June 15, 2022
Let’s start by asking a simple question: how are you really feeling today? With 1 in 4 fashion industry professionals experiencing anxiety, burnout or depression at some point in their career, it’s more important than ever to focus on our personal wellbeing. By building in robust practices into our schedules – and remembering to make space for our own needs – we can better combat the stress and pressure that often comes with working in such a fast-paced and competitive environment.
In our recent Wellbeing Works event, Conscious Working founder and fashion industry veteran Gret Betchelar helped us to bust 6 myths about wellbeing at work, giving us practical ideas of how we can make a change in our everyday routines. Read on for more details.
These two terms have often been used interchangeably over the past couple of years, but there’s a marked difference between the two. Wellness refers to the actions and behaviours that you take to achieve a sense of wellbeing. It’s a term that usually refers to physical health and tangible actions. On the other hand, wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. It’s a holistic word that is connected to your state of mind. Gret takes this one step further, defining wellbeing as the state of feeling good, living wholeheartedly and being in balance with both the community and the planet.
People often think that wellbeing relates solely to physical health, but in reality it’s much more holistic than that. There are so many aspects of our emotional being that we also need to consider in order to be able to fully embrace the benefits. Of course, mental health and physical health go hand in hand, so getting the right balance will be foundational in your day-to-day. So, be mindful of what you’re putting into your body at mealtimes. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Exercise regularly and build more movement into your everyday life. Most importantly, make sure you’re getting enough social contact and building meaningful relationships – otherwise you’ll inadvertently be putting the rest of your hard work in jeopardy.
Wellbeing will look slightly different for everyone, but there are a few key characteristics that are common to all. For example, everyone needs to feel a sense of purpose in order to really feel fulfilled. We invest our time, energy and resources into our work – and we want what we do to be aligned with our own purpose and values. The same goes for resilience and sustainability. So while we might practice wellbeing in different ways, we actually have a lot more in common than you might think.
Some people believe that working on your wellbeing is about focusing on yourself and looking inwardly. Gret argues that it’s so much more than that, because what we do affects those around us. And our connections have an impact on the people around them, causing a ripple effect across the community. When you begin to embrace your own individual wellbeing, you’ll be more aware of the good you’re doing to both people and the planet – which will spur you on to continue to build on that as you continue to move forward.
We all have so many things on our to-do lists, it’s easy for our own wellbeing to slip down the priorities. But how would you feel if someone you cared for had a health crisis? Would you want them to take care of themselves, or would you want them to focus on something ‘more important’? The answer will almost unanimously be to choose wellbeing. It’s a foundational concept. Once you get it right, you’ll be free to show up as the person you want to be, delivering the work that you want to do. Essentially, when you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to give more to the people that you really care about.
Many people are afraid to invest in their people’s wellbeing because it costs them time, finances and resources. However, Gret suggests that the effects of poor wellbeing – such as poor mental health, sickness or burnout – would be much more costly in the long run. Start small by identifying where your pain points are right now. Where are the areas that will give you the most benefit for the time and money that you’re putting in? Once you know where to focus your energies, you’ll be able to make your investment really work for you.
Gret Betchelar is a Wellbeing Expert and founder of Conscious Working. To learn more about her movement, as well as receive tips and advice on how to improve your wellbeing at work, sign up to her newsletter here.
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