Do you wish you had more energy? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with life and unfulfilled? You are certainly not alone. As busy moms, we often overextend ourselves and then feel depleted, ineffective and ultimately dissatisfied, or dare I say unhappy.
Although this is not uncommon, it definitely doesn’t have to be this way. Your well-being is essential to being successful as a mom, an entrepreneur, a wife, a change-maker or whatever roles are important to you.
So, what is well-being?
“Well-being considers the physical, mental, and social aspects of a person’s life. Physical well-being relates to vigor and vitality, feeling very healthy and full of energy. Mental well-being includes being satisfied with one’s life; balancing positive and negative emotions; accepting one’s self; finding purpose and meaning in one’s life; seeking personal growth, autonomy, and competence; believing one’s life and circumstances are under one’s control; and generally experiencing optimism. Social well-being involves providing and receiving quality support from family, friends, and others.” Article from Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at healthypeople.gov. Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being
For the sake of this article, we will focus on mental well-being, because that is my area of specialty and in my opinion, is foundational to good health and happiness. Generally, I find that when one is mentally strong and balanced, she is more likely to take better care of herself physically and emotionally. Her overall well-being is much higher.
How well do you fare with your mental well-being?
Do you feel a sense of purpose and passion?
Are you making a difference?
Do you accept yourself completely, the good and the bad?
Do you have a sense of competence and the ability to master things in your life?
Do you feel you can change your circumstances, or at least the way you look at them?
If you answered yes to most of these, then you are probably in a strong state of mental well-being. Good for you! If you answered no to all or some of these questions, then you have an opportunity to make some positive changes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong here. You are exactly where you are and that is OK.
The opportunity here is to notice where you may need to focus and get some support, if you feel you need it. Which of these areas would you like to focus on to increase your sense of well-being? Start by asking yourself… what can I do to increase my sense of well-being today? Take a moment and go within for the answer. Your inner wisdom always knows.
So which of the categories below did your answer fall into?
Discovering Your Purpose and Making a Difference
Total Self-Acceptance and Confidence
Increasing Competence and Self-Efficacy
Shifting Your Perspective to Optimism and Taking Control of Your Life
Enlisting Support and Increasing Connection
Let’s take a brief look at the first 2 of these areas and identify at least one way you can improve in them right now, ok?
1) Discovering Your Purpose and Making a Difference- Most people are clueless as to why they are here and what they feel their purpose is. Everybody wants to feel a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives. Figuring this out can be a struggle for many and can cause great suffering. I am giving you permission right now to not have to get it exactly right, ok? Let’s just play and explore some ideas for now. The key is to not be so rigid and feel like there is ONE thing you are here to do and you MUST figure it out. I’m going to give you an alternate view of purpose. The way I work with clients on purpose is that rather than it being that thing you came here to DO, it is an expression of your BEING. Ask yourself, how do I want others to feel in my presence, or when I am at my best? The feeling impact is your purpose. The thing you DO to put that out there in the world is the expression of your purpose. For example, my purpose is to empower women to see their own strength, beauty and value. The way I do that is through coaching, speaking, writing and leading groups. I also do that by how I listen and engage with women in my daily life. It’s inherently who I am. Does that make sense?
If your purpose is to bring humor and laugher to people so that they feel good then how you do that may be through writing, stand up comedy, creating videos, etc. Ok now it is your turn to identify your purpose. You don’t need to figure out the how right now. That is a really fun exercise you can do later. For now, answer this question: What is the IMPACT you want to have on others?
By being clear on your impact and then identifying how you want to make that impact, you will experience an increased sense of well-being. Understanding that you inherently have value and knowing what it is, will be a game-changer.
2) Total Self-Acceptance and Confidence- Ok… I know this may sound like a stretch. Who really accepts themselves fully and completely? I think this is a constant work in progress, however I have gotten to a point where I love myself no matter what, and I accept my strengths and my weaknesses. I have learned to give myself a lot of compassion when the self-limiting thoughts (a.k.a., Gremlins) come in. I know I am not perfect and my not so pretty side will show itself at times. I accept that and I constantly strive to transform the things I don’t exactly like about myself. It’s a constant remembering that I am human and I have plenty of room to grow. Your task right now is to take out a piece of paper and list your strengths. Include your personality, characteristics, skills, beliefs, things you’ve overcome, likes, etc. List everything you can think of. To make it even better, ask a core group of people you trust for feedback on how they see your strengths. Doing this will reaffirm the things you know to be true and will also give you new insights into how others see you. Keep this list handy whenever you are doubting yourself.
Another thing I like to do with clients is help them see how their perceived weaknesses can also be their strengths. Everything is on a spectrum and has an opposite. It’s fun to see how to use our weaknesses as strengths and not have our strengths become weaknesses. Reach out to me if you want help with this process.
When you are confident in who you are and accept that you are not perfect, you will increase your overall sense of well-being. Self-love does not mean you love everything about yourself, it means you accept all that you are and all that you are not. That is what there is to strive for here.
I have shared with you some areas and examples of ways you can focus to increase your sense of well-being and happiness. This is just a start and there are many things you can do to turn things around if that is your desire. Know that you are in control and you can be happy and feel good (or better) starting today, right now.