#DailyWritingChallenge Day 25: Well-being

Image from ‘The Network of Well-being’ page: https://networkofwellbeing.org/five-ways-to-wellbeing/

Well-being. Being well. I am well today. Are you well? What is ‘well’ anyway?

Sleep: getting enough sleep, at least seven hours. Sleep deprivation can cause the sensation of feeling drunk after several days of insufficient rest. Brain-fog, confused thoughts, paranoia, migraine, disorganisation, digestive problems, deceleration of productivity and a lack of efficiency. Or, so they say…

Early bird, or night owl? Which are you? You can’t burn the candle at both ends, they say, but we will still be stubborn and try…

Be active: run, jump, cycle, swim; yoga, Pilates, garden, sing. A walk in the park or a jog in the rain, just get that heart pumping, the aim is the same.

Anyone else find a glass, or two can help too? All in moderation, she says after eating several chocolate hobnobs…

Decide on a routine and stick to it and that can be the hardest part of it, especially if mood or energy levels are low, or you feel that you should be doing something else for, dare I say it, work. In this case, a decision needs to be made about how much you’re prepared to steal from yourself.

Communicate: connect and talk and open your mind; share a good story, a poem, or rhyme. Listen and help when a friend needs a hand: What can I do for you? Let me pull you to stand. Here, allowing yourself to become isolated and not making time to maintain connections, can be detrimental. Didn’t Barbara Streisand sing: ‘People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.’?

Keep learning: choose a book from that pile, watch a film with dessert, learn Greek for a hobby or cook a new dish from scratch to serve….

To your friends because giving is a lovely thing to do, we feel selfless and wanted and connected and true. Money’s not needed, just time or a knee: read that story at bedtime, or together climb a mountain, or a rock face, or a tree. Just giving to yourself or to a job becomes selfish and lonely, so give to inspire or to balance the brew.

Look all around you, take notice and see that the world is an oyster, so drink up for free. There are so many people and landscapes and cultures and tongues, let’s look for something different whilst we nurture the home.

We all have well-being. For me personally it is the element of rituals and routines that can be hard to maintain or pay adequate attention to when rushed or stretched in different directions. I have a habit of falling into an all or nothing mode, which means that I may include all of the elements from above or none, but also, in both cases, must also give myself some down time in which I do very little, or catch up on sleep. I am a person who also needs this down time: a quiet time to stop and reflect and just do very little every so often, so that my brain does not become overwhelmed.

Usually my brain is so busy it doesn’t stop, which means I have to enforce a break in it to avoid burn out. I also have to be mindful that if I start being excessively impulsive or do too many things spontaneously, or I start to manically clean or tidy the house and organising collections of books in a specific order, I know it is time to rein myself in. These are not traits exclusively typical of my ADHD and ASD, of that I am sure. I am also inclined to think that we all have our go-to markers to be aware of if impending blowout is on the horizon. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of our behaviours and be self-aware. For me, I am growing here too.

As my dad always says to me: “Just because you get older, does not mean you get any wiser.” He does say this in jest and I trust and can rely on my dad implicitly, but what I take from this is that experience helps us to learn about how we might react in certain situations and then we can act with better judgement. However, also accepting that nothing is ever perfect and no two situations are ever exactly the same, means that we can learn to be content with the decisions we make for ourselves and well-being can be found in knowing that the here and now changes organically with the clock and the rolling of the tides and cycles of the moon.

Also, time doesn’t stand still so accepting what we can and can’t control within that is key to safeguarding well-being. I like the reverse bucket challenge and the idea that no day is a zero day as well: we are not robots; we are human beings.

My well-being and self-confidence took a major knock towards the end of last year, so the process of recovery is still ongoing for me at the moment, although I’m getting there and feel better everyday. This is perhaps a strange thing to admit when many people are isolated during the Coronavirus epidemic, but when a virus is attacking our mortality, the factors affecting well-being do not seem to be as significant and I can control more of them than I realised. Through this adversity I (somewhat guiltily) find I am finding my strength and making new connections too.

Thank you Hannah and all at the #DailyWritingChallenge.

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