Wellbeing is about more than work

It’s been a while since I last posted.  It’s been a really busy year for the network and really encouraging that it continues to go from strength to strength.  We now have over 1500 members – thank you to all of you and please do encourage colleagues to join. 

Our annual conference took place in November and was very well attended – thank you again.  Our theme was well-being of the workforce and we heard from a range of speakers on different aspects of this topic.  The presentations are available on https://www.nwppn.nhs.uk/index.php/our-work/ppn-north-west-annual-conference.

It has made me reflect more on wellbeing at work.  For psychological professionals (as well as our colleagues), this is important given the work we do in helping, supporting people in distress improve their own wellbeing and enable them to continue to do so.  A lot of emotional effort is involved in doing this and I’m sure we have all had experiences where the experiences of others can sometimes linger with us.  It’s important not to lose this empathy but it’s important that we do not become overwhelmed by other’s distress such that this limits our abilities to help.   It’s therefore important that we look after ourselves and each other.  However, this isn’t the only reason – we often hear phrases such as work-life balance which is often used as shorthand to cover both our working and outside work lives. It’s perhaps not helpful to think of ‘life’ as ‘not work’ though.  To do a good job is important but wellbeing in all areas of our lives is as important. So how we do this for ourselves?  Being in contact with others, being active are areas that help (see also Five Ways to Wellbeing http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/entry/five-ways-to-well-being) and doing this is important. 

As Christmas and New Year approaches then, it can be a difficult time of year for many whether because of contact with others or lack of it, it’s important to think about how we manage our own wellbeing in whatever our circumstances are.  There are many ways of doing this – volunteering, getting time on your own etc. and I’m sure we can all identify things that would help.  Perhaps our New Year’s resolutions could focus on improving our wellbeing in our lives as a whole?   

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