December 3rd 2022

Wellbeing and Balance

Like the seasons, our lives ebb and flow. Sometimes we feel a sense of unsteadiness and imbalance and that can have a negative impact on our overall wellbeing.

As described in Thrive Global, “Usually the way people in our society stumble upon balance, is after they have been hurt or ill. Sadly, poor health can be the only time people give themselves permission to cultivate better balance in their lives. This is not a healthy way to live”

In the run up to the festive and holiday season, we are often pulled in different directions. Planning, shopping, finalising to-do lists, managing expectations and feeling the pressure of everything being perfect is a balancing act.

  • What if we slowed down a little?
  • What if we reflected on what this time of year is really about?
  • What if we practiced ways to achieve better balance in our lives?

“By making small tweaks to your lifestyle you can improve the way you feel. What’s more, these will prove to be changes that actually last” Dr Rangan Chatterjee November 2021

So, what might this look like as we head into the busy festive season?


Connecting with ourselves and with each other is an important part of positive human interactions. As a social species we thrive when we have a sense of belonging and this can include the relationships we have at home, in the workplace and across our communities.

A report by Stanford University highlighted that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Studies show that they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy and are more trusting. Noticing what we are connecting with is also important, particularly in terms of the things we watch and listen to and how this affects our sensory and emotional experiences.


Having conversations is vital to our wellbeing. They can help us feel valued, they can help us feel connected, they can encourage new ideas and learning and at this time of year they can alleviate some of the pressures that exist as we balance different priorities.

A study by the University of Michigan suggests that even small talk, just passing the time of day with someone can improve our cognitive functions in the same way that brain teasing exercises to.


Research into mental and emotional wellbeing highlights the importance of being creative to increase our positive emotions, reduce depressive symptoms and anxiety and improve the function of our immune systems. Writing, art, music, cooking, dance, vision boards, sharing ideas with others will stimulate neural pathways that help release our happiness hormones.


A sense of belonging, about being part of a community plays a key role in our wellbeing. Connected together in ways that we can support each other, be alongside others in times of need, celebrate achievements and share skills and assets that enable everyone to thrive and reach their full potential creates opportunities that have a long lasting positive impact. Feelings of loneliness can be heightened at this time of year, yet small gestures and interactions can have a positive effect in the places where we live, work and learn.

Compassion describes compassion as a kind, friendly presence in the face of what is difficult. Many people will embrace and celebrate the joy of the festive season, some will wish it was all over and others will experience something in between. Through compassion to those we interact with and with ourselves, we create space for empathy and human connection. Through kindness, curiosity, a willingness to listen to learn and not just respond, the opportunity for beautiful things to happen that transform wellbeing across our lives is powerful.

What works for your wellbeing will be individual to you but selfcare is a great place to start to help you be the best version of you that enables you to support and help others when they might be struggling.

Christmas and the festive season can offer many gifts that are not linked to the commercial world. Achieving balance at this time of year is simple but not always easy. If we are privileged to have the resources and skills to pause and give ourselves permission to accept the gifts and be grateful for what we have, we should do that. Sharing those gifts with others will create small ripples of connection that can go wider that we might ever know. It all starts with us.

Catherine Murnin

The Wellbeing Pathway Founder