In Leadership 2020, we offer a simple framework for assessing our wellness practices, adapted from the First Nation’s Healthy Authority’s perspective on wellness and wholism. A visual of this is offered below.
You can use whatever labels make sense to you but the key point is to attend to the different dimensions of wellness. Each of us might have different wellness practices within the dimensions, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach nor is there a definitive ‘how to manual’ for wellness practice (despite what the self-help gurus might claim), but it is helpful to build awareness about what we have going on – or not – in each dimension. Where am I lean? What have I got in place that is working for me? What have I not been paying attention to? What do I want to introduce or re-introduce back into my life?
As we are in the generative Spring season – a time of new beginnings – it may be time to consider the questions above for yourself and then make some commitments – what will you keep doing, start doing and stop doing in order to enhance your wellness and well being over the next 6 months?
These don’t need to be big and bold – sometimes it is the small stuff that can make a big difference, e.g. drink more water, stretch for 3 minutes every hour (set your phone to remind you to get up, stretch and get a glass of water), write a gratitude or ‘what went right’ statement at the end of each work day as your last act before you head home, listen to a talking book on something inspirational on your commute rather than listening to the news.
One of the things to be aware of is that our brains have a harder time allowing us to stop doing something than to start doing something. Old habits die hard because the neural pathways associated with behaviours become deeply rooted. To introduce new wellness practices may be a better place to start – the novelty captures us and over time we can establish new neural pathways that may challenge the old patterns and pathways.