Welcome to our new series of bitesize blogs containing quick tips and ideas to help you build resilience and boost wellbeing.

It can be hard to prioritise our wellbeing and support others to do the same when we are under pressure or facing ongoing challenges.

Sometimes our patterns of thinking can feed into and maintain behaviours, such as overworking, that are likely to cause us harm in the long run. High expectations often arise from the best intentions but can undermine our wellbeing as we inadvertently put pressure on ourselves or others to do better.

To prioritise wellbeing we need to take time to let go of these high expectations and give ourselves and others permission to focus on self-care and wellbeing. The impact of this is to reduce stress, ill health and sickness absences,  as well as making work a more pleasurable experience.

Some ideas to help you prioritise personal and team wellbeing:

  1. Test out giving yourself permission to take rest breaks without guilt, both at work and during your leisure time. During these moments, focus on allowing yourself to just “be” rather than “do”. Mindfulness can help with this.
  2. Notice negative thoughts that lead into overworking (“I should be doing more”) and put in place strategies to develop a more balanced perspective. Our flexible thinking blog will give you tips to manage unhelpful thinking patterns.
  3. Take time to have open discussions with your team, if this feels comfortable and appropriate, to acknowledge unhelpful patterns of behavior you may have got into (e.g. not taking a break for lunch) and the impact this is having/will have on everyone’s wellbeing.
  4. Plan together some small targets that you can work on to improve self-care. For example, taking a 30-minute lunch break twice a week, mindful walking breaks or Zoom catch-ups over coffee.
  5. Encourage everyone to commit to these goals and support one another to work towards them. As barriers present themselves (e.g. internal or external pressures to keep working) it will be important to acknowledge these barriers and openly discuss ways to keep them in check.
  6. Celebrate successes: Keep a record of good things that happen within your team and encourage staff members to share one thing with the rest of the team each week.

If you found this helpful and would like to read more bitesize tips, check out some of the other blogs in this series. You might also like to join our Facebook group UR Resilient, where members are busy sharing creative and inspiring ideas for staying positive during this challenging time.