Updated: Jan 2, 2022
Everyone has a Well-being Bank Account. A guide to understand how much you have in yours and the benefits of investing in it.
Often, when I speak with people who want to improve their well-being, the first question I ask is “How much do you have in your Well-being Bank Account?” and almost all the time, I get the same response “What do you mean?”.
If I were to ask you how much you have in your regular bank account, you would be able to provide a figure, right? This figure may not be exactly where you want it, but you would still be able to identify whether you have a surplus in your account, you are close to zero or you are in your overdraft. We are all familiar with how to use a basic bank account. You can spend, save, make deposits, withdraw, make payments and transfer to others. Your current balance is based on the difference between the amount that comes in and the amount that comes out of your account.
Your Well-being Bank Account (WBA) functions in a similar way, but rather than money, it is an account of your overall health, happiness and contentment- an account of your overall wellness. You can investment into the WBA, and you can also withdrawal from this account.
‘Investments’ into your WBA would be considered as activities that result in you feeling refreshed and energised. For example:
· Physical activity
· Relaxation activities
· Connecting with others
· Quality sleep
· Healthy eating
‘Withdrawals’ from your WBA are activities that result in you feeling empty and deflated. For example:
· Lack of physical activity
· Comparing yourself to others
· Not asking for help when you need it
· Sleep deprivation
· Spending too much time on social media
The difference between your total 'investments' and your total 'withdrawals', would put you in one of three categories: green, orange or red.
Green (Surplus)- You are able to maximise your productivity, manage your responsibilities and give to others without taking away from yourself.
Orange (Zero)- You are just about balancing. An unexpected event is likely to put you at risk of burnout, but you can avoid this by increasing your ‘investments’.
Red (Overdraft)- Your productivity has decreased. You may also be experiencing stress, burnout, sleep deprivation, and associated physical health challenges. Your WBA needs to be topped up.
Ideally, each one of us would be in the ‘green’ all the time. In reality, most of us are not. Life does come with its challenges and day-to-day stresses, however when you make a conscious effort to put your mental well-being first, it helps you to adapt and manage in times of change and uncertainty. Not only does this benefit your productivity, confidence and self-esteem, it also improves your relationship with others. If you are not doing so already, schedule in regular well-being ‘investment’ activities to keep your WBA topped up. Small investments add up overtime and can make a huge difference.
Invest in your Well-being Bank Account, your mental health depends on it.
- Words by Vanessa Boachie
Psychological Therapist & Founder of Inside Out UK