This month I reached a milestone of sorts, turning 50!
I always get quite reflective on the approach to any milestone, but this time it felt particularly significant perhaps because so much has changed over the last year.
My moment of reflection came while I was doing a 10K run. It struck me that it was the last one I’d do in my forties and it pushed me to go just that little bit faster.
In that moment I felt strong, I felt fit, and I felt healthy. It struck me what a privilege it was to feel that way, especially when the past year has had such a negative impact on so many people’s health.
We’ve all made huge sacrifices; our lives have changed significantly and the reason for all of it has been to protect people’s health.
Ultimately, our health both mental and physical, is the most important thing we have, and we owe it to ourselves to prioritise it.
Something many of us have gained in the last year is time. We were told to “stay at home” and much of what normally filled our spare time was shut down. It felt like we pushed reset on a lot of things and were able to think about what was really important to us.
Recent reports reflect a huge shift in people’s mindset:
- 3/5 employees want to change career
- More people are moving out of big cities in favour of the countryside
- 6/10 want the government to pursue health and wellbeing ahead of economic growth after the pandemic has subsided
- 42% of employees believe that for an office return to be feasible, better access to mental health services is a must.
After such a significant change to our lifestyles, shrouded in restriction and uncertainty for over a year, it’s no wonder that wellbeing has become the top priority for so many people.
We’ve seen the benefits that come with a more stripped back life. I for one have taken much more notice of what’s around me when walking my dog, which became one of the highlights of my day in lockdown.
With the gyms being closed I’ve been running outside so much more and I’ve noticed the changes the seasons bring to the landscape, the colours of the trees. There really is something special about the outdoors and how it makes us feel.
Now that there is a route out of lockdown in place, and businesses start to look to the future it’s important that they empower their staff to keep health and wellbeing at the top of their priority list.
This will prevent burnout, make them feel valued and when people are feeling good, they’re more likely to perform better and give more. Everyone is a winner.
One big positive that’s come of the last year is that we all feel more connected. While everyone’s experience of the pandemic has been unique, we’ve all come through it together and we’re all a lot more resilient because of it.
Trying to build on that sense of belonging within the workplace will be beneficial for the long term. It’ll help strengthen teams and make people feel happier and healthier.
For me, 2021 already feels more positive than 2020. It marks two huge milestones, not just turning 50 but also celebrating 20 year of Human Resourcing and I feel incredibly grateful that I’m more passionate and energised than ever before.
I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds!