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Wellbeing and Resilience 101

The basics you need to really support your wellbeing and resilience

The basics of wellbeing and resilience are common knowledge, but it can take a small nudge to raise awareness of them, when our heads are down working hard.

I’d feel like I was teaching you to suck eggs, if it wasn’t for the fact that these themes surface so often with the leaders that I support. So here are some soft nudges and pointers for you to address as a requirement in being a well and sustainable leader in

the public sector.


Are you happy with your diet? If not, why not?

What small improvement could you make this week to shift the dial by 5% towards a better diet?

Commit to this. Review next week and shift the dial 5% more.


Do you exercise enough? Exercise creates energy, as all healthcare professionals will tell you. Where in your work life could you move a little bit more, just 5% more a day? Start small. Park further away, walk at lunchtime etc. Where in your time outside

work can you exercise a little more?

Commit to 2 small actions. Review in 1 week.


Do you take breaks and lunch at work? If not, why not?

If your answer is “I don’t have time”, ask yourself the following, would I expect my students to go without their breaks? Would I advise patients to work through theirs?

Breaks are essential—not a luxury

How can you access this essential human need, in your workday? I don’t recommend starting small—book off 30 minutes for lunch in your diary and block it out every day. Job done!


How is sleep? Do you sleep enough or does work / stress / thinking get in the way? Read up about work limits and leaving work at work (debrief), as both as these will help with sleep.

Google search for ‘Sleep Hygiene’ and follow the rules laid out.

As a Neuro-Psychologist, sleep hygiene and work debriefing were perhaps my two most effective interventions with people who did not sleep well in the context of high pressure work. It is not rocket science, but it takes commitment to the method.


What is your weekly diet of fun at home AND at work?

If you fall short, time to get creative—your mood and energy are related to your access to fun.

Your team can help you create this, you just need to create the spaces to enable it for you all.


Simple ideas that are so very true and well evidenced. I have just nudged you to them here, as it can feel very patronising to have this taught to us.

That said, this needs to be read as a minimum requirement, a prescription of a sort. Like all prescriptions, it needs a regular review – so check in monthly on these areas of need. Prolonged compromising on any of these (for you or your team) will lead to

unsustainable outcomes or worse.

Audit Needs

Meet Needs

More readings and insights available at:

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