Well-being begins with you. It radiates out from you to those you live with, are friends with and work with. Quite simply wellbeing is a catalyst for a cascade of positive and meaningful change in your life and in the lives of others.
I repeat, it begins with you.
As leader of a team of 'Wellbeings', I need to be authentic in my own life and pursue a life that is rich with practices that enable others to understand what this now ‘mainstream’ phenomenon, ‘Wellness’, actually is. After all, if it doesn’t start with me, how can I speak from experience and hope to support others?
As we begin to build up to opening the doors of wellness again, it’s important that we unpack how we really feel. Not what you imagine we want to hear, but an honest account of what you are truly feeling inside. To deliver an outstanding treatment journey, we need to tend to our team first, after all, you can have the most stunning surroundings but it’s the therapist that's actually the main event.
This blog is dedicated to my team at Weavers’House Spa, I intend it to be a comfort blanket, a guiding hand and an honesty wand, extended to my awesome team of TLC Specialists. If you’re reading this, and we don’t work together then BRILLIANT! That means that perhaps these words have travelled far and wide and this is a message you can share with your team too.
It’s all about you, and it always has been. We’ve been lost in the numbers, the procedures and the detail and we’ve not always prioritised how you feel. As TLC Specialists
( and please note I don’t just include therapists here), we are consistently looking at how we can ease, soothe and help others to surrender their stress, pain and problems to us, and then, after listening and absorbing their energy, we work on their inner balance, restoring their flow and a clear mindset. We ‘undo’ the results of hunched shoulders and bad backs, loosen tense muscles and enrich the skin with copious amounts of therapeutic product and make people feel human again.
But, what if you, yourself, are not ‘feeling it’? What if over this last rollercoaster of a year you’ve been anxious about how the pandemic will affect you and the lives of others around you? Perhaps you’ve had times where you’ve had to be strong for others and put yourself last. Perhaps you’ve not really socialised or even felt like socialising and now the thought of ‘people-ing’ again sends your mind into overdrive. Perhaps you’ve experienced a myriad of mental health issues that you never even knew about, or someone close to you has been affected. Perhaps you’ve lost someone close to you. Or perhaps you simply just don’t know how you’re going to go from zero to hero.
Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to stand still. I’ve managed to enjoy conversations instead of hurrying them along. I’ve been present. This has meant I have slowed down, wound down, and simplified my whole life. Paradoxically it’s been the hardest year of my life. I've experienced the loss of loved ones, serious illness within my family, ongoing and increased personal mental health issues, coupled with a loneliness that comes from being single In lockdown and having a family that lives far, far away.
Returning to work, going from standing still to a sprint just isn’t an option for me. I’m sure it’s not for you either. The thought of trading in my lazy mornings for meetings, an avalanche of emails and a day trapped in my cupboard, AKA the office, pulls me back into an old life I feel as if I've left behind.
Although everyone seems to be harping on about ‘the new normal’, I believe it’s a whole new world out there. So, in a new world we do things differently and we make better choices, and in order to build a healthy new foundation it couldn’t be more important to dig deep and truly understand how YOU are feeling. To be Wellbeings we must practice our own wellness daily.
My well-being includes eating clean, trying to not rush but to live in the moment (that's a work in progress!), daily walking, meditation, mindfulness and enough sleep and quiet time. What does your well-being look like? Or how would you like it to be? How can you bring your well-being to work? What are you going to change in your work pattern to slow down, stop moving too fast and live your very own mantra?
There’s zero doubt in my mind that this pandemic will be over any time soon. The real issue is one we haven’t really seen yet, and that’s the mental trauma that we will be left with. As a socially interactive species, human beings are not meant to be locked down. Mental health support organisations are currently inundated with people needing some serious help. Those who have worked in healthcare or as key workers throughout, are now exhausted and experiencing previously unknown personal mental health issues .
So, you see,before we can help others to be Wellbeings, we need you to take a moment with that honesty wand and consider how you yourself are feeling. We all know that getting paid to stay at home isn’t an option long term, but getting back to taking care of others is a big step, and this big move warrants big conversations in which you dig deep and discuss your own feelings.
YOU are the priority, because without YOU we don’t have a business.
Here are a few innovations I intend to introduce ahead of us opening to the public.
Midday Wellness Hour. Instead of grabbing a quick bite to eat in thirty minutes you all will now have a ‘wellness hour’. In this hour you can meet a friend, go for lunch, take a walk, sit outside, meditate, chat... and DIGEST. Again, it’s a simple equation, how can thirty minutes be enough time to relax and revive yourselves before you need to start ‘giving’ again?
Grounding. Like bookends, at the beginning and at the close of the day you will take 5 minutes to sit and listen to a meditation and do some simple breathing exercises. This will help both to ground you and to open and close the pathway between work and home life. This is about balance.
Wellness Wednesdays. Bi weekly we will be spending a hour together when the spa closes to unpack our days. We will also be using mindfulness tools to improve our mindset and how we deal with what life throws at us.
There’s a song that comes to my mind which is a favourite of my mum's and it's called ‘Feeling Groovy’ by Simon and Garfunkel. The first verse says, “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobbled stones, looking for fun and feeling groovy”. In a world that’s been shaken to its core it's time to ensure that you enjoy and ‘feel groovy’ at work. I can say with confidence that we all love what we do, so let’s make it last.
It’s a new world, and we have a chance to make a difference to those that need us and this starts with you. You are standing at the beginning of the path that leads the world out of a pandemic and your role is pivotal in the recovery of humankind. I want to assure you that I like you am apprehensive, BUT I am standing strong, and together we will endeavour to build a future of wellbeing for all.
We’ve got this!