Wellbeing has become very popular in the past decade. As customers, we’ve become somewhat obsessed with our quest for it. Google trends show that there are 75% more searches for wellbeing in 2019 than there were in 2004.
It’s curious then, that the wellbeing trend sits against a backdrop of rising levels of diabetes, obesity and mental illness, especially as mental health is the very issue wellbeing was meant to address in the first place. With this in mind, Mental Health Awareness Week provides an opportunity for all of us to look at our wellbeing.
So where are we going wrong with our quest for wellness?
Research has found that people think of wellness as something that only exists in certain places and times. So maybe this is what is fuelling the relentless (often fruitless) pursuit of the state of complete wellbeing. Customers believe – we believe – that if we were to do just one more thing, we would achieve perfect wellness.
Videos by online influencers such as this one build up the idea of wellness as something that is an ‘all-or-nothing’ state, achievable only with immense amounts of work and focus.
My personal pursuit often goes hand in hand with a stick to beat myself. When I haven’t met my 10,000 steps for the day, or I’ve ordered a Chinese takeaway, or I haven’t pushed myself for a promotion.
To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, we held a workshop on wellness and productivity. The guidance was not to look at wellbeing as a finite goal, but an on-going journey.
The idea of wellbeing as a journey, not a destination, is a simple one – but one many people miss.
Instead of pushing to achieve wellbeing in the short term, which I believe is where failure often occurs, I propose we change the way we think about it. Rather than constantly gunning for some nebulous state of wellness, let’s make a commitment to work at it steadily. Let’s help everyone we know, including our clients’ audiences, go on the wellness journey, rather than promising them complete wellbeing.
Because, frankly, no one will be arriving there any time soon.