By Jo Twiselton
My passion for wellbeing began over ten years ago and is driven from my own experience in two areas: my own career in communications and change, plus the impact I’ve seen big organisational change have at a personal level – and that includes being on the receiving end of poorly managed change.
My first run-in with change was a reorganisation in the very early days of my working life and it’s stuck with me ever since. We received long, jargon-filled announcements with little understandable explanation of why the change was happening and not much opportunity for those affected to ask questions and make sense of it for themselves. And, for those of us not directly impacted by the change? Well, a few, including me, felt what’s now known as ‘survivor guilt’ – being left behind when others are gone. Overall, it was a pretty emotional experience.
With this experience – and others since – I know that big change can often create wellbeing havoc and have a negative effect on organisations. So, part of my approach is helping people to help themselves when they face change. This stuff can really make a positive difference to people – and organisations.
Three areas of wellbeing
The term ‘wellbeing’ is used interchangeably to mean many different things, but for me, it’s about three main areas:
- How I can notice more about how I’m feeling
- How I can better look after myself – physically, mentally and emotionally
- How I can be kinder and more compassionate to others – and myself
There are heaps of topics you can explore that sit beneath these, including exercise, nutrition, resilience, emotional intelligence, coaching, self-awareness and mindfulness amongst many, many others. But most recently, the ones I’ve found that resonate with people the most are:
- Being part of a trusted and honest support network – so having supporters who can look out for you and you can look out for them, particularly when things get tricky
- Whatever is happening, recognising that there are things in my world that I can have control over, such as how I talk to myself and others, what I choose to eat and drink or watch or read
- Being kind and compassionate. In the words of JM Barry, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
I love to hear about ways that people support their own wellbeing, particularly during tricky change. If you’d be happy to share your approaches or would like to chat more about this, do get in touch.
Jo running a recent CIPREA workshop on wellbeing, Images by Becky Asplin Photography.