Inspiring Wellness Tips and Strategies

What type of relationships do you have . . .

Do you maintain supportive and diverse relationships? Relationships are the central part of life and also the hardest part of life. Yet our schools teach us a minimum of 13 years of English and Math but nothing about relationships and how to make them work.

If your parents educated you about how to have healthy, honest, and authentic personal and professional relationships with people from all walks of life, then you are indeed blessed. Actually, no person can give you all the recipes there, even parents can only set you up with basics. Because much depends on your character and your individual circumstances. Relationships are a necessary part of healthy and successful living. Healthy relationships enrich your live and add to your enjoyment of being alive. Do you:
-Take the time to reply to personal correspondence? e.g. schedule quality time every week to follow up with friends/family.

– Schedule regular time with treasured people in your life? e.g. date night with a special person/friend.
– Ask for help when you need it? e.g. phone a friend or have a working bee.
– Have healthy working hours? e.g. arriving and leaving work at reasonable times?
– End relationships that no longer serve you? e.g. reduce your Facebook friends.
– Attend functions where you can meet new people? e.g. party or ‘meet up’ event.
And don’t forget, the relationship you can always boost up is the one you have with yourself.

There is a decent change that you are lonely . . .

We humans are social creatures. Our need to connect with others is deeply hardwired as it goes right back to when we gathered in groups so we could survive. Times have certainly changed, research confirms young Australians, single parents, unemployed, people with disabilities, over-65s are lonely. Anyone for that matter can be lonely.

Alarmingly, the latest Australian Loneliness Report 2018 revealed one in four Australians confirmed feeling lonely each week. The report highlighted that one in two Australians sometimes or always feel alone.

When we are not being connected to others it can take a tremendous toll on our relationships, health, wellbeing, and our survival. The issue is so prevalent, and its effects are so damaging, that experts warn of a loneliness epidemic that could be our next public health crisis.

Tips to overcome loneliness:

– Understand and acknowledge your loneliness.
– Don’t be afraid of showing the authentic you.
– Deal with the stress of putting yourself out there.
– Don’t be afraid of small talk.
– Build relationships through listening.
– Seek treatment for underlying mental health issues.
– Harness the power of technology for good.
– Join a special interest group.
– Look out for the people in your community and workplace.

Are you ok day? Needs to be everyday . . .

In Australia, the 12th September is “Are you ok?” day It’s all about having a conversation with people where you could change their life. It is creating awareness to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.

I enthusiastically believe in this day, and even more so that, it needs to be every day that we check in on those around us. I ask this question daily, personally and professionally. I do this verbal, via emails and texting. I usually ask the question “I hope you and your world are all good?” then I listen mindfully to the response.

You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a caring friend and a great listener. A tip to being a great listener, is to put yourself in the other persons shoes – try and image what they are going through. Show empathy and compassion. The R U OK? organisation recommends using these four steps:

1. Ask are you ok?
2. Listen.
3. Encourage action.
4. Check in.

If your intuition is telling you that someone you know or care about isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts, or moody, or withdrawn. Trust your gut instinct and ask the question. Are you ok? You may not be able to solve their concerns, what you can do is support them to find someone that can help.

Letting the unimportant things go, you create . . .

Was there a time in your life when you wanted to do it all? When you wanted to fit everything in? Yet for years you resisted the idea that you would have to let some things go. There was a time when I was determined to be the perfectionist in everything that I did. Which I finally realised was a total recipe for stress, exhaustion, not being present, not “smelling the roses” and fundamental self-abuse.

So, I decided that by making choices, by letting some things go, I would make space for new things to grow. Instead of being the perfectionist, I now think of myself as the high achiever. I proudly set healthy boundaries for my life. Daily I integrate and maintain selfcare time into my busy schedule. To do this I had to change my existing lifestyle behaviours by letting certain things go.

Try it today. Letting the unimportant things go, you create space in your life for new things to root & grow.

But first, you need to go through the painful process of letting some things go and the swirl of emotions that come along such as; guilt, failure, not-good-enough, regret, frustration, sadness, disappointment.

Once you do this, then you have the space (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to create the type of life that you truly want. Plus, it feels so good! Uplifting, Empowering, Spacious, Grounded, Present, Creative, Powerful, Supported, Freedom.

Authentic friends, especially in your workplace, can . . .

Few things have such a huge impact on happiness and the enjoyment, depth and plain fun of life as the friendships we have. It could be the friendships with our partners, family members, work colleagues and the people we have known for a few years now or since we were kids. Or even with people we have never even met at the other side of the world or the pets we love.

Authentic friends, especially in your workplace, can enrich your life and improve your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and gives you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friendship helps increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness reducing stress, improve your self-confidence and self-worth, help you cope with traumas and encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits. I live by the following quotes on friendship:
“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others” Confucius
“When you judge someone, it says more about you, unless you really have walked a mile in their shoes” Edward Mills
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” Walter Winchell
“Be yourself: everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you” Winnie the Pooh

Reduce multitasking, it will change your life . . .

How often do you multitask? In particular, how often do you mix family/friend time with other time? You know, the way you’re kind of hanging out with your loved ones and still doing something else. It may be reading a text, checking emails, scrolling on Instagram, liking on Facebook, watching a show, reading a book, talking on your mobile while driving and whatever else.

It usually doesn’t satisfy either well because multitasking is distracting. When a person is focused on multiple tasks, they are distracted from everything else. Sure, multitasking in some cases you can be more efficient however in most cases it leads to a compromise in quality, and in this instance quality time.

If you’re in a situation where you can be totally present with your loved ones and for example talk together or play a game together and be in the moment together that’s golden. You’ve got it good. Generally, the rest of the world, especially in the western world – developed countries, struggles with the quality time balance here.

By changing one lifestyle habit of reducing multitasking you will be able to cherish – your family and loved ones more. Show them. Connect with them. Life is precious, priceless and quality time together with loved ones you’ll never get it back. Savour it and appreciate it.

We usually only take time out when we become ill !

Our need for time in which to do what we choose is increasingly urgent in our overconnected, overwhelmed and overstimulated world. We usually only take time out when we become ill or when we are so overtired, we can’t function. For some reason having “me time” is complicated by negative thoughts, of guilt, regret, escapism as well as being associated with being too overwhelmed, fatigue or stressed to truly benefit from it. My suggestion is to stop feeling guilty for having “me time”, change your mindset to having guilt free “me time”. Everyone needs to view “me time” as an important preventative health care activity, as it is vital for your health and wellbeing. Here are some examples of “me time”, and for best practice, all are to be done without having your mobile phone with you.
– having a bath
– playing a music instrument
– going for a walk
– gardening
– sitting in a cafe having a coffee
– cooking with your favourite music
– relaxing on a park bench
– painting
– flicking through a magazine
– dancing
– reading a book
– fifteen minutes of tai chi or yoga
– singing
– listening to music
– playing with animals – a puppy/kitten
– admiring a magnificent view
– a practice of stillness
– lie with your legs up the wall
– making a sandcastle!

Living with a kind heart is mind-blowingly . . .

From Tibetan Buddhism – Taming the Wild Horse (or some say Monkey) of the Mind. The practise of cultivating lovingness, kindness and compassion – living with a kind heart – is mind-blowingly and profoundly transformative. When we are focusing on it – a kind heart – it decreases our selfishness, therefore so does our other mental thoughts and emotions i.e.: anger, stress, depression, annoyance, unhappiness, as these emotions decrease, positivity within ourselves increases.

It sounds so easy, change your thoughts to lovingness, kindness and compassion and you change your life. It really is simple; you can start today. Ask yourself “How can I have a kind heart?” A few suggestions: smile more often, help a friend/colleague at work, share food or items that you have, have small talk – sincerely ask someone at work how they are & be present to their response, pick up some litter, don’t rush to be first in the queue, write a thank you letter/text to someone.

Remember small changes can bring about big emotional, spiritual, physical and mental change, these are also connected to your relationships, profession and core values, and they all enable you to be living a better life.

Sending lovingness, kindness and compassion to all living beings on magnificent mother earth puts a smile on my dial. Try it!

Some people say that worrying can be useful . . .

Some people say that worrying can be useful. It can be good to think about possible problems so that you can work out how to address them. It can be beneficial and at times we all need to be prepared. However, far too many people only think about what could go wrong and all the doom and gloom it will bring. Not only do people think about what could go wrong, they end up going over and over possible problems again and again, consuming their thoughts, so they are stuck in their mind. Simultaneously, this takes people away from being present in their day to day life. The majority of people are extremely conditioned, or some people generally do forget, to think about what could go right!

The more positive thoughts and solutions you think about, the more you are going to find, and the more positive solutions you find, the more you will search for more. By activating positive thoughts to avoid your worrying, you will start to feel better. Even more beneficial is the more practiced you become at thinking positive thoughts and finding positive solutions, rather than worrying or stressing or being optimistic, it will become your dominant habit.

Rather than worrying, let positive emotions flood through you in response to your thoughts and focus on them. I can assure you; you will wish to ride the positive, “I feel good dan-nan-nan-nar” feeling, wave longer.

Are you wanting more time for you?

Do you wish you had more time for yourself? The amount of times, I have heard people say this to me. I have found that when I live by one of my core values which I have turned into a quote “You can’t pour from an empty coffee pot you need to take care of yourself first”, that I have time for me. I feel calmer, happier, healthier and have energy throughout the day. I love having the time and energy for horizontal exercising in the evenings too!

When we always prioritise the needs of others, putting our needs last, we can only operate with what is left, what energy, love and attention we have left to give, leaving little for our own needs. Our energy is depleted until we have nothing left to give, and then no one benefits, least of all ourselves. When this happens, it is of greatest importance and time to refill your coffee pot. We can’t control others and how they fill or don’t fill their coffee pot, but we can certainly control ourselves and how to refill our coffee pot.

When you take care of yourself, studies prove within the workplace, there are a myriad of benefits such as; you have reduced stress, increased job satisfaction, improved sense of wellbeing, positive staff relationships and an overall greater capacity to enjoy all aspects of life, at work and at home. 

p.s. Yes, I am an absolute coffee nutter and coffee lover,

The many benefits of Appreciation!

Appreciation. Do you appreciate your life? and do you appreciate all that you have in your life? When was the last time you looked around your immediate surroundings and noticed something that pleases you? When did you look at something and think how beautiful, amazing, useful, practical, well-made, artistic or exquisite it is?

When we appreciated things, we have positive feelings and consequently our overall mindset and feelings improve. Appreciating those good feelings is absolutely to be appreciated too.

Right now, take a few moments look at something that makes you smile – even if you’re smiling on the inside. Appreciate it. See the beauty in it. Think of why it makes you smile? This automatically puts your mind into a feel good place. Then with that same feel good feeling look at something else that makes you smile and do it all again. If you keep this act of appreciation going it will change your whole day. Once you start to see the beauty in what is all around you, you change your thoughts, which changes your feelings and therefore changes your behaviour. Appreciation, it is such a small act and can easily change your life.

I’m appreciating; my view of pine trees, sunlight, blue skies, nature, birds, tranquillity . . . bliss!

When did you last switch off?

When did you last switch off? The most challenging part of switching off is taking the very first step of simply stopping. So how do we really take that first step and stop? First, you need to recognise the need to stop, ideally before you burn out, if you’re not already. If your car breaks down on the way to work, most people find that they are able to make instant changes to their busy work/life schedule to fix it. So why don’t we do it for our own sustainable wellbeing? Why can we easily service our car and not ourselves?
I coined this quote “You can’t pour from an empty coffee pot, you need to take care of yourself first”.
If you are wanting to stop and have some fundamental wellness time for you, to recharge or to have the time to be “present”, with some big, deep slow breathing for five minutes, then block out the time and do it. Change your schedule, say no to a few things or take yourself off to a location where no one can contact you. Give yourself a break, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I do this most mornings, (or evenings). It’s my wellness time, being in nature, connecting to me, some self care nurturing, and it’s mandatory I don’t have my mobile phone with me. Change your life, by changing your schedule, try it today. I highly recommend it. 

Do what makes your soul shine?

Already the number of people taking wellness trips to revitalise is on the rise from 1 in 10 (2018) to 1 in 5 (2019). Maintaining your individual wellness has never been in greater demand. Not everyone can afford to have a wellness retreat or a weekend away. So here is 90 words of Positive Psychology. Read it and practice one of the behaviours each day. Or print it out so that it can remind you to be more positive. When we are positive it enables us to be happier. When we have positive awareness it can create a ripple effect that can change the lives of countless individuals, in particular those surrounding you. 

Live courageously, through creation and adversity. Take maximum responsibility. Belong. Share a purpose. Fulfilment over instant gratification. Resilience over happiness. Gratitude over habituation. Savour the good. Work from strengths, in flow, autonomously. Less comfort, more growth. Realise meaning by helping others. Kindness as religion. Give, give, give, receive. Passion over profit. Laugh and play while you can. Explore your ego, check the narrative. Reflect don’t ruminate. Just be, mindfully present.  Forgive. Accept yourself, unconditionally. Love what’s broken. Embrace the uncontrollable. Hug one second longer. Do what makes your soul shine! 

When you are happy, you do more!

Happiness inspires productivity. When we are happy, we do more. Employee wellness is a significant concern for organisations today. With increasing high rates of depression, poor work-life balance, and stress disorders among professionals promoting happiness at work is a sheer necessity. One method is positive psychology.

Positive psychology is uniquely solution-focused. It is not merely a remedy for problems. It is a visionary change to look into the same things with a different perspective. By making us more aware of our inner strength and capabilities, it helps us to see the positive around us and make our life more worthy and fulfilling.

Positive psychology helps us look at life with optimism, allow us to appreciate the present, lets us accept and make peace with the past, helps us to be more grateful and forgiving, and helps us to look beyond momentary pleasures and pains of life.

One positive psychology technique that you can do is the “What went well” Exercise. For one week, including your days when you are not at work. Set aside some time each day for writing about three good things, big or small, that happened on that day. Each day when you have completed the exercise, reflect back on it, and absolutely celebrate your achievements and successes.

A big bravo to Jacinda Ahern!

BRAVO!! Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand’s Prime Minister) is creating the world’s first “wellbeing’ budget, to help with mental health, domestic violence and child poverty. The budget will factor explicit measures of public welfare alongside economic growth. A monumental step forward in recognising the future of one’s wellness and wellbeing is absolutely essential. So what is the meaning of wellness and why it does it matter?

Wellness is an active process that considers a person’s emotional, physical, mental and spiritual state to achieve a balanced – happy and healthy – life.  The National Wellness Institute of Australia defines wellness as “our physical, social, emotional, work, spiritual values, and intellectual lives, along with our cultural values, environment and finances all impact upon each other and our overall balance – our wellness.” Wellness is an evolving process of change and growth that enables optimal living, relative to an individual. Wholistic wellness matters, because it is fundamental to living a healthy, happy life. Our wellness directly affects our emotions, actions and the ability to manage and be resilient to the challenges of contemporary society. 

What is one small change that you can do today, to invest in your wellness to improve your wellbeing? 

michelle@michellewinrow.com

+61 (0) 411 698 887

Powdered by lovingness, kindness, compassion,

the odd coffee, sometimes a glass of vino and

sheer determination to help change peoples lives, for the better!