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3 reasons to never leave your wellbeing up to your boss

By: Bronwen Sciortino, Leadership Columnist.

For far too long we’ve been taught that life is stressful and that being exhausted is just part of being successful.

“If you’re not tired, you’re doing it wrong” is something that we’ve been taught is a normal way of life.

It’s also a common belief that if you’re not under stress, you’re not working hard enough, and that you should ‘lift your game’ if you want to get anywhere in life.

Apparently, you’re not a team player if those around you are having a hard time completing the tasks at hand, while you’re getting along and enjoying yourself to the fullest.

So, we learn to push through exhaustion and force ourselves to keep going

But we’re finally seeing a pushback and watching the focus turn to the importance of wellbeing. Furthermore, there’s a movement gaining traction that tells us stress is our enemy and that we should make every effort to reduce it in our lives.

But who is to blame for the stress and the impact on our wellbeing? Who will be the first to have the guts to trying something new and create a new way of life?

It’s clear that the generic products and services that have been offered to date haven’t made a dent in solving the problem. In fact, more than ever before, people are experiencing life-threatening health issues that can be attributed to lifestyle-related issues.

Globally, many research studies have been conducted to determine the actual effects of stress on our life, and the outcomes demonstrate that we must either make some adjustments or pay the ultimate price.

But where is the issue coming from?

At the end of May 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) revised the definition of burnout to include a direct connection to occupational stress.

This implied—without saying it explicitly—that managing employees’ wellbeing should fall under the purview of the workplace.

This one act changed the tide – and the opinion around ‘who’ is to ‘blame’ – and all eyes became firmly fixed on organisations to solve the problem.

Since then, surveys have shown that about 80% of employees concur; that is, they expect their employer to initiate mental health and wellbeing solutions including offering training, education, tools and resources.

But what the facts actually show is that it is lifestyle factors – which include work stress – that holistically create the problem.

This means that while work stress contributes to the impact of lifestyle factors, it’s not the sole perpetrator in creating lifestyle-related health and wellbeing issues.

The question is: ‘Do we really want our boss in charge of our wellbeing’?

The idea that a healthy workforce translates into a healthier bottom line is beginning to dawn on global businesses, but for the most part – beyond providing generic products and services on an ad-hoc level – they’re generally left scratching their heads on how to help their human resources become well again.

That means that no one is really sure about what the next ‘right’ step is, and everyone is groping around in the dark for the ‘thing’ that can make their people well again.

Here are three key reasons you don’t want your boss in charge of your wellbeing:

  1. Your wellbeing is unique to you. Each of us is a remarkable, individual person. We all have unique life experiences, and the impact these events have had on us influences how we view and respond to the world. For example, what stresses one person out would be ‘water off a duck’s back’ to someone else. Most organisations believe that they can only offer wellbeing products and services that WORK for EVERYONE, almost always in the form of a group setting.  What transpires is that the organisation ends up providing products and services that aren’t relevant to you. What benefit will you receive from that?

  2. You should be the one to decide what you need. Since it’s YOUR wellbeing, only you know what it is you need for you to be OK. To ensure that you receive the exact solution you need, you must take the initiative and figure it out for yourself. You cannot delegate the task of solving problems to another else.

  3. You need to manage your wellbeing according to YOUR schedule. What if the thing you need right now to help you is number 20 on the list of things being provided by your organisation? Your company might not provide the solution you need for years … or they might provide something that’s too group oriented (and you can’t easily apply it to your situation) … or you might simply find that what is being offered isn’t relevant to you at all. It’s important for YOU to prioritise what you need and give yourself access to it when YOU need it – not on someone else’s timeline.

Working out what you need doesn’t have to be hard … or overwhelming

Sometimes, it can feel like it’s easier to leave the responsibility for our wellbeing in the hands of others. That way, we don’t have to work out what we need, or where to start and finish the process.

But that’s based on another belief that we’ve been taught – that change is too hard and not worth the effort.

The reality is that the longer you wait for someone else to come up with your solutions, the longer you will spend watching your wellbeing deteriorate. Eventually, to get your health and wellbeing back on track, you will need to take the reins and create the direction you need to go for you to be OK.

If your health and wellbeing aren’t where you’d like them to be, chances are you’re already uncomfortable with the way you’re experiencing life.

Sure, change comes with a bit of discomfort too, but doesn’t it make sense for the discomfort to come from taking small, simple steps now that move your life in the direction you want to be heading?

Written by Bronwen Sciortino, CEO & Founder OF sheIQ Life and is proudly based in Perth, Western Australia. Bronwen Sciortino is an International Author & Simplicity Expert and provides in-depth insights into simplifying health and wellness solutions. If you're a busy, stressed and overwhelmed individual you'll benefit from Bronwen's knowledge on how to create simple, practical and easy steps to live life in a very different way. As a leader in the health & wellness industry, Bronwen’s books and programs have received international critical acclaim and 5-star reviews and she is sought as a media expert globally.

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