Have you heard the term ‘wellbeing snack’ but unsure what it means?
Do you want to improve your health but struggle to find the time and motivation?
Perhaps you keep trying new diets and exercise programmes, but they don’t work, and you end up back at square one – or worse?
Here red10 ‘s Lisa Smith explains how making small changes and creating new, small habits can help us feel happier, healthier and freer in all areas of our lives.
Our Wellbeing Wheel
The red10 Wellbeing Wheel consists of eight spokes or aspects of our wellbeing.
In a Wellbeing session, each spoke is described, a score of 1 (low) to 10 (high) is privately recorded to find out where you are succeeding and, more importantly, what needs immediate attention (the lowest score).
We have a Wellbeing Snack ready for each spoke that needs attention.
For example, here’s a wellbeing snack for Technology:
Reduce time on your mobile phone
- Get your mobile phone out – your personal phone if you have a separate one for work.
- Go to Settings and scroll down to Screen Time – find your average daily time. The US average in 2021 is a whopping 5-6 hours a day, not including work related activity.
- Commit to reducing screen time on your phone by 10% over the next week by:
- setting limits for downtime – commit to not looking at your phone 9pm-9am and do not take your phone into your bedroom. Tell loved ones you are doing this. Those who dislike your new-found tech boundaries probably benefitted from you having none!
- setting limits on the apps you spend most time on, e.g. set it to 15 minutes a day for Facebook.
- taking notifications (red dots) off apps. You do this in Settings – go to Notifications and turn them off app by app. This way you check your messages when it suits you, not when the red dot tells you to!
You can start with just one of these suggestions and repeat, review and increase the limits weekly until you feel you have achieved a healthy balance. You do not have to be available to everyone all the time.
BJ Fogg, author of ‘Tiny Habits’ has cracked the code of habit formation. Based on 20 years’ research he reveals the key to changing behaviour is not about willpower but starting small and making it feel good. His mantra is:
- Take any habit
- Make it tiny
- Find where it fits naturally in your life
- Nurture it’s growth
So, for the food spoke you could simply make sure you eat a different piece of fruit every day whilst you wait for your cup of tea to brew.
This is one of my favourite Sanskrit words from yoga philosophy. Simply, it means habits, but it’s deeper meaning includes the cyclical pattern of our thoughts and behaviour – good and bad.
Yoga is about breaking old, unhelpful samskāras and creating new supportive ones instead. It takes time, and is more effective when practised regularly over a long time.
This philosophy is in line with BJ Fogg. Yoga for relaxation can begin with a daily 5-minute breathing practice.
It is not giving up what you love
Adopting small new wellbeing habits or snacks is not about suppression or repulsion for the foods and lifestyle that you have. It’s not turning away from or rejecting current routines and patterns.
Wellbeing snacks are about cultivating an open space in which new possibilities can arise. It’s turning towards something, being open to what you want and need.
Thinking of your wellbeing in this way can be very motivating.