July 1st 2021

Welcome to the Wellbeing Pathway!

Welcome to my first blog on The Wellbeing Pathway! I’m delighted that you’ve connected with me as part of your wellbeing, leadership or coaching journey.

You’ll have read some of my background in the About section, and I’m very grateful to all the people that I’ve worked with, supported, learned from and just enjoyed meeting over the past 20 years. I feel very privileged to have played some small part in improving health outcomes and creating opportunities for wellbeing practice in the roles that I’ve had during that time.

I found that my real understanding around the importance of wellbeing only started when my life was imbalanced, and I was feeling out of control and stressed. Ironically, it was at this time that I actually needed to care for myself more, but even the term self-care irked me then as I saw it as something unattainable and just another thing to add to the already long list of things to do.

It was in 2010 when my husband was ill, our children were all still at school, I was working in a senior level job and dealing with the “how is he?” phone calls, the daily activities that are the reality of life in a busy home, thinking how I could support my husband in his recovery and putting on my usual optimistic face to the world as I had always counted my blessings.

Cue a sudden and extremely debilitating vertigo attack that saw me in bed for a few days and I realised that the world hadn’t fallen down around me just because I took my foot of the pedal. I do remember lying up in my bedroom listening with a wry smile to my lovely mum and mum-in-law talking about who had brushed the floor last, but I also remember thinking, you need to take a step back here, build in some self-care tips and techniques and realise that you can’t be all things to all people. My real journey with wellbeing had begun.

In the years that followed I have read, studied, observed and practiced a range of self-care and wellbeing activities that honestly, have kept me sane. From improving my mood, my approach to sleep, feeling in control or not worrying so much when I’m not, living in the moment and recognising that change and uncertainty is all part and parcel of how we grow and develop as people.

Having the experiences behind me that I have gathered over the years and the learning I have received from being with other people, inspired me to bring wellbeing conversations into my leadership roles. I’ve found this so interesting, listening and observing how different leaders react, depending on their motivation and values for doing their jobs. I’ve found that the best leaders are those that have the wellbeing of their teams first and foremost and I would love to continue to affect positive change in that respect.

Some of my 1:1 clients have literally turned their lives around too, just by having the opportunity to share and explore what the barriers are in their lives, what makes them feel stuck and for the majority, they already know and have the solutions to develop and improve their personal and professional wellbeing, (although my thoughts are that both processes are interlinked, you can’t have one without the other). Wellbeing is all about balance!

For some of the community organisations that I’ve worked with, it has amazed me how they know and support those in their local areas who are in greatest need, but often at the risk of overlooking their own self-care processes. I’ve found that many community groups and organisations are motivated by making a difference, fixing things, looking at the good that’s around them but when they actually focus on their own wellbeing they become real and respected role models for others and that wellbeing practice has a ripple effect. That said, there are big challenges in terms of equality and opportunities for some communities to be heard and listened to.

Although I had been thinking about setting up The Wellbeing Pathway for some time, 2020 was the year that I felt brave enough to do it so in the January I started looking at resources, courses and other networks to link and learn with. Who knew that a few months later, a pandemic would rock the world and yet, the opportunities that has given me have been so unexpected and so welcome.

Wellbeing matters to all of us, individually, collectively and in all aspects of our lives. I’m looking forward to sharing my skills, knowledge and learning with you all. Thank you for connecting with The Wellbeing Pathway.

Catherine Murnin

The Wellbeing Pathway Founder