How to boost your wellbeing outside the workplace

Employee wellbeing is a vital part of any business - but how does one make changes to their life outside the workplace? In the UK, 9.9 million days of work were lost in the last year due to stress, depression or anxiety – which equates to an average of 23 days per person.

Last year, research by Virgin Pulse revealed that nine out of 10 HR professionals name poor health, high stress and a lack of sleep as factors impacting employee wellbeing. These statistics speak volumes but with a busy workload and other commitments, you might think there’s just not enough hours in the day to make minor changes to your life. Think again.

Here are five ways to boost your wellbeing outside the workplace.

1. Travel

Not only can travelling open your mind to new experiences, it could be a game-changer in growing the business. It may also be an opportunity to see how similar businesses are run in different countries. But if work is getting on top of you, there’s no harm in taking yourself away from it all and throw yourself into once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You’ll come back with a clear mind and will be ready to hit the ground running once again.

2. Personal projects

Having the freedom to experiment will allow your creative juices to flow and creates a balance between work and enjoyment. Introducing a personal project, something you’re really passionate about, will give you the freedom to thrive and gives you another focus. 

It requires a cautious approach - if being hectic with work is getting you stressed - then piling on more work may not be the best answer. But having another focus could perhaps regain the smile on your face. It can give you a sense of achievement and new-found confidence while also giving you a new skill.

3. Be active

According to the NHS, physical activity can help people with mild depression while evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. The gym is a place which some love but plenty of us loathe. However, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of remaining active.

Read: Should businesses invest in ergonomic furniture?

If forking out on a monthly subscription doesn't suit your finances or sweating it out in a hot room doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of alternatives. Implementing small changes like walking to work rather than taking public transport, signing up to a local sports team or going for a cycle once a week could boost your mental wellbeing.

4. Start a blog

Sometimes opening up or making your feelings known to the outside word can be a challenge. So why not start a blog? A blog can be used in a number of ways but more often than not, it gives writers or everyday people an opportunity to document their thoughts. It can be linked back to your personal project - your blog could enable you to document your progress. Mental wellbeing means feeling good – about ourselves and the world around us – and functioning well. Writing about everyday things may go a long way in regaining some confidence. 

5. Connect

Research by New Economics Foundation (NEF) shows that good relationships – with family, friends and our wider communities – are important for our mental wellbeing. Strong relationship proved an opportunity to share expositive experiences and give us emotional support. 

They also enable us to share feelings which you perhaps thought were best kept secret.

There are plenty of ways to connect with your closest ones. When you've some time to spare, why not meet up with an old friend? You can also spend time with your family, write an email to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while or join a society or class on a topic you feel strongly about.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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