Wellbeing – an introduction

You might have noticed my by-line

“One woman’s journey to a more meaningful life”

It’s not that my life lacks meaning now, I just want to be more purposeful and intentional and not drift through my life bouncing from one thing to another like I feel I have in the past. This blog is about physical and emotional journeys[1] but don’t worry I am not going to get all hippy-dippy[2] or religious!

The by-line is also a product of my recent discovery of the “THE Minimalists” podcast[3]. The underpinning mantra of Josh and Ryan’s message is to do more with less and follow your values. I’d recommend it even though I sometimes find their banter a bit repetitive.

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Another significant factor leading me down the meaningful pathway is my day job. I am a Deputy Principal at a large high school with close to 1000 people on site every day. Part of my role is to improve their wellbeing. I have been teaching for 25 years and I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students with low-level (but no less real) mental health issues linked to anxiety and depression.


It is reaching plague proportions. Part of me thinks it’s just a case of telling sixteen-year old’s (as empathetically as possible) to “Toughen up Prince/Princess” and/or tell their lawn-mower[4] parents to back off and let their kids face a bit of a character-developing challenge every now and then. Another part of me knows there is a real problem that needs to be dealt with urgently.

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Looking for ways to take action, I came across a great paper[5] published by the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation which in turn is based on research by the New Economics Forum. Five Ways to Wellbeing – A Best Practice Guide sets out in very easy to understand language, the five key factors in improving your wellbeing in everyday life. I have wrapped up the advice in the infographic below.

five ways graphic

This post is only an introduction and I recommend you have a look at the paper and the research behind it.

I volunteer for the NSW SES – where I  learn lots of new skills while helping my community and making great connections to people. Three birds with one stone!

[1] I am sort of hoping you may have noticed that already if you have been reading any of the previous posts. J

[2] Although I have started to make my own kombucha, kimchi and alfalfa sprouts. That is for a whole other blog post and has been triggered by reading Michael Mosley’s Clever Guts Diet at https://cleverguts.com/

[3] Find their podcast on iTunes or here on their website http://www.theminimalists.com/

[4] Parents who clear all obstacles ahead of their children so they don’t face any problems.

[5] https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/ways-to-wellbeing/  click on the link halfway down the page.


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