3 Steps Toward Greater #Happiness In #CarersWeek

A Selection of fruit

Do Your Goals Include Diet, Exercise And Mindfulness?

It is (sort of) the middle of the year. Here comes an awkward question: what kind of a year has it been so far?

You’ve undertaken plenty of caring of course. Those you care for have benefited from your time. How often though have you taken care of yourself?

When you look back at the personal growth or self leadership goals you set yourself six months ago, how many have you completed? What do the incomplete ones have in common? Is there a goal which is completely untouched?

Are You Sometimes Fearful of Putting Yourself First?

What is keeping you from tackling that untouched goal you wrote down six months ago? Are you afraid of making a positive change for yourself? When you practice some mindfulness and look at what is happening in your body how do you feel? Would you feel disloyal if you spent some time on yourself?

3 Happiness Solutions Suggested By Carers 

I was privileged last Carers Week to lead a session looking at how we can take simple steps to improve our levels of Happiness.

As we rush around looking out for others we recognised the value of meeting our own needs. We focused on the low cost or free solutions which could help us provide for others in a better way, whilst meeting our own needs.

My part of the day captured several practical ideas for self care. Amongst other views one attendee said:

I enjoy cooking for my family

They were sharing the idea that providing good food for their loved ones helped them feel good.

Another person in the room felt energised by spending some personal time on exercise. They commented:

Going to the Gym makes me Happy!

Someone else was in reflective mood and noted that they felt better when surrounded by greenery:

Being outdoors in nature makes me smile

How Do You Care For Yourself?

How does your diet, exercise and leisure plan help you care better and manage your own well-being? How much positive feedback do you get from those for whom you care? What other suggestions do you have for making caring more manageable?

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to share your well-being ideas in the comments and help other people with their day. If you have found this post helpful you can Share and Like it too. Visit the Members tab to sign up for free information about taking action on your goals.

Goals 2014: Six Actions To Help You Manage Your Stress Levels This Week

Life is full of coincidences.  Fresh from posting about the impact of workplace stress, caused by poor management, I read a really useful article* by Lucy Dimbylow – @lucywriter on Twitter.

Lucy is responding to the question posed by the half a million UK workers whose stress and anxiety levels are too high: What actions can I can take to manage my levels of work stress?

The key actions I took away from Lucy’s article are:

  • Taking regular Exercise reduces stress
  • Following a healthy Diet aids positive mental health
  • Taking the Rest periods you are entitled to is beneficial
  • Making time to have Fun with family is important
  • Adopting a positive approach to Mindfulness helps you manage the aspects of pressure you can change
  • Seeking Support from those in a position to affect workloads, and job objectives, also helps

Having read that list here’s a final question for you:

  • What key action will you take, this week, to more effectively manage your workplace stress?

*The article appears in the spring edition of Benenden Healthcare Society’s subscription-only magazine ‘benhealth’.  Information on the society’s work can be found online at www.benenden.co.uk

A Healthy Balance

One Portion Of Five A Day (c) R Dennison August 2013

One Portion Of Five A Day (c) R Dennison August 2013

It isn’t fair.  You work really hard, get the job you always wanted, start to enjoy your success and then your weight becomes an issue.

If you are David Cameron (photographed on holiday recently displaying a bit of middle aged spread) there will always be someone to remind you about your weight and the impact on your health.

All this in a climate in which: Central government promotes a healthy diet including five portions of fruits and vegetables per day; Birmingham council has promoted free sessions in their leisure facilities to encourage good health http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22350807 ; the Royal College of Psychiatrists draws attention to the link between physical activity and positive mental health.

Since the consensus is that being healthy is a good thing, how might an average person use coaching support to form a health goal?

Well, any success goal will be more powerful if it is phrased in a positive and forward looking way.  So the plaintive cry of ‘I don’t want to drag around this middle aged spread’ will benefit from some further thought.

To help the coachee refine their goal the coach might ask some questions to establish what the personal benefits of ‘feeling healthier’ would be.  For instance: what has the coachee done already to change their situation; how many steps are there to get from where they are presently to the healthier state; what will friends and family be saying when the coachee reaches their healthier state.

Answering these questions starts to build up the background to the healthier state the coachee hankers after.  It also may start suggesting what powerful initial step he or she could take to move them in the right direction.

Ultimately, the coach can help the coachee clarify their situation.  Taking the action necessary to start to attain the goal is the coachee’s responsibility.