After the last couple of years the recognition of Wellness for staff in schools has come as no surprise. Ofsted’s inclusion of Wellness in the Workplace as an inspection criteria can be seen as a positive step forward, but what does Wellness in the Workplace really mean and how do you deliver it?
We have now seen that mental health plays a vital role in our everyday lives and has a direct impact on our physical health. This is also true of nutritional health and these three factors combined are what makes up our overall wellbeing.
We are beginning to hear the term Wellness in the Workplace a lot and for very good reason. At LIFE Fit, we understand that our health includes our mental and emotional state as well as our physical and nutritional habits and it is important to address our wellness holistically.
Singular approaches to health do not work because they do not take into account stress management, hormonal balance, depth of sleep, food choices, and mental and emotional health. This is where many of the Wellness in the Workplace programs that are being offered are failing.
It is becoming more apparent that teachers are requiring a little more help with their overall wellness and to this effect, we are on a mission to bring our wellness programs to as many schools in Essex as possible. <!–more–>
The question is, as schools are different to most office working environments, how can this be incorporated into your school? Each room you use each day has a particular purpose and is designed to meet a specific requirement. Where can you go during your daily routine for your wellness, for you to use to unwind and to gather your thoughts?
A wellness space can be as simple as an integrated area in your school that can be used as a ‘breakout area’ But what happens within this wellness area? How do you encourage everyone within your school to reap its benefits to its full potential? That bit is simple, you ask LIFE Fit to come into your school to run specific programs for everyone within the wellness space.
The wellbeing of your staff is paramount to your schools success. A healthy workplace culture and staff wellbeing is fundamental in creating an effective team. With a happier, healthier, more focused and cohesive team you will see an increase in their creativity, efficiency and focus and if that isn’t enough, you will benefit from employee relationships becoming more harmonious with individual morale and a sense of team connectivity all increasing.
The correlation of improved health and wellness within the workplace is evident and provides significant positive impacts on staff retention and attendance, not to mention an improvement in everyone’s mental health.
It is for all these reasons that we are offering a FREE workshop to you and your staff.
This would be our introductory course and is a comprehensive mental and physical health workshop covering goal setting and implementing, self-growth and improvement, physical activity, nutrition and its impact on health and body weight. This is a taster-session, designed to show you how our ongoing attendance would benefit you and your staff physically and mentally.
After the most challenging two years in modern history, we could all do with a little help and if you can see how this could help you and your staff, please contact us to arrange your FREE workshop.
We are looking forward to speaking with you and hope you have a great day in the meantime.
The term mental illness is used in a general way to describe conditions that include symptoms that can affect a person’s thinking, perceptions, mood and or behaviour.
The majority of people have some form of what we will refer to as mental dis-ease. We are referring to it in this way because by splitting it into its component parts can aid in the understanding of the original intent of the word disease, whereby the addition of the prefix ‘dis’ to the second element ‘ease’ suggests it is a lack of ease.
If a mental dis-ease is ignored and or denied the chances are the condition will deteriorate and begin to express in a variety of differing ways, which can lead to increased feelings of sadness and or depression. It can also lead to growing feelings of tension and or anxiety. There can also be physical manifestations such as aches and pains, eating in excess or insufficiently and other actions such as the consumption of more alcohol than is healthy, which inevitably leads to the decline of overall physical health.
Possibly one of the best things to have come from the last couple of years, is that so many more people have become aware that they have some form of mental dis-ease and that they would like to manage it better and hopefully even resolve it.
Below are some insights and first steps into the understanding of mental dis-ease and the beginning of the journey to dealing with and even ultimately resolving it.
Understanding you are not alone can be a great source of relief for many. It can also help tremendously to see, read about and talk to others that successfully manage or have even resolved personal traumas and psychological issues. Because learning that others can feel similarly and that no longer do, can promote a desire strong enough to seek resolution for yourself as well.
Asking yourself why you feel the way you do can be a great help in discovering the roots of your feelings. This can be assisted greatly with practises such as mindfulness, meditation and talking therapies. Because if you understand the why, you are better able to do something about it.
We, more often than not, are able to show compassion for someone that is dealing with a challenging situation, yet often neglect to do the same for ourselves. Learning to be understanding and compassionate with yourself is one of the fundamental keys of resolving mental dis-ease.
Understanding why you tend to stay in your “comfort zones” is really interesting. The primary driver for this is generally your fear centre, because its primary job is to protect you and keep you safe. Sometimes it can be a little too effective at this and it could be keeping you from changes that may very well be good for you. This is because one of the fear centres’ key markers for safety is familiarity, but just because something is familiar, does not mean it is good for your wellbeing
Breathing. We all do it, all day every day, yet we seldom pay much attention to it, if any. It can however be a significant indicator of how you are feeling. For instance short shallow breaths can be an indication of fear, it can also simply be an unconscious way you might generally breathe. Interestingly your body and mind naturally observes this fundamental function and reacts accordingly, even if you do not realise consciously that this is what is happening. This is really easy to test. Simply take a lovely big deep breath in, holding it in for a second or two and then let it out. You can often enhance the feeling of relaxation by adding a big sigh of relief to the letting out part of the breath. Do this three times in a row and then notice if you feel more at ease and relaxed as a result.
Ofsted have begun to review its impact on teacher wellbeing during their inspections and are now looking to also include the health and wellness of staff as part of their inspection criteria. The government has also now implemented an Education staff wellbeing charter, which is a declaration that schools and colleges are invited to sign up to, as a commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff, including temporary and support staff.
What does this really mean though and how does any place of work effectively implement such a commitment and to stop it becoming simply a well intentioned idea or worse still a box ticking exercise? Even with the best intentions of an educational organisation to deliver on the implementation of a healthier working environment, there are some real world obstacles to navigate, even for the most well intentioned and determined of organisations.
The pure intention of why we send our children to school is all about education through learning and experience, but as so many teachers will no doubt share, if the pupils receiving this training do not have the desire to receive it, it will simply fall on deaf ears. There is a saying that education is wasted on the young, but what if they understood why the lessons were being shared and the value they could acquire from them; would they engage with it more readily? Or is it that the pupils have little or no concept of the advantages they can gain, because it is currently outside their frame of experience, so are unintentionally unaware of its benefits. This could be the same for any member of staff within a school or college during the introduction of any new scheme, including that of a health and wellness program designed for their benefit.
These are real world considerations and can be why change does not progress much further than the initial idea. There are three milestonesto be implemented to significantly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Acknowledgement, Agreement and Action. Acknowledgement is essential because unless you acknowledge at some level that there is something to change, things will seldom progress. Agreement, because unless you agree to do something about what has been acknowledged, things will more often than not stop here. Action, such as implementing a plan within the organisation. The major issue we have seen is that the resources are rarely made available for an educational organisation for the purposes of an effective wellness program. Without the professional knowledge and expertise from a third party, who are experienced and qualified to action such programs, effective change seldom happens.
Unfortunately, what tends to happen in a bid to operate within the restraints of little funding and over-stretched time, is that the task of implementing wellness within the workplace falls to an existing member of staff. They are then burdened with the responsibilities along-side their already busy workload and this is where any successful and meaningful action often comes to a stop.
Furthermore, the disillusionment felt by the staff of any real help being received from such a poorly run wellness program leads to an undermining of staff morale. Because of the disappointment of lack of fulfilment from the original “promises” and the installed scepticism that this will happen again then further undermines any future programs that are later implemented as their confidence in such systems have been eroded.
The problem faced with seeking professional support is that it does come with a financial investment and as is commonly known and understood, funding for schools is limited. The question is then, how can an effective wellness program be affordable by a school? It is the classic case of chicken or the egg; if teachers are not supported in their overall health their subsequent absence from work will be more costly to a school and its performance, which has a direct impact on the following years funding for the school. Increase the funding to allow for a staff wellness program and the staff become more effective in their roles.
If funding were to be available, a school would now have the ability to bring in a health and wellness company who would deliver all aspects of the fundamental physical and mental support through their reservoir of experience. Using a company whose role is to improve the wellness within a workplace means that all who take part will then benefit from a program that is delivered more effectively and efficiently thus leaving the teachers free to teach and in turn the pupils in a better environment to learn.
Have you been conditioned to think you need to hustle to grow your business?
“Hustle til’ you make it” (And destroy all your relationships or die in the process)
Hustle has become the new cool.
I read a post just the other day where a newbie to business proudly posted
“I have not done my hair in over a month and instead wear a hat so I can hustle longer. What time-saving tips do you have?”
Was he being serious? I have no idea, but I’d like to bet there was truth behind it.
The truth is you do have to work hard, especially in the early stages of start-up.
But there’s a difference between hard work and hustle.
Hustle comes from a place of scarcity.
You use words like:
“I should” “I need to” “I have to” Instead of “I want to”
The stakes are high, so you’re always in a heightened emotional state.
You create a place of lack and take the fun out of the process. The hustle culture is creating a world of overwhelm and burnout,
And here are 5 reasons why it will burn you down…
1. Your brain is never in flow
A hustle mind is not a strategic or creative mind. Hustle makes you hurried and forceful. Jumping from one task to the next with no intention other than ’to get more done’ but in the process, never achieving one thing with excellence.
Do you really want your customers and clients to think of you as a hustler?
2. You don’t know when to stop
9pm, 10pm, 11pm? Before you know it, you’re reluctantly closing the laptop, still not satisfied with your day’s contribution, and heading to bed in a high emotional state.
I talk about this a lot, but neuroplasticity (the ability for your brain to change) only happens in deep rest, i.e., restful sleep.
So if you’re heading to bed highly emotional and still switched on, you’re missing out on your superpower.
Sleep is king!
3. You don’t know how to take time out
Instead, you’re overthrown with guilt for not working and find yourself sneaking in five minutes here and five minutes there when you think ‘no one will notice.’
(Psst! people notice)
4. You don’t have boundaries
Your work hustle and personal life blend into one. You have no idea where one starts and the other ends. Your business brain is never fully switched off. You’ve lost control.
5. The tiredness and exhaustion become your badge of honour
I wore this badge for many years because I was influenced by those who rallied for hustle. I believed if I wasn’t 10Xing my hustle game, I wasn’t playing big enough.
Here’s the thing. This mentality didn’t just affect my health. It almost ruined my relationships with my family. Trust me when I say it’s not honourable. No one wants to be around an overtired hustler who can’t switch off from ‘business mode.’
There’s a line between the hustle and hard work. Both require sacrifice and commitment.
Both are goal orientated. The difference is in the state of being and how you approach your work.
A hustler is always in a high emotional state, anxious, aggressive, rushed. The hustler is so busy hustling that self-care goes out the window.
Workouts get missed, and meals are forgotten. I’ve even heard the phrase,
“Sleeping is cheating”
Those who are successful are critical thinkers. Critical thinking does not happen in a place of high emotion.
In contrast, hard work is strategic and purposeful. Think of the athlete heading for the Olympics with gold in mind. It takes four years to prepare for the event. Imagine if, for four of those years the athlete was in a state of hustle, sneaking in extra workouts and neglecting sleep.
No, the athlete is disciplined in the process. The athlete works hard in training.
She gives her all to each session and shows up at her best. But she’s smart and recovers hard with rest and play. She doesn’t possess a hustle mindset; she is fully in control of her emotional state. The athlete knows its quality above quantity, so she remains patient and committed.
Hard work is a state of mind committed to the process, not just the result. Adopt an athlete mindset and lose the hustle.
Thank you for reading,
I hope this provided awareness of what I see as a growing concern within the entrepreneurial world.
Author: Keir Wotherspoon – High Performance Coach
We would like to share our appreciation to Keir Wotherspoon for his work. Please help us by sharing his blog to all those you believe would benefit from these insightful words.
Taking a moment to pause and reflect is a great habit to include in your routine. As our comprehension of health evolves and we learn to understand that our health includes our mental and emotional state as well as our physical and nutritional habits, it is important for each of us to survey our wellness holistically, to ensure we are headed in the right direction in our entirety.
To understand your health and wellness, means asking yourself a range of questions on topics that society is only just beginning to understand; It wasn’t too long ago that health and wellness focused exclusively on nutrition and exercise and on a societal level, weight loss was the only concrete measure of our health. As a result of this, or maybe because of this, we have endured almost a century of diet crazes, dangerous FADS and expensive exercise classes over-promising on their results without explaining the commitment required from their attendees. Thankfully, the UK’s health and fitness industry has come a long way since this. Although there is still a long way to go with many ‘qualified’ fitness trainers and organisations still overlooking fundamental aspects of health and wellness, the health and fitness industry is now beginning to acknowledge that there is so much more to understanding our personal health.
Being healthy still includes exercising and eating nutritional food but those measures alone are not enough to ensure our overall wellness. Our bodies are a series of complex integrated systems that do not stand alone. Science has opened the door to a greater understanding of the importance of stress management, hormonal balance, depth of sleep, food choices, and mental and emotional health. Singular approaches to health do not work. So it is important that we ask ourselves questions from multiple angles to determine if we are in balance, and therefore, truly well.
To help you to understand your current wellbeing, ask yourself these 5 wellness questions…
1) DO YOU EVER STOP AND TAKE A MOMENT TO REFLECT?
Do you ever just stop what you are doing and take a breath. To take a moment to notice what emotions you are feeling? To acknowledge the thoughts you are thinking? To see where your energy level is? To check that your posture is good? How many times can you honestly say that you are truly in the moment and really enjoying the task you are doing?
Do you ever stop to ask yourself, are you doing what you want to be doing at this very moment?
In our fast paced day-to-day regime of “doing”, it is easy to forget to check in with ourselves. Our minds are hardwired to create routines and habitual behaviors that we grow up with and continue to cement into our daily lives and before we realise what has happened, we are living the same routine, day after day after day, completely oblivious to the repetition of our routine as we mindlessly perform our tasks without a second thought to any dreams or aspirations we have about what we really want to be doing. This state of mind is a perfect stage to get lost in as you continue in a loop while your to-do list, doubts and anxieties dictate your life and blind you to the fact that you do have choices and every morning when you wake up, you choose what you do with your day.
Each time you stop and reflect, it allows you that moment to remind yourself that you do have choices. We all have choices. Some choices are easier to make than others, such as where you would like to go on holiday as opposed to whether to leave your 9 to 5 job to pursue your real passion as a career?
By stopping periodically to take a moment to yourself, to look at what you are doing versus what you want to be doing, you will find yourself better placed to identify what it is that you really want to be doing with your days and what you want out of your life overall. By mindfully invoking these pauses and encouraging your curiosity, eventually as your realisation grows, you will start to take steps towards realising your dreams.
This process does not happen easily and it requires you to remain mindful. This is why we practice mindfulness and integrate it as a foundational principle in our LIFE Fit Programme
2) ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AT THIS VERY MOMENT?
The word happiness is often associated with fleeting moments of pleasure. It is often a misunderstood emotion believed to be felt because of the actions of another towards us. The problem with this is that, if you have placed the responsibility of your happiness in the hands of another to fulfill, not only have you unfairly burdened someone with something that is not theirs to carry but you will ultimately be chasing a feeling that will never truly be quenched.
We have been led to believe that happiness is something to chase and that we will find happiness through materialistic objects. That we will be happy if we buy that perfect new outfit, or own that little sports car, or once we have lost some weight or moved into the dream house. It is the classic ‘the grass is always greener’ syndrome. The fact is, the grass will be greener on the side that is tended to the most. No amount of items purchased, or weight lossed will change the person we are within and until you are truly happy with yourself and who you are, you will not find happiness through any other attempts.
We all understand how good it feels to do something that helps another person feel good but this is not to be confused with thinking that any one person can make any other person happy. You are not responsible for anybody else’s happiness and nobody else is responsible for yours. Happiness is something that only you can create within you.
Once you have accepted your past, are confident and joyful with who you are now and are excited about who you are growing into then you will start to feel happiness within you. You will learn that you are not reliant on anybody else for happiness and you will understand that while a sports car may be nice to have, your happiness doesn’t depend on it because you are already happy with yourself and this is the only place where happiness can be found.
This can be a long, confusing and sometimes painful journey to take and this is why we incorporate it in our LIFE Fit Programme
3) DOES YOUR ENERGY-IN MATCH YOUR ENERGY-OUT?
Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery. Every day, you perform actions that both charge your energy and drain your energy. Eating nutritional food at the right times, drinking enough water throughout the day, having a regular exercise regime, moving periodically throughout the day and getting enough sleep each night are all fundamental elements for your health and wellness.
Your brain and your body are constantly working, even while you sleep, they are using energy; lots of energy. Your energy comes from good food sources and your energy levels will be at their optimum if you are being fuelled with complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats at the correct quantities.
Your energy is used by the activities you perform throughout the day. The more active you are, the more energy you use.
This sounds like a simple calculation to live by but it is very common to get the balance between energy-in and energy-out completely wrong, in either direction. Whether you are taking in too much energy by eating too much compared to the activity level you perform each day or not taking in enough energy by not eating enough while trying to complete high daily activity levels, either imbalance can be devastating on your health both physically and mentally.
Energy when discussed in this context is measured in calories. Food and drink contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the amount of each will determine how many calories are in that food or drink. Your body uses the energy from the food you feed it to function and to perform the tasks you ask of it. The more active you are, the more calories you will use. So to put simply, if you eat more calories than you use each day, you will gain body fat. This overtime can lead to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. On the flip-side, if you are not consuming enough calories to support the activities you are performing each day, you will lose body fat. This too can lead to health issues if continued over a period of time.
Both methods are used when trying to gain weight or lose weight and when done under controlled limitations, this is not necessarily a concern. The problems arise when these methods are used obsessively by someone desperately seeking a certain body image or mindlessly by someone who is unaware of the consequences of their eating versus activity levels and therefore continues with this energy-in versus energy-out imbalance, completely unaware that this could well be the reason for any physical or mental ill-health they are suffering with.
To find your balance with your energy-in versus energy-out can be tricky and will vary from person to person. It is a vitally important aspect of your overall health and this is why this is a fundamental aspect within the LIFE Fit Programme.
4) ARE YOU WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF?
Do you have a plan for your future? This could be anything that is important to you. Whether you want to learn a new skill, visit a new country, retire and travel the world, build your own house in the country, learn to meditate every day, master a headstand or run a marathon, it is a very good idea to harvest and nurture these dreams. It is all too easy to allow each day to pass by in a flurry of repetitive tasks and before you know it the weeks, months and years have passed by and you are no closer to achieving your dream. If you have any goals and dreams it is important to put a plan in place to help you to achieve them.
Without a plan, how are you to know how to get to where you want to go and if you don’t know how to get to where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Any goal is achieved successfully with a series of small, incremental steps. Each step, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, will be a step closer to your goal. Learn how to achieve your goals by reading 6 Steps on How To Create Real Change
If you do not have any goals that you are currently pursuing, perhaps now is a good time to review your passions. Write yourself a list of 5 things that you would love to do each day. Then write yourself a list of 5 things that you do everyday. Now compare the two lists. If the lists do not match, perhaps now is a good time to review what it is that you want from your life and start making a plan to see that you get there.
These are not necessarily easy steps to follow, especially as we live our lives through busy days of home, work, social and family commitments. As John Lennon said “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” This is why we incorporate goal setting, planning and actioning into our LIFE Fit Programme
5) DO YOU FEEL ABLE TO ASK FOR HELP?
Asking for help can often be the bravest thing you can do? It can also be the one thing you do that could accelerate you to progress further than you had even imagined.
Sometimes the smartest way of getting to where you want to go is by asking someone who knows how to get there. This isn’t a sign of weakness, it is an acknowledgement of your own growth and the recognition that someone can assist in your development without diminishing your efforts.
We each have our strengths and weaknesses and the world is a better place for it as it allows people to grow by both sharing and accepting knowledge, skills, passions and expertise with and from others.
We have a wealth of knowledge, passion and expertise at LIFE Fit and love nothing more than sharing this with as many people as we can. If you feel you would benefit from this, there is a quick form below to make it even easier for you to get in touch with us. Simply complete the form and we will be in touch with you, ready to help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.
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