Wellbeing increases your health and happiness, it allows you to be calm, present in the moment and resilient. It encompasses the health of the whole person – physical, mental, social and emotional.
Our wellbeing can change moment to moment, day to day, year to year, and can be influenced by what’s happening in a specific moment and the actions that we take.
ACECQA is continuing to promote Educator wellbeing as an important factor in achieving exceeding in Quality Area 4.1 and 4.2 and 5. ACECQA’s National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone states that when Educators have a strong sense of wellbeing they are better equipped to:
- be responsive to every child
- develop rich, respectful relationships with each child
- develop a deeper understanding of each child.
Wellbeing helps us:
- stay resilient when times get tough
- build social supports and self-efficacy
- emerge from our challenges even stronger, knowing we have the ability to cope with adversity.
Wellbeing isn’t one giant step, it’s lots of little steps that allow you to become more mindful and calmer in your day-to-day tasks. At a service level wellbeing has been shown to improve work performance, reduce absenteeism, and improve the culture of the organisation.
A strong sense of wellbeing contributes to good mental health. It also helps to protect us from feelings of hopelessness and depression, acting as a ‘guardian’ of our mental health. Mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness rather it’s a state of overall wellbeing.
There are five main factors that contribute to our wellbeing. These ‘building blocks’ of wellbeing are easily remembered as the acronym ‘PERMA’:
Feelings of pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, comfort. We can take responsibility for our feelings, cultivating happiness and gratitude.
Living an engaged life, being absorbed and connected to activities to the point where we lose track of time and effort (flow).
Connections to other people and relationships give us support, meaning and purpose in life. Positive relationships have been found to have an enormous influence on our wellbeing.
Being part of and working towards something that’s much larger than yourself rather than purely pursuing material wealth.
Pursuing success, achievement and mastery of things for their own sake can build self-esteem, self-efficacy (useful in tough times) and a sense of accomplishment.
Working on each of these factors can help us flourish in all aspects of life. It’s good to know there are lots of things we can do to enhance our wellbeing. We can all learn new ways to feel more positive emotions, have stronger relationships and find meaningful work.
The following elements all contribute to wellbeing and resilience:
- finding your strengths and using them
- Creating flow in your daily tasks and
- Mindfulness and meditation
Find out more about building wellbeing strategies at The Mindful Leader and Wellbeing Conference.