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What is Well-Being and Why is it Important?

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Woman looking out at a scenic view for well-being

Since the pandemic, it seems that well-being has gained real traction in the workplace and the media, yet only 23.3% of adults in the UK report high levels of life satisfaction (ONS).

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, well-being is "the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy." Well-being means feeling good about yourself, having a sense of purpose, and being able to cope with the challenges of life.

A lot of people are finding this difficult right now. We are all so tired of the struggle.

Well-being affects our overall health and happiness. When we're taking care of our well-being, we're more likely to be productive, have strong relationships, and make healthy choices.

Unfortunately, in times of stress, increased demands and added responsibilities, the first thing to take a hit is the time we allow ourselves for well-being. And believe me when I say, well-being is not lying on the sofa scrolling through our phones.

Ironically, in times of stress, removing moments and opportunities for relaxation and pleasure makes it:

1) Even harder for us to cope with life's challenges

2) Less likely to make rational decisions

3) More prone to getting ill.

When my husband first became ill, I was teaching all day, caring for him every evening and too tired for anything else. My whole life was reduced to teaching and caring and chores. I was cutting more and more of the well-being time out of my life because I was too tired for it. I became sicker and sicker until I completely burnt out.

Don't make the same mistake I did. Prioritise your well-being, especially in times of stress.

Many things contribute to well-being. Some of the most important include:

  • Physical health: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.

  • Mental health: Managing stress, practising relaxation techniques, and having a positive outlook on life.

  • Social relationships: Having strong relationships with family and friends, and feeling connected to your community.

  • Meaning and purpose: Having a sense of purpose in life, and doing things that you enjoy.

If you're interested in improving your well-being, there are lots of different things you can do and small manageable changes you can make.

First, it's important to identify the areas where you're feeling the most stressed or unhappy. Once you know what area you need support with and what area to make changes in, you can start the process. This might be relationships, your health, or even financial concerns.

Therapist listening and supporting client with well-being

There are many resources available to help you improve your well-being so you don't have to do it alone. You can talk to your doctor, a therapist, or a life coach. Books, websites, and apps are freely available and can also offer guidance and support.

The most important aspect of well-being is making the time to take care of yourself and turning this into a regular habit. As the saying goes, "You can't pour from an empty cup." Even if it's a guilt-free sit down for a cup of tea, a short walk before work or a chat on the phone with a friend.

Improving your well-being is an ongoing process. There will be ups and downs along the way, but it's worth it to make the effort. When you're proactively taking care of your well-being, you'll feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. You'll be more productive, have stronger relationships, and make healthier choices.

It's worth the effort and time to invest in your well-being in the longer term.

Here are some additional tips for improving your well-being:

Remember, well-being is a journey, not a destination. It's about making small changes that add up over time. So don't get discouraged if you don't see results overnight. Just keep plugging away at it, developing new habits and you'll eventually reach your goals.

How do you prioritise your well-being? Comment below.

Woman spending time in nature for well-being

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