Welcome back to the concluding part of this article, where we continue where we left off in part one to explore the remaining three universal themes on the wheel of well being, and how these may be applied to maintain a healthy body and mind.
The CMHA summarises the importance to connect as;
“Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk. The reality is that we’re living in a time of true disconnection.”
Connecting with one another is vital for a positive wellbeing and something I have always valued.
Current climate and the natural progression of losing touch with friends once you have children aside, I have always maintained catching up with friends weekly for my own wellbeing, whether that be via a phone call, talk and stroll or a gentlemanly game of snooker. The break, the escape, the comfort in a good friend’s company and talking, are all truly priceless processes.
As stated in the quote above, this is even more important when we live in a society with so many means of connecting, yet we choose to take the shortcuts to communicate with one another; often opting for a generic text or quick message, rather than a personal phone call.
Don’t even get me started on our children. The next generation whom are oblivious to the reality that they are literally rewiring their brains and losing invaluable communication skills with ill grammar & spelling within their text messages, inappropriate use of acronyms, choosing emojis over words and the constant observing of meaningless short videos that normally adhere to a popular trend or glamourise someone/ something, normally a complete stranger or celeb/ influencer, just to get them to click the next link/ waste invaluable time watching the next video etc, etc.
I did say, don’t get me started- that’s a topical article for another day.
Ultimately don’t lose touch with your friends or family, as it’s easier to allow this to happen as work and family-life take over.
I also realise this is easier for some than others, who may not be so open and confident in communicating openly, especially if you have allowed time to pass & friendships to break.
The key here is just to open up and make the effort & if necessary, rekindle!
This will allow you to reform old friendships, expand new ones and enable you to lean on each other again through good times and bad. This may also lead to rediscovering old hobbies together or reminiscing with fondness on the good old days – all proven to be a healthy process.
Never forget, it’s truly good to talk!
I personally communicate daily with old friends to maintain those friendships and try and have at least a couple of proper ‘chats’ a week over phone calls.
Places: Take Notice
This theme is all about taking notice of the world around you.
How you perceive any of these themes is completely down to the individual but I personally like to practice this through the acts of living in the present and through gratitude.
Put the phone down, drop whatever you’re doing and focus on the present time for you and /or with your partner/ children.
Make a conscious effort to focus on making memories rather than the latest meme!
It can be as simple as taking five minutes out of your day to appreciate something new or notice the seasons changing! Even in difficult times, take a moment to appreciate the good things in life.
Embrace exercises or disciplines that enable you to embrace mindfulness ie) reading, yoga, meditation etc.
I also try and embrace hobbies that enable me to embrace the present moment, hence my love for the zen I get from surfing, walking, football and playing snooker!
Finally, I also like to take a brief moment every evening to look up at the stars & be grateful for the wonderful family I have.
Feeling like you’re constantly caught up in the whirlpool of life? Why not stop for a wee second and take a conscious moment to live in the present and appreciate the world around you. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how de-stressing this practice can be.
Finally, we are left with the theme:
We all have a responsibility to protect and care for the very planet we live on, in my view.
Some of the latest statistics about climate change, global warming, impact of plastic waste, deforestation for example, do make shocking reading. Take a look at a claim below from a study in 2019.
Yes of course, if you want to donate to the great charities that are out there, to help the earth or raise awareness of said issues, that is all well and good and I applaud you in advance for doing so!
But for this feature, I just want to stress that if we all play our part; no matter how small, we can make a bigger difference and a bigger impact on our planet, than you may realise.
I liked this image I found via https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html
By following these simple notions, we can all contribute to protecting our earth and we will feel better for the positive contribution too!
Learning about how to care for our planet are also great values to teach our children too, for which: how we can apply the wheel of wellbeing through interactions with our children, will be another article I shall explore in future Dad Man Talks.
I hope by bringing the wheel of wellbeing to your attention, this article has shown you different ‘themes’, you can use to support your own physical and mental health.
How one applies these is down to the individual. How frequently you use these ‘universal themes’ is truly up to you and dependent on your situation.
I have personally found this visual framework helpful, when thinking about ‘how’ I can support my own wellbeing on any one given day.
Depending on the day’s events or my mood, I take at least one theme, decide what activity to undertake and surprise, surprise, once I have completed that activity, I feel a better human being for it, while also relieving any previous stress or worries I may have had at that time.
It’s not that I have a picture of this wheel on my bedroom wall for reference! Just having a visual awareness of this wheel and it’s themes in my mind alone, are sufficient.
If you are concerned about your own well-being or somebody else’s, why not give one or more of these themes a try this week!
And never forget, if you really are truly concerned about your own well-being or mental health, open up to a friend, relative or get professional help. There are some truly wonderfully supportive and life-changing services, charities and organisations out there.
Never stop trying!
Did you enjoy this article or find it useful?
Feel free to leave a comment below or give us your own views on topics you would like us to explore within the realms of dad life.