Here’s your five-point personal wellbeing watchlist

Written by Dr Jummy Okoya FCMI Tuesday 24 November 2020
Five tried-and-tested techniques to look after your own and your team’s wellbeing day-to-day – by a top positive psychology consultant
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“This is a time to actually pick it up and make wellbeing a priority,” said Dr Jummy Okoya in a recent CMI webinar.

But managers can only take care of their people if they also care for themselves, says Jummy, a qualified positive psychology consultant.

So here’s her advice for managers to help them look after their own wellbeing and that of their teams.

Manage yourself physically and emotionally

Renewing and sustaining your physical and mental energy is fundamental to our sense of wellbeing and flourishing.

Make sure that you're fueling your body, that you're moving more, and are getting enough sleep. Limit your exposure to blue light from your computer and phone screens – especially as you wind down before going to bed – as they can have a negative impact on your physical, emotional and cognitive health.

Ensure that you have boundaries in place to promote a healthy work life integration.

Make sure you take time to exercise and move – this could be light exercise, but “anything is better than sitting still for long periods of time without getting up,” says Jummy. Create time for regular breaks, which will help with productivity and will help to improve your memory.

Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t

Be intentional in managing your focus. When you're facing a challenging situation, think about what you can and can’t control. If you can influence the situation, then take action. But if that isn’t possible, then let it go. “Maybe ask for help, but do not channel your energy too much into something that you have absolutely no control over,” is Jummy’s advice.

Assess, recognise and act

Assess what’s going on and take time to plan what action to take. Assess your confidence, motivation and level of perseverance in dealing with the situation. Recognise other people who may be able to help in addressing it says Jummy. Make sure to commend people for the hard work that they do as “it gives them that feeling of fulfilment and pride in the work they do.”

Sometimes you may need to take action to address the situation yourself, such as changing certain processes. You must take action if it needs to be done. “Not taking any action can actually cause you stress. To avoid that and build your resilience, do an honest assessment, recognise where you need to make changes and apply them,” she explains. “Let people know what they need to do to take the necessary action.”

Be open and authentic

Identify the factors that are predictable and that you can address; and the unpredictable things that you must react to. Have an honest and authentic conversation with your team members. Think about what you can do realistically when it comes to setting goals and planning ahead. “You might find that there are more unpredictable things that you're having to react to. Don't let that swamp the boat. Recognise it, but don’t spend too much time in the reactive mode,” Jummy advises.

Be open minded and think laterally about all possible options with a growth mindset to embrace unfamiliar solutions.

Socialise and deepen your connections with others

It helps to reach out to people, so find ways to engage when you need help. Reach out to people that can help you with specific challenges and deepen those connections through social conversations. “It doesn't all have to be work, work, work; have coffee virtually with colleagues or find ways to nurture your relationship with people… Unless you deposit into something, you cannot withdraw from it, so nurturing and developing that network will serve you well,” Use positive communication, acknowledge and recognise individual contributions within the team. Promote socialising to promote connection she says.

Dr Jummy Okoya is associate programme leader for MSc human resource management at the University of East London. She’s also a board member of CMI Women and played a pivotal role in CMI's recently released Moving the Dial on Race guide.

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