The Life Life Well Virtual Weekender had a full 3 day line-up of speakers, influencers and experts in well-being. Throughout the weekend, they shared their knowledge and experience through online webinars, and ran various online workshops to help with mindfulness, meditation and self-care…
I’d never attended a well-being festival before, let alone a virtual one! I got SO many well-being tips all in one place and the entire experience was invaluable to me, so I wanted to share them with you in the hope that it might make lock-down and general life a little easier! Here’s just some of what I learned…
Your emotions are valid and there’s no “right” way to feel
A keyword for this weekend would have to be “Self-awareness.” We all need to build trust in ourselves and give ourselves permission to feel – and that includes the negative emotions. Listening to yourself and accepting that you’re not alone in how you feel is one of the basic and yet most difficult things to do. Letting yourself identify the emotions you’re going through in the moment and mentally “checking” your body can help you to feel more present and understand yourself and your needs better. If you can be more aware of your body and the effects it’s having on your mood too, it can help you to find ways of caring for yourself.
Well-being Tip – The 5 C’s
This is a daily tool / mental checklist that you can do at the start of the day to try to give you a little structure and make sure you’re doing the right things for your well-being. The 5 C’s was a technique that Steph Peltier showed us in “The Science of Happiness” webinar, as she uncovered what it meant to cultivate happiness within your life.
- Creativity – What can I do to capture my creativity today?
- Care – What can I do today to take care of myself?
- Continuity – What ways can I maintain some structure to my day?
- Control – What can I control in my world to make me feel well / happy?
- Compassion – How can I treat myself and others with compassion today?
Be your own best friend
We are all currently not able to use our automatic mini “vents” for releasing pressure. The water-cooler moments, the chats in the pub with your friends… we need to replace these by allowing ourselves space and giving ourselves a chance to vent in other ways. Most importantly I learned to treat yourself as you would treat someone else you really love.
Well-Being Tip: The Breathing Beep
Something new that I’m giving a try is setting a “Breathing Beep”. Set a (pleasantly toned!) alarm on your phone every 2 hours during your working day. When it goes off, make sure to stop what you’re doing, correct your posture and breathe deeply for at least 1 minute. If it’s not a good time, set the snooze to 30 minutes and try to make sure to take that break. You could also try doing the 10:15:20 method outlined further down in this post.
Breathing in a different pattern can also be so stimulating too. Richie Bostock, aka The Breath Guy led a guided breathing session on Sunday, and I settled down and got straight into it. The measured and irregular breathing stimulates the body – I don’t know the science, but I felt it really deeply and by the end of it I was crying floods of happy tears. (Apparently I really needed it!)
Gratitude without Guilt
One thing that really stuck with me during this talk was someone else’s pain doesn’t make your pain hurt any less. What this means is – when you’re feeling low and you start to feel that sense of privilege seeping in, thinking of all the people in much worse positions than you… stop. You’re allowed to feel grateful for where you are and the things you have, and take solace in that, but your own sadness is still valid and you should not feel guilty for that. Happiness is about perception, not what’s happening to you on the outside.
Apparently, I like Pilates
I have never been big on regular exercise, in fact I find it quite a challenge to push myself to do it. What surprised me about guided exercise is not only did I get up early to do it but… *whispers* I actually really enjoyed it. I hate to say it but all those people who told me I’d feel better after exercise… well… they were right. I felt incredibly energised and my body felt like jelly (in a good way!) It’s definitely something I’m going to check myself on in the future. Pilates is also super mindful as the checking your body’s positions are correct means you end up very present in your own body.
Related post: How Body Confidence hit me like a Tidal Wave
Well-being Tip: Coping with Overwhelming Moments
Another tip from Steph Peltier (of the Happiness Society) during “The Science of Happiness”. I learned so much from her during the talk but the one thing I’d encourage everyone to take away is the 10:15:20 well-being tip for coping with overwhelming emotions. This may not fix the source of the emotion, but it helps to take off the edge and helps you to deal with the stress and overwhelm that’s mounting.
10 Breaths – During these deep breaths, really focus on what you’re feeling.
Give it a name – am I sad? Disappointed? Angry? Stressed? Nervous? This can help you to cope with the emotion and accept it, while separating it from who “you” are.
Sit with it for 10 breaths but don’t think of the reasons why, just allow yourself to feel it and accept it.
15 Breaths – Remove that emotion from your mind and try to think of nothing.
For these breaths just sit with that space, and empty your mind. Any thought that comes to mind, push it away. Use grounding techniques to bring yourself into the present e.g. what do parts of your body feel like
20 Breaths – During these last moments, bring to your mind a happy memory of a person, animal, place or time and REALLY focus on it.
Think of the true detail of that thing and the way it makes you feel. Sit with that and let the feeling of that moment really sink in.
The webinars are all available for us to view on demand…
The Live Life Well Weekender gave me access to so many well-being tips and resources that I am really keen to explore! You can view the weekend webinars on demand (for free if you’re a key-worker, front-line worker, carer, student, or on low / no income by emailing the team, or for £10 per household. I’d also really recommend subscribing to Happiful online magazine, who supported the event. It’s an incredible treasure trove of information and guidance on all aspects of life.
I wanted to say a special thank you to my lovely friend, Stacey for pointing me in the path of this festival and for always being a well-being beacon for me, and also to the two ladies who put this festival together. It was an incredible feat with minimal technical issues and a whole lot of help and well-being tips for us all. Can’t wait for the next one!