I am sure you have heard the words “workplace well-being” by now. It is becoming the new buzz word, companies are talking about it and hopefully implementing programmes to encourage it, individuals are either skeptical or thinking “finally!!!” and others are sitting on the fence. I mean, is achieving a feeling of workplace well-being really possible? How can it work when most people have mountains of work to do and not enough time to do it?
Is aiming for workplace well-being going to be taken seriously, or is this yet another box we need to tick? For some companies, this new trend is going to be a whole load of “blah, blah” until it becomes a legitimate legal requirement for all organisations to ensure they offer their employees have access to sustainable ways of managing their work and maintaining an acceptable level of well-being whilst at work.
This is a huge topic which I will be focusing on a lot more from now on, not only because I am a well-being warrior and mind/body champion for two large organisations in the UK, but because I am receiving more emails from students who are participating in the Chilled Out Child programme to say that as much as they would love to teach mindfulness full-time, they are potentially likely to remain in other employment for the foreseeable future for one reason or another. The reality is that many people are juggling two or three part-time jobs or building a business in their spare time after working a full-day for someone else. Holding down two or three different jobs is also referred to as building a portfolio career. Portfolio careers are becoming the norm as some people thrive on the diversity this style of working can offer and companies are offering flexible working and part-time instead of full-time roles. This does sound exciting, but the danger here is that individuals might still be expected to fit a “full-time role” in to part-time hours and this is where taking workplace well-being seriously is essential.
Over the years I have seen new yoga teachers throw themselves wholeheartedly into their new roles, revelling in the fantastic work they are doing. But, as I have witnessed with some of my former colleagues who teach a number of classes during the week whilst also trying to build their business (marketing is not often a yoga teacher’s first love or strong point) their energy is zapped quickly. What was once a passion, is now just another job and sometimes a job they are not enjoying because they have not taken care of themselves. One children’s yoga franchise had their children’s yoga teachers teaching up to twenty children’s yoga classes a week in various locations. It’s not sustainable. These enthusiastic yoga teachers burn out in less than a year. They eventually wrangle with the franchise to set themselves free and with a last burst of energy they try and set up classes on their own, only to find that somewhere in the past year they have lost their passion, their energy has haemorrhaged… they are emotionally, physically and energetically drained.
So with my passion for workplace well-being and my desire to offer more support to past (and present) students of the Chilled Out Child teacher training programme, I have decided to write a workplace well-being module as well as a couple of other modules which relate to yoga and energy healing so as to create a practical toolkit of holistic healing modules which can be shared with children and teenagers and a module dedicated on building and maintain well-being for individuals who are teaching yoga, meditation and mindfulness to others. You may not like to think of it this way, but you are running a business, big or small, but a business all the same and therefore you need to look after your own well-being as well.
Take a couple of minutes now to focus on your breath.
The breath is our life force and is one of the most important functions of the body. The act of breathing correctly can create feelings of calm, relaxation, clear “headedness” and helps us manage pain. Breathing incorrectly can result in feelings of tenseness, nervousness and confusion.
To breathe properly, you need to use your diaphragm which is the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity.
- To find your diaphragm, sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor.
- Place your left hand on your upper chest and your right hand on your abdomen in the ‘gap’ of your rib cage.
- Take a breath in and slowly breathe out.
- When you breathe in and out, your left hand should remain still, but your right hand can move up and down.
- If your left hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow and you are not using your diaphragm as you should.
- Breathe in and out slowly about five to ten times.
Keep popping back as I write more blogs on how to create and maintain well-being in the workplace.