Are You Struggling to Care for Your Well-Being at Work?

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed and worried right now?

Posted Mar 27, 2020

 Animaflora/iStock
Source: Animaflora/iStock

If you’re finding it challenging to care for your well-being so you can stay engaged and productive at work right now, know that you are in good company. Researchers have consistently found that we thrive at work when we have opportunities to experiencing heartfelt positive emotions, to be engaged and able to accomplish goals that matter to us, and to feeling connected to each other. All of which has become increasingly difficult as we have had to physically distance from each other due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So how can you effectively care for your well-being?

Firstly, it’s important to know that feelings of struggle are not signs that you are breaking, they are signs that something important to you is happening, which needs your attention. Rather than ignoring, suppressing or projecting the struggle elsewhere, by seeing the struggle as an opportunity for learning and growth. Studies suggest that leaning into the uncomfortable feelings these challenges present can actually improve your well-being and performance.

Secondly, it’s important to understand that tiny actions can have a mighty impact when it comes to caring for your well-being. For example, if you can get even 1% better each day for one year, you’ll be 365% better by the time the year is done. By shrinking your well-being behaviors to even as little as 30 seconds, studies suggest you will increase your levels of ability and motivation which enables you to start tackling more challenging well-being behaviors over time.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that researchers have found caring for your well-being as you work relies on the presence of several factors:

  • Positive emotions: The presence of heartfelt positivity to boost your resilience.
  • Engagement: The development of your strengths to boost your confidence.
  • Relationships: The opportunity for genuine connections and community.
  • Meaning: The chance to make a positive difference for others.
  • Accomplishment: The ability to learn and grow so you can achieve what matters to you most.
  • Health: Being able to move, sleep and eat well to give you the energy you want.

This is often referred to as the PERMAH Theory of Well-Being.

The good news is that while your levels of each factor may ebb and flow based on what’s happening around you, prioritizing tiny PERMAH moments throughout your workday can make it easier to care for your well-being—even during the most challenging of times. For example, our virtual team likes to:

  • Prioritize a jolt of joy—a favorite song, a funny video, or anything that makes us smile—to start our days so that we have the energy to play.
  • Boost our levels of engagement by aligning our strengths—the things we’re good at and enjoy doing—to a task so that we can turn a morning to-do into a tah-dah.
  • Improve our relationships by catching up virtually with someone over lunch so we can chew and connect at the same time.
  • Make a positive difference by doing a five-minute favor to help someone out for an afternoon treat that is better than sugar.
  • Savor what we’ve accomplished by taking a victory lap and reflecting on what went well, where we struggled and what we learned as we pack down for the day.
  • Keep moving as we cook a healthy dinner by stretching, strengthening or dancing during our meal preparations.

Wondering what else you could try? Just click here for a free Tiny PERMAH Moments toolbox for you or colleagues to make caring for your well-being more joyful and effective.