By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2017
This month’s Healthy Path is all about self-reflection and exploring our spiritual wellbeing, which is a fitting topic with the holiday season right around the corner.
Spiritual wellbeing is unique to each individual and involves values and beliefs that help provide a purpose in our lives. In general, spirituality is the search for meaning and purpose in human existence and can involve working to balance our inner needs with the rest of the outside world .
Spiritual wellbeing may not be something that you often think about, yet its impact and influence on your life is unavoidable. Spirituality also involves being tolerant of others’ beliefs and to live and act authentically in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs. For some, spirituality may be equated with traditional religions such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, while for others, it may mean growing personal relationships with others or through a connection with nature.
You can live your life with purpose if you are purposely self-aware. If purposeful self-awareness is an unfamiliar concept, there are activities you can practice that can eventually instill self-awareness.
Nurturing our personal needs and allowing ourselves to truly relax, regenerate and recharge in meaningful ways is important for our own self-care. Keep in mind the big picture, think about what is meaningful to you, and be mindful of your surroundings to truly savour the moments and experiences you encounter this holiday season – whether it’s with your family, friends, strangers, other beings or with yourself.
Here are some articles for you by Shepell, UBC’s EFAP provider that can help you prepare yourself emotionally for the holiday season get-togethers with a guide to holiday peacekeeping. Learn how you can improve your relationships with others and improve your relationship with yourself.
Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization to access Shepell articles.
Assess Your Spiritual Wellbeing
Take a moment to reflect and evaluate your own spiritual wellbeing with this brief quiz:
- Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
- Do I make time for meditation or prayer?
- Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
- Am I accepting and open to the views of others?
- Do I feel a sense of hope and have a positive outlook on life?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions, that may be an area to work on exploring and improving. These feelings may also be related to other causes and there are some resources available to help you understand them.
Ways You Can Improve Spiritual Wellbeing
1. Be still, be quiet. Take time for yourself, even if it is for five minutes as you wait for the bus or when you go to bed. Try to disconnect from electronic devices and just be in the moment.
2. Practice being non-judgmental and having an open mind. Take five deep breaths to gather your thoughts before responding or reacting to a situation or person.
3. Be mindful and/or meditate and/or do yoga.
4. Be kind to others and yourself.
5. Be grateful. Discover ways you can practice gratitude. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization to access this article.)
6. Forgive. If it does not serve a purpose in your life and only causes you anguish, forgive and let it go.
7. Give back to others.
8. Become part of a community and maintain enriching relationships. Learn five ways to detox your relationships.
9. Remain receptive to pain or sorrow. These feelings can help us discover how spirituality can help us cope.
10. Do something outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to be challenged or to be (or act) silly. After all, the best memories are created when we come across unexpected moments, people or situations. They are often the ones we learn lessons from the most. These lessons allow us to discover nuances within ourselves and build our knowledge and values, thereby creating stronger meanings in our lives.
Resources for Staff and Faculty
- UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program: Counselling services for you and your dependents. Call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 for immediate support or visit Shepell’s website to view their available services.
- Meditation and Mindfulness Programs at UBC
- Benefits to support staff and faculty mental health
- Yoga at UBC Recreation or UBC Yoga Club
- Campus Chaplaincy
- Consider these volunteering opportunities
Photo credit: Melissa Lafrance