Find your well-being | Psychology Today Canada

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This pandemic can take away your well-being without your consent. For the sake of your sanity, you desperately need to find ways to get it back.

Maybe you feel like your life has been turned upside down. Maybe you feel like you’ve been ripped off the rug under your feet and you’re trying to find a way to recover. Maybe you’ve found some good or some positive in the pandemic and want to hang on to it, too. Either way, it looks anything but normal. These unprecedented times can make you feel chaotic and out of control.

Is this the “new normal” as you are so often told? “Normal” in your pre-pandemic existence probably provided you with many “checks and balances” in your daily life that kept you somewhat stable. Now, many of those routines, relationships, rituals, and responsibilities have been taken away from you, and you just don’t feel the same level of well-being that you did before. You may be feeling empty and groundless and not sure exactly what is making you feel this way. This “normal” may seem like a frightening forecast.

True fulfillment, however “normal” is defined, requires you to adopt daily practices and ways of being that address all areas of your well-being. If the definition of “normal” you live under has taken many of these out of your daily life, now more than ever, you must be determined to find ways to replace them.

Let me explain.

In the area of ​​health and wellness, we break down wellness into several dimensions. True well-being goes far beyond the physical. It is like an interwoven tapestry of several dimensions of your life, and each dimension needs to be encouraged in order for you to be well or thrive in this area. If a thread is damaged in a tapestry, the whole room can suffer the consequences.

To achieve a sense of holistic and complete well-being, there are several areas of your life that require focus and attention. Although some sources may vary, the dimensions of well-being most often cited are emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, environmental and professional. These are the dimensions of your life that, when authentically cultivated, lead you to a high sense of well-being.

In addition, depending on the field of neuroscience, you adapt to each experience. In other words, you are constantly and consistently adapting to every moment and creating an increased capacity to live out of the states you encounter most often. Good or bad, you are perpetually transforming yourself every moment of every day, whether you know it or love it.

To be well and flourish, a routine attention to each dimension of well-being creates for you a greater capacity to live from these states. If you want greater well-being in any dimension, you must engage in routine experiences that promote that well-being. You can already accept this truth in the exercise, but it is also true for all the other dimensions. You are constantly adapting to what you experience most often. The more you do anything, the better you get at it. In addition, neuroscience also teaches us that small changes, day after day, have a huge impact on our overall well-being.

In your pre-pandemic life, you may have had daily or weekly practices incorporated into your routines that favored the different dimensions. You may be so used to having these behaviors in your day-to-day life that you haven’t thought about their huge impact. You might have had relationships, relationships, passions for something you were involved in, intellectual challenges or movements built into your daily routines, etc. You may have regularly attended a gym, meditation group, social group, dance group, cafe, been aware of the time spent in your relationships, spent intentional time on intellectual endeavors, or spent time to travel.

There are many possibilities to address the dimensions of well-being in your pre-pandemic life; the point is, they may have had a vital impact on your overall well-being, perhaps even on a level beyond your consciousness. Now you may have a vague sense of grief or loss and not be able to pinpoint it precisely. Or maybe you are very aware of the things that you are missing but haven’t recognized their cumulative impact on your sense of well-being. Without these things systematically in your life, your sense of well-being might disappear.

But there is hope, and intentionality is the key.

Regaining your well-being during and after this pandemic is a two-pronged approach to understanding and implementing. First, understand the different dimensions of wellness, their massive impact on your life, and what they mean to you personally. Include in this understanding that nothing changes until you change your experience, and that small, constant changes over time can have a profound impact on your wellness abilities.

Second, because “nothing changes until something changes”, implementation is crucial. I recommend a very intentional approach of doing something daily, or several times a week, and keeping a record of your progress. Because small changes add up, a few small, consistent activities can create a big change. Keeping a simple checklist on the refrigerator of your daily actions in each area can serve as both a reminder and a motivation to keep your well-being at the forefront of your attention. Plus, the more your regular routines have been uprooted, the more you will have to strive to compensate with an alternative activity.

Each dimension can mean different things to different people. Pay attention to what they mean to you, and realize that many activities can overlap dimensions. Answer the following questions:

  1. What did I do for my emotional health today?
  2. What have I done for my social health today?
  3. What have I done for my spiritual health today?
  4. What have I done for my intellectual health today?
  5. What have I done for my physical health today?
  6. What have I done for my professional health, or the purpose I bring to activities outside of myself?
  7. How can I improve my environment or environment in a way that is more conducive to my health?

Remember, activities can be as simple as texting, making a late phone call, learning something new, or cleaning out a closet. The goal is to be proactive in including them in your life.

Hopefully we are heading into a whole new “normal” future of possibilities and potentials. Until then, you have more control over your temporary well-being than you realize; however, it takes awareness, intentionality and implementation.

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