What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing is an amorphous concept. And it's more than one element.
What we do know is that wellbeing isn't something that necessarily can be achieved. I like to look at it as a journey rather than as a destination.
And wellbeing is the balance of a number of things, and how those things balance depending on outside influences that can change over days or weeks.
You will find your own wellbeing somewhere in the shaded pink section in the centre
Six Spheres of Wellbeing
When talking about "What is wellbeing?" I always refer back to the Gallup organisation and their extensive work in this area. They have conducted worldwide research on what it means to live a life well-lived; in essence, what are the essential elements of wellbeing. They found that the five areas of life that give the best indication of wellbeing were: Financial Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, Career Wellbeing, and Community Wellbeing.
They asked people to score their life from 1 - 10 in each of the five areas, : 1 being not good at all, and 10 being the best life possible.
In the work I've done in the past few years around wellbeing, I now also add Psychological wellbeing as the sixth of the Six Spheres of Wellbeing that I focus my wellbeing work around.
Do you have regular access to enough money to give you financial security?
Are you able to effectively manage your economic life?
How close are you to having the finances you want, not just those you need?
Do you like what you do on a daily basis?
Includes retirement, study, volunteering, parenting, not working - not just those who work
Do you have a sense of engagement with the area where you live / in a community in which you operate?
Are you emotionally well?
Do you experience positive emotions and feelings of happiness?
Do you not experience strong negative emotional responses?
Are you physically well?
In good health, free of the burden of disease?
Do you have enough energy to get things done in your daily life?
Do you have strong relationships in your life?
Do you have people that you love?
Do you have people that love you?
Why focus on wellbeing?
In 2017, a significant period of my own unwellbeing forced me to take a temporary break from working life altogether, and thus far a permanent break from Fundraising, the career I had previously delighted in for over 15 years.
It was on accepting I was not able to return to work in the way I had wanted to , that sparked my own interest in wellbeing, and that prompted my questioning of and study into wellbeing in the charity sector, and in particular, the wellbeing of Fundraisers, and the common causes of the unwellbeing I had observed.
You can find out more about my Charity Well Research Project here
Lots of research has been undertaken into the benefits of focussing on wellbeing and on the knock-on effects in other areas of your life when you make improvements in any of the Six Spheres of Wellbeing
These benefits are not only demonstrable and enjoyed in your home and "own" life, but have also been proven when wellbeing is focussed on and improved in the workplace
Being as many of us spend much of our lives of working age and therefore, most probably in work, why not put some time into empowering ourselves and others to make and enjoy the benefits of those improvements!
The Culture and Wellbeing work I do today is based on my own earlier career training and experience in Management and Leadership, my 18year in-house charity sector career, my experience when ill, and the huge amount of study research and programme development I've done since.
It is an amazing thing to find a second career that lights your word. Wellbeing is now that world-lighter for me and my world, and if we work together, for your world too