Being a carer of a loved one with a long-term condition and/or running a patient group is demanding and so your resilience or wellbeing is important.
Most of us will have travelled by plane and will recognise the advice to put our own oxygen mask on first, before helping others. It makes good sense doesn’t it? But how do many of us apply this thinking to our own wellbeing? You will most likely always prioritise others’ wellbeing before your own.
Yet scientific research is showing that taking care of our own wellbeing doesn’t just make us feel happier, it helps us function better too, so we are better able to take care of others and sustain this over the long term.
Research shows higher wellbeing can help to make our wider relationships stronger, make us better able to make decisions, more open to ideas, more creative at problem solving and even have better physical health. Science is also showing that it’s contagious - how you feel and what you do has a ripple effect out to the people around you. So taking care of your own wellbeing isn’t just for you, it’s for others too.
Many of you will be thinking: “This is all well and good, but with everything I have to do, I just don’t have the time to focus on myself”. Well the good news is that there are lots of quick, small activities we can do that, with intention and practice, can make a big difference over time to how you feel and how well you function. Things that we can weave into our day-to-day activities without having to make special arrangements or spend lots of money.
Over the next few months this blog will share a number of different ideas and activities which have all been scientifically shown to boost wellbeing. We hope it will give you a menu of tools to try out for yourself. There will be some that you might like to make into a regular habit and others to draw on when you need something extra. Some might be things that you can share with others too.
We’ll look at actions that help us: have a sense of more time and space, feel more connected to others, boost our energy and manage our emotions. We hope you’ll give them a try and let us know what difference they’ve made.
Start by thinking about what do you do now. To what extent do you intentionally take care of your own wellbeing – a lot, a bit or not really at all? What currently helps you most to feel good or function well or both? What helps you most?
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