Do You Own Your Wellbeing?

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I have recently been working with a couple of large organisations to assist develop their wellbeing strategy and during these very interactive sessions, it was acknowledged that given 44% of Australians believe that their workplace is a source of stress (Australian Psychological Society), workplaces had a responsibility to promote and assist maintain the wellbeing of their staff.

But what about an individual’s responsibility to manage their own wellbeing?

So we have to really ask ourselves the question – “Do I own my wellbeing?” – or are we looking to others with an expectation to manage this for us?

Soto start, we need to consider:

·        What are my current stress levels – and how could I manage these?

·        What negative habits am I currently engaging in that are getting in the way of me maximising wellbeing

·        WWW (what’s working well) – what positive practices am I engaging in that I can reinforce or strengthen and even expand upon.

So how can we live and breathe with wellbeing at the front of mind?

1)   Put your own air mask first.

We have all been on a plane before (hopefully on our way to some exotic destination). We sit in our seats while the plane moves slowly toward the runway to take off and listen to the flight attendants pre-flight safety briefing. They tell us about the exits and the life jackets under our seats and they also remind us that in case of emergency and a change in cabin pressure – air masks will drop from the ceiling and we are instructed to “put your own air mask on first”.

I think “put your own air mask on first” is also a great analogy for life.

We tend to run around with an air mask in our hands giving it to everyone else and what ends up happening is that we in fact end up passing out from lack of oxygen. So how could you apply your own air mask as a priority and give yourself permission to be number 1.

2)   Recognise your bad habits.

When we are struggling with large amounts of stress, we do tend to engage in a few bad habits such as:

·        Impulsive behaviours / aggression

·        Low Tolerance

·        Relationship issues

·        Stop feeling / or over sensitive

·        Poor Work Attitude / performance

·        Excessive Use of Alcohol, Drugs, Caffeine

·        Overeating/undereating

·        Cease exercise

Any on this list remind you of yourself?? Do you recognise when you are engaging in these bad habits and call yourself out on them and look for better opportunities?

Voltaire tells us “Common sense is not that common”. We need to stop doing what we know does not work for us.

3)   Consider your personal resources

Many of us recognise what we actually need to do to engage in healthier and more productive and proactive options for ourselves to thrive. Our problem is recognising and accessing these options when our wellbeing is under threat. Think about:

·        What you’ve done in the past to manage stress effectively?

·        What do you see others doing that works for them? Are these options worth a try?

·        Who could you ask for assistance or support?

·        What strengths and values could you review and call upon to build your wellbeing?

·        Could you rebuild your networks?

4)   Take time out and recharge

Sometimes we basically need to go outside, close our eyes, put our faces up to the sun and recharge (just like superman does). We need to engage in some mindful contemplation and just be present in the moment.

When was the last time you sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine with no other purpose but just to sit and be.

5)   Recognise your baggage.

We often have a considerable amount of self-doubt about our capability and ability to manage in the face of constant challenges. So check your baggage.

•      Stop before you react.

•      Understand what’s in your way.

•      What are you saying to self that’s getting in your way?

•      What are others saying to you that’s getting in your way?

•      Are you carrying blame?

•      Are you worrying about all the things you can’t control?

•      Are your ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) crawling all over you?

Or does your luggage allow easy accessibility to your values, strengths and skills to build your personal wellbeing?

So now it’s your turn. Consider the basic elements of wellbeing:

•      Workplace/professional

•      Physical

•      Psychological

•      Emotional

•      Spiritual

•      Relationships

What considerations could you give to each area?

Want to know more about increasing your wellbeing or that of your workplace? Send me an email at to enquire about coaching and training to enhance individual and workplace wellbeing.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Wellbeing Strategist, Leadership and Wellbeing Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness Practitioner.  Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.  You can find her at or