2 What do we mean by wellbeing?
There’s no doubt that wellbeing has become a real buzzword in contemporary society – particularly since the emergence of COVID-19 forced us all to pay more attention to our health. But what does the word mean to you?
Activity 1 What does wellbeing mean to you?
Spend a few minutes noting down the words you associate with wellbeing. Try to come up with at least one, but no more than ten.
Then pick your favourite word – the one that best encapsulates what wellbeing means to you.
Figure 2 shows a word cloud containing some common words associated with wellbeing.
Did your chosen word appear? Are you surprised by any of the words included in the cloud?
Does wellbeing mean something different to you in a workplace context? Keep that question in mind, as you’ll be asked to reflect on it later.
Next let’s hear some students talking about what wellbeing means to them, in a series of vox pops captured by SHARP (Strong, Healthy and Resilient People) (Be Sharp, 2019), a resource run by the Strong Young Minds charity.
(open link in a new/tab window so you can return easily).
Were the students’ views on wellbeing similar to your own? Was there anything they talked about that you didn’t think of? You might have noticed that none of them mentioned work, as they are probably still all in full-time education, but if you are of a different age/generation, your work may be having a much greater impact on your overall wellbeing. The impact of generational differences on wellbeing will be looked at later in this course.