Finding your personal energy in the workplace
We’re 3 months into the new year, how many of us are feeling refreshed? Rejuvenated? Energised?
Within my role as the Psychological Health and Safety Partner & Wellbeing Lead at Bupa, I’m responsible for providing workplace mental health support, developing initiatives to foster psychologically healthy and safe work environments, and leading our employee wellbeing program. The verbatim feedback I’m receiving through my work indicates that our large and diverse workforce are having a mixture of experiences.
Some were able to take time over the holiday break, they were able to start the new year feeling refreshed, and most importantly, had time to reflect on what’s important, enabling them to hold on to that same refreshed and energised feeling. But for others, they feel tired, flat, and unmotivated. Even if they were able to have a break, they have started their new year with the same flat feeling, fatigued by the ongoing nature of COVID-19, demands both inside and outside of work, and the many crises our world is currently facing.
At Bupa, our purpose is to live longer, healthier, and happier lives and making a better world. This includes our own people. Ensuring that our people feel the best version of themselves, both inside and outside of work, is our priority. Equipping them with resources, tools, and support to enable them to feel this way, regardless of their unique needs, is an important part of our wellbeing strategy.
One way that we support our people is through our recently launched, Global Resilience Programme, Personal Energy. Personal Energy benefits our people regardless of their unique needs, it can support the maintenance of good energy, it’s a helpful tool to monitor dipping energy levels, and it acts as a reminder of practical self-care strategies that can have wonderfully positive physical and mental health outcomes. Personal Energy is an evidence-based program, characterised by three core components.
The first is self-awareness of personal demands and energy levels, enabling our people to reflect on what demands their energy, and why having great levels of energy is important to them. The second is mindfulness of simple and sustainable self-care habits, of which 9 energy foundations support our people to identify areas they need to maintain, or focus on improving. Lastly, positive action planning enables our people to implement a personally meaningful, practical plan that helps to maintain energy, and look after the things and the people, which are most important in their lives.
The principles of Personal Energy can be adopted by anyone. It’s all about taking regular opportunities to engage in self-reflection, considering not only how we’re feeling, but our energy levels, and identifying the signs that may indicate we’re struggling to cope (i.e., any changes to our thoughts, feelings, body, and behaviour). The program also encourages us to embed proactive self-care practices into our routine – what helps to fill up your cup? What keeps you feeling energised? How often do you need to engage in this practice? What support do you need to keep it in your routine? Why is having a great level of energy important to you?
Lastly, the key to Personal Energy is giving yourself permission to put it into practice. Giving ourselves permission to practice self-care proactively, regularly and with a firm boundary can take time and practice. When life gets busy, remembering our purpose for having good energy, communicating our wellbeing needs to others, and structuring our routine to include time for self-care, can help to give ourselves permission. And, when we embed self-care into our lives in this way, it has a ripple effect and empowers those around us to do the same.
By Emily Meates, Psychological Health and Safety Partner & Wellbeing Lead