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April #1 | 2021    Share with a friend

Corporate Self-Care 🌸 


Creating a Culture of Wellbeing + our Dimension of Wellbeing Wheel
Spring is here! A few newsletters ago, we wrote how winter incubating is an opportunity to re-establish our needs, including self-care, routines, rituals, and defining how work works best for us. 

Now spring is here and we are SO ready to flourish!

With today’s newsletter, we’re focussing on self-care in order to assess our wellbeing and identify which areas we already flourish in, and which areas might need more of our attention.

But rather than just looking at individual focus on health and wellbeing, and seeing self-care only as bubble baths, face masks and scented candles, we want to take in a broader, more holistic picture of self-care and what that means in our working lives.

When we think about employee wellbeing, we tend to imagine ergonomic desks and healthcare plans, a gym in the office or a discounted gym membership, or a Headspace membership. While these are perks that we all typically enjoy, there are so many other ways to promote wellness—and ultimately wellbeing—in the workplace. If we want to be truly well—which is a strong predictor of our effectiveness and ability to be creative, and an antidote to stress and anxiety—we need to dig a little deeper. 

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as: an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.
Let's take this as a starting point and look at how we can reframe what it means to take care of ourselves.
Taking a restful bath, or reading a book are all forms of self-care. But it’s also so much about our emotions and physical health, how we stay connected and inspired, and how we invest our time, effort and energy.
A three-dimensional approach to wellbeing

When looking at a more holistic model of self-care, we have to start by understanding that self-care requires a multi-dimensional approach. 

To make this abstract concept more tangible, we created a framework, focussing on three overarching dimensions of wellbeing, all consisting of four sub-themes, that help us assess different areas, and define activities that we can implement when designing our working lives and culture.

Assessing those dimensions is the first step on your journey of corporate wellbeing. Bringing awareness to each dimension, we can get closer to being well and being our whole selves. When each facet of self-care is addressed positively, our overall wellbeing is improved. All of these dimensions are interconnected, but looking at them separately will help us assess which areas we need to focus on to feel well.
 
Here are the three key dimensions:
 
Emotional Health:  
Emotional wellbeing includes supportive relationships with others, self-knowledge and self-care are important to emotional wellness.
  • Presence: So much of how we interact is automatic—but automatic behaviors don’t foster wellbeing. “I am finding presence, am in the present moment.”
  • Self-awareness: Self-awareness is one of the key ingredients to wellbeing and is also groundwork that increases the chances of having a fulfilling working life. “I am self-aware, I can feel myself and can listen to my needs and feelings.”
  • Community/Foster belonging: This is all about community building. Feeling disconnected from others can be a sign that the social self-care area needs to be filled. “I nourish and am nourished by the people in my life, I feel a sense of connection to the world around me.” It's also about asking colleagues or employees how they are, and check in. We should try to keep the openness and honesty that Covid-19 has been bringing to our work relationships, and allow ourselves to be human and vulnerable. 
  • Balance: Do you feel like you are balanced between the different areas of your life?  
Physical Experience: 
This is all about physical wellness and taking care of our body for our overall health.
  • Rituals: Rituals and habits can play a huge role in mental wellness. They create a simple framework that you can come back to again and again, no matter how your day goes, and help you set yourself up, focus, and be more in the moment. “I have rituals that energize me and help me reconnect with myself.”
  • Movement: Are we moving enough and being physically active?
  • State of flow: Engaging in tasks that you completely lose yourself in.
  • Rest: “I am prioritizing my sleep, taking breaks and feeling rested.” Do you have time to take breaks and recharge?
 
Creative Exploration:
This is all about recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills. If we are feeling inspired, we are adding a spirit of play, and feeling a sense of awe in our lives. 
  • Sense of awe: “I feel a sense of awe about the world around me.”
  • Play: Doing things just because they're fun and not because they'll help achieve a goal. “I make time for activities that spark joy in me.” 
  • Collaboration: Do team members work collegially or as individuals? 
  • Inspiration: “I feel inspired by my environment. I invest in my work through education and personal development.” Whether it’s reading a book that’s unrelated to your job, or picking up a workbook and investing in your skills.

By visualizing the complex dimensions of our wellbeing and exploring the activities that support it, we are able to combat the burnout that an unbalanced work life can cause. 

For each dimension, write down three activities that help nourish it.
We'd love to see what you come up with, so feel free to share them on your Instagram and tag @outofoffice.network, or hit reply to this email and share your thoughts!
 
Moving forward: Fostering a culture of wellbeing
In order to make this concept an integral part of our organizations and everyday life, we need to rethink our work culture and its approach to wellbeing. 
We need to make more present the fact that taking care of ourselves is key to flourishing and thriving in work and life. Only when we are well—when we get time to rest, feel connected, and inspired—can we experience joy and do good work. It starts by assessing our deepest needs, and establishing a culture that respects each other’s boundaries.
It’s key for leaders to be role models in this process: we need to have people within our companies who rally team members together and create a culture that helps individuals to take care of themselves, schedule breaks, and set boundaries without feeling guilty about it.

Monthly Picks

Inspire your workday with the things you do in your downtime.
To read more on this topic, we recommend these places:

📝 This article on corporate self-care, featuring out of office network  
📚Currently reading: Flourish by Martin Seligman
Minaa B a Therapist + Wellness Coach and an inspiration for this article 

Thank you for reading and being here with me!
Alice
💌 
If you enjoy the newsletter, I would really appreciate you forward it to a friend or colleague who you think would enjoy it. The newsletter is 100% free and that’s the best way to encourage me to keep on writing.


If you have any questions, comments or would like to say hi, just hit reply to this email - I'd love to hear from you!

outofoffice@alicekatter.com
getoutofoffice.network
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