensationalism and propaganda. Counteract fear with facts.
If (like most of us) you are spending more time on social media than ever before, make sure you are aware of the potential impact of negative viewpoints and “fake news”. Edit your social media following by snoozing accounts that focus on negativity and propaganda.
Just because we need to practice social distancing, we don’t need to throw away the opportunity to connect with the people we love.
We need to see faces!
If you haven’t discovered the joy of virtual social catch ups, you need to get with the program!
5. Focus on the wellness of others.
Something magical happens when you shift your focus from “me” to “us”.
Asking “Are you OK?” to the ones you love will have surprisingly positive consequences on your own emotional wellbeing.
Introspection is important, but only for learning about who you are and how you can grow. Looking outward to the world around us is healing, humbling and inspirational.
6. Practice gratitude.
Let’s just remember that it’s not all bad!
Let’s look at the positive outcomes from what is otherwise being seen as a catastrophic and unprecedented global crisis.
Families are connecting and spending time together in conditions that are likely to never be replicated. Couples are remembering what it’s like to spend actual time together. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult but most of it is an exciting journey of rediscovery!
We are all certainly learning about new technology that will stick with us way beyond CV19 has disappeared. (Zoom, zoom, zoom… )
Client couples are both home (no more juggling 2 sets of feedback on concepts!).
Also, has anyone noticed how quiet the roads are? If and when we need to get somewhere, it’s like driving on Christmas day.
More than anything, lockdown is forcing us to appreciate stuff we take for granted (travel, café’s, hugs).
7. Allow yourself to have a good cry.
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes.
It’s ok to feel overcome by the trouble that is gripping the world, to grieve the loss of your freedom and be worried about the uncertainty of our personal and business futures.
Embrace your emotions and share them with loved ones who “get you”.
If you find it hard to just let go, watch a movie that you know will tug at your heart strings. (For me personally, I can watch an episode of Masterchef and lose my sh*t…)
Have a cry, wipe away the snot and remind yourself that “this too shall pass”.
We want to express our deep gratitude to the members of the TDC community who have shared their stories, offered their continued support and continue to embrace the fundamental philosophy of kindness during these difficult times.
Our team look forward to continuing to bring you transformational coaching sessions and classes with content that inspires, empowers and connects the community.
Stay well, be kind and keep in touch.
Andrew and the TDC Team
Find out more about the services we offer to support designers here.