• Author:Ben Jones
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A week to focus on wellbeing

It’s no big revelation to say that this week has been tough. All right-thinking people will have been moved and affected by events in Manchester and the magnificent response of the people of Manchester. Despite the many heroic stories in the aftermath of Monday and the bright light of kindness and togetherness seeping out of every pore in Manchester, this has been one of this country’s darkest few days. It means that I currently live in a country where troops are on the street to keep the population safe from terrorism. That takes a bit of getting used to.

For those who are prone to anxiety, depression, stress or are sensitive and prone to upset, worry and the like, events like this week can often be a trigger for being unsettled, uneasy or worse. I have been mindful of this. Despite a busy week of meetings and work after taking Friday and Monday off to go to Ireland – I tried to make sure I turned to my go-to activities that help keep my wellbeing on track; plenty of time with my girls, lunches, breakfast, coffees out with Mrs and Miss J; good planning (having a well structured, ordered and balanced diary); diary of plenty of rest; reading a good book or two (thank you Elizabeth Strout); lots of time at home, especially quiet time with no distractions, and, of course, some golf.

My weekly wellbeing routine always tries to draw on a number of these type of small interventions built around rest, exercise (running and golf), good diet, enjoyable work, writing, reading, watching some great sport (thank you this week to LFC and the Red Sox) and most importably plenty of time at home and with my girls. When I feel great it is usually because I have got the interventions right and the balance between them and other things right. When I’m not on my best form, a review of the week usually points to these things being absent or under-used and the balance off beam. In truth, this week hasn’t been my finest hour. I arrive at the end of it feeling tired and slightly below par – hopefully a perverse omen for my upcoming golf!

Like so many, I have let a busy week and things in the news and in the world get in the way of me focusing on me and my wellbeing. The golf for one has taken a back seat this week, which is something I will be rectifying from tomorrow. I did manage to get up to S&A this afternoon-  one of my happy places – for seven holes. I am playing in the weekly competition in the morning (08:52  when the only rain of the week is expected!) – aiming to erase the memories of my last two outings and my miserable meltdowns in the final few holes. Watch this space for an update after tomorrow!

So, I am ending a busy working week and a week which has really rocked all of us in the great north west of England in my happiest place; at home. Either side of a few holes of golf, a few hours of play with Miss J and an al fresco dinner and a drink in the garden with Mrs J (on our newly restored table thanks to yours truly). As Alan Partridge or indeed Shakin’ Stevens would say; lovely stuff.

Getting the focus on wellbeing right isn’t easy and needs constant vigilance and discipline. Although I end the week doing good things, my report card for the last few days would read “B minus – can do better”. I know I must redouble my efforts and try to get to the top of the class next week. I will keep you posted.


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