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Self-care alone is not going to fix the situation

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

I wrote a piece on LinkedIn this week that seemed to resonate with people.

I don’t want to undermine or under-estimate the importance of well-being and our mental health. Both have been sorely tested this past year since the pandemic took hold in the UK in March 2020.

My commentary is more that it feels a delusional, if safe place, to focus so much on the individual and how well they ‘cope’ with the stresses created by the pandemic, rather than to look from a more systemic position and consider what might need to be done at the level of our organisations – particularly during a time of heightened anxiety, when many are juggling multiple roles, concerns for health and income, as well as missing that feeling of real connection with those we love, and those that inspire us.

We should do all we can at an individual level to maintain our health, physically and mentally. I have been trying to exercise daily, although I’ve discovered I’m a fair weather walker so the daily rain hasn’t helped that. Since the beginning of the year I’ve also started a mindfulness practice and journal where I’m recording my experience with mindfulness, and other physiological factors, on a daily basis to try and better understand the rather complex relationship I have with meditating… I am sleeping and eating pretty well, and whilst dry January moved to a ‘gentle drizzle’ it’s still light. I’m doing many of the right things and yet it is undeniably hard to deal with the uncertainty – whether in relation to our or loved ones health, education, income, relationships. So let’s not fool ourselves another wellness practice will solve that (although mindfulness does help by the focus on the present, and gratitude for what we have/are :)).

Let’s also keep checking in with each other though and recognise the tough days when we need a virtual hug. Let’s also be asking and requiring those that we work for and with, what else can we do to simplify what we do just now? What are our true priorities to get through this period, and what will we need to pause or postpone? Some things need to give in this period and let it not be our people that we lose.


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