Welcome, to part 1 of this two part article about The Wheel of Well-Being and how to apply this methodology.
Raising awareness of this is something I have taught in my teaching practice for the past three years, due to the ever increasing statistics around mental health and those experiencing mental health from a young age.
Sadly in my field of work, I have noticed more and more young people being diagnosed with mental health conditions and seen at first hand the struggles young people have coping with this, while services are over stretched.
Though it is refreshing we live in a more educated society about this topic, with many stigmas we faced growing up no longer attached, this is still a sad reality of our modern ‘social media’ and ‘fast paced’ orientated lives.
Being a parent myself, this topic obviously resonates with me. I like educating myself on this topic in preparation for if my children ever face their own battles with mental health in the future.
One person in four will experience mental health at some point and the statistics below make stark reading.
We will look into how we can apply this with our children in future articles but for today, I want to introduce you to this ideology and raise awareness of how we as parents, can support our own well-being first and foremost, to enable us to be stronger physically and mentally, for ourselves, for our family. After all, you can never truly help anybody, if you do not help yourself first!
So, what is the Wheel of Well Being?
The Wheel of Well-being is a visual framework made up of six universal themes that underpin mental (and physical) health and well-being: body; mind; spirit; people; place; planet. The Wheel of Well-being was designed in 2008 as part of a Big Lottery Well London’s programme. It is an ongoing collaboration between the Mental Health Promotion Team at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Uscreates and Implemental (formerly Maudsley International).
You can find out more info @ https://www.wheelofwellbeing.org/
How can we use it in our daily lives?
We can use these universal themes to aid our physical and mental wellbeing, in turn being a more stable, healthy individual and parent to our children!
Select a theme that you are interested in or passionate about and adopt an action reguarly, to enhance your physical and mental well-being!
You don’t have to embrace all six universal themes but the more you embrace, the bigger the impact on your own personal health and the more positive the impact you will make on the world and those around you.
So how can I entwine these notions into actions?
For the final part of this article, we are going to explore the first three ‘universal themes’ of this wheel.
Some of the above, is pretty straight forward stuff right?
For example, we all know exercise is good for us!
Do some exercise daily and you will be embracing the theme: Body: Active!
Committing to this will result in you making giant strides within your own fitness & triggering those magical serotonin & endorphin chemicals in your body; making you feel more happier & positive alongside the reaping of physical benefits e.g) strength, tone, weight loss etc.
How you adopt this is, is up to you. I personally do at least 10-20 minutes HIIT exercise everyday as a minimum. I find I need this for my own mental balance.
Going for a walk, a run, hitting the gym or doing any activity that raises the heart rate, will leave you reaping the physical and mental benefits.
Working through the somewhat- self explanatory universal themes; next we have: Keep Learning!
If you were not already aware, through constantly learning something new, our brains form new connections & make existing neural pathways stronger!
Our brains continue to change up until our death. So why not dedicate to making them stronger!
This also broadens our skill set, our knowledge and aids build self esteem. Learning as a parent also allows us to discover new hobbies or revisit old ones.
Undertaking hobbies is also a healthy value to teach your child.
Learning new skills can also open us up to meeting new people, new opportunities and giving us new life skills to teach our children!
I personally undertake daily reading and writing exercises alongside practices on the piano & guitar with a new found passion for exploring new languages & playing snooker – all when time allows!
I also regularly try and undertake active hobbies and read fact books with my daughter; just a few ways I choose to embrace my own cognitive development.
Finally for part one we look at : Spirit: Give.
The act of giving can not only have a lasting positive impression on whomever you help, it will also raise your own self esteem and feeling of self worth. It also give you a chance to practice gratitude.
One may naturally think this is an act of charitable donations, fundraising, volunteering or giving hot food to the homeless (all very positive & worthwhile acts of course!), but I like to be conscious of the small acts of kindness we can give to each other in life here.
The smallest acts can have the biggest impact.
Can you ever recall, how you have felt when a friend or colleague pays you a complement on your new hair cut or new outfit for example. Puts a spring in your step for the day right!
Paying compliments, undertaking little acts of kindness to anyone I meet and giving time to be there for my family and friends, is how I personally implement this into my own life.
See you for part 2…
In part 2 we shall further explore the final three universal themes and conclude the article as a whole.
Stay well 🙂
BY Shane @ DMT
Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Feel feel to leave a comment below or give us your own views, on what topics you would like us to explore within the realms of dad life.