Updated: May 25, 2021
Wellbeing along with 'resilience', 'grounding' and 'mindfulness' has become one of the buzz words of the moment and in recent years but particularly now within the pandemic.
What does it actually mean?
Photo by Sarah Treanor www.streanor.com
During the last year ( 2020-21) we have collectively experienced some of the most stressful conditions across the world since the world wars. Some are calling the impact of this challenging time on our wellbeing a 'second pandemic', I have to say I agree.
So much has happened through this experience. A loss of connection with loved ones, loss of physical closeness, mass fear, obsession on hygiene, loss of work-income-purpose, loneliness, grief and all in the wake of BREXIT and a harsh political landscape with the climate crisis and black lives matter movements coming to the surface in a big way. It has been a roller coaster of stress, strain and pain. It's a wonder we are all still standing!
The human spirit at its core resilient, soul strives to survive. In my practice as a counsellor listening to story after story of survival in the face of adversity I have felt in awe of the human spirit and the internal strength which for many enables a person ways to pull through deeply painful experiences.
This year has been extraordinary, but against the odds stacked up against us all -life has and is going on. There are dark days, there is trauma for sure, but life is being lived.
The question here is how do we hold onto our wellbeing to be able to weather the storm and run this marathon which seems to have no finish line?
How to we find joy and renew our strength?
Where do we go from here?
We do not seem to be out of the woods yet, there is a third wave of the virus at work in Europe and new variants appearing, who knows how long this process will be. Indeed is this 'new normal' may be here to stay to a certain extent.
My own family have been through the mill this last 12 months with health problems, work stress, income loss, home schooling and trying to juggle all our mental and physical health needs. I don't mind admitting -it's been tough.
This situation has caused me to consider what is truly needed and helpful to support myself. To care for myself so I can continue to care for others.
What is wellbeing? and how do I become resilient?
When we feel a sense of 'goodness' and 'wellness' in ourselves (and although the reasons for this may be uniquely different to others in terms of interested and fulfilment) there are many commonalities for humans/the 'human condition'.
Fundamentally safety/positive nourishing relationships/purpose/play/fulfilment.
Some of these have been increasingly hard to maintain during this year in a time when our usual 'resources' may have been cut out or restricted. Physical interactions very limited and perhaps jobs becoming more sedentary or online.
But despite all this you may have experienced some 'silver linings' some 'gold' which may have unexpectedly offered you opportunities to see or do things differently.
Identifying these and what you want in life can be a huge step towards wellbeing and a fulfilling life.
Here are some ideas you may find useful and like to try or adapt to suit you:
What small achievable mindfulness practices can you add to your day
1) Simple meditation and breath work can have a huge impact on calming your nervous system and centring self. A 15-20min session to focus on your breath in a 'mindful way' of being is a state of reflective awareness.
Finding a simple practice you can try in morning and evening is worth its weight in gold. There are many led mediations found on the internet on you prefer a guided meditation. Just find someone you like the feel of and can handle listening to!
I am planning to release some recordings and edits out through Facebook and Instagram. So like my pages if you'd like to hear them or you are welcome to book a session with me.
2) Take breaks for the digitalised aspect of our current life, don't reach for your device as soon as you wake.
Breaks throughout the day are imperative.
Get up, moved around, stretch, have a change of scene, make a cup of tea, take a breath of air, stroke a pet.
3) Being outside regularly each day and if possible a few points of the day
4) Starting the day/ ending the day gently wit centring approach, something calming.
5) Move your body 'use it or lose' don't give up, every little certainly does help. Add something achievable to your day and week.
6) Gratitude studies show that a practice in 'gratitude' has a direct effect on a sense of wellbeing. Journalling can be really useful. to reflect on what is difficult but also on what is good in our lives. Try it...
7) Add some joy what makes you happy, sparkle, what did you love to do as a kid?
No matter what blocks may stand in your way. Consider- what have you always wanted to do... maybe nows the time.
8) Relaxing wind-down an end of the day ritual or routine isn't just good for children.
Try to stay away from 'blue screens' which stimulate your brain awake.
Try to add activities which relax and calm you.
Hot relaxing bath, shower, a good nourishing read, using a lovely smelling body care lotion helps promote relaxation and calms sending messages to your body and mind its time to rest now & a good rest is super important for regeneration and health.
It boggles my mind to consider what the world has experienced within the period of pandemic, there is much that needs to change for the health of our planet and people and these issues have being forced to the surface during these COVID times.
There has been and perhaps still is a sense of overwhelm when considering these subjects. A wellbeing and resilience practice to ground us has never felt more important.
Perhaps this if we feel resourced in ourselves this process can offer the opportunity for transforming some of the ill's of the world and show us opportunities within the challenges for much needed change.
Hazel Osborne <3