Well-being is so important, yet often taken for granted. Things are working or not working and maybe we don’t give too much time or thought to this. What if you dedicated some time each week to checking in on yourself and reflecting what would be most useful right now? And what if you did this in connection with another person, so that you were witnessed, seen, heard, and, through this process, you also had a degree of accountability? And what if you got to witness another human sharing where they are at and what they identify as being useful going forward? It seems a great opportunity to me. It’s real, human, connected and pragmatic.
If this sounds interesting to you, then you might be up for finding yourself a ‘well-being buddy’. Approach a friend or colleague and see if they would like to experiment with this. You can create your own way of going about it, but I’ll share some ideas with you below. You might like to start by following the below format. Then you can make it more your own, as you go forward, finding what works for you both.
So here is my suggested starter format:
Arrange to meet up once a week, for a certain period, say 6 weeks. You can connect face-to-face, on Zoom, on the phone, whatever suits you. Identify a length of time that feels right, say 30 minutes.
1 person is the speaker to start with, covering the 3 points below. The other person listens. Then you swap roles. So, each person has roughly 15 minutes each in total, focused on their well-being.
- CONTEXT – 1 minute
Share your current main context – the main thing going on for you, the flavour of your life right now.
Eg I’m tired because it’s been a really busy week at work.
- CELEBRATIONS – 3 minutes
Share between 1 and 3 recent celebrations – particularly things related to well-being. But the celebrations can also be from beyond the realm of well-being.
Eg I’m proud that I’ve been getting up 15 minutes earlier and starting the day with a grounding exercise and I feel calmer because of that.
- CURRENT THEME(S) + INTENTION(S) – 5 minutes
Share a current theme or challenge in your life – something you are exploring or working on.
Also, state an intention you have as a result of your 3 part share. This is a ‘next step intention’- an intention for the following week until you meet again.
Here are a few points to help you…
- Establish that anything shared is confidential.
- Use a stopwatch and keep time for yourself or for your well-being buddy, however works best for you.
- If you want to lengthen or shorten any of the recommended timings, again, do what works for you.
- Only share what you feel comfortable sharing.
- When sharing, bring compassionate presence to anything you bring up. Compassionate presence means not judging ourselves or our experience as wrong, just noticing, with kindness.
- Listen with presence, respect and sensitivity.
- Give your buddy space to share freely. It is not a dialogue. You can, of course, make certain natural conversational comments, noises, facial expressions – just take care to not turn it into a chat when it is their space to share.
- When they have finished each part of their share, you can take a little space to comment. Eg ‘That’s great. Good for you. That sounds helpful. I hear you. Sounds like a busy week.’ Or whatever comments may be appropriate and natural.
- Don’t give advice to your buddy, unless they ask for your thoughts. This is a space for them to be heard and witnessed. It is a space for their own reflection.
When you have both been the ‘speaker’, arrange when you’ll next meet.
This can be a wonderful way to connect to yourself, connect to a fellow human, and proactively take extra care of your well-being. If you decide to try it out, then I hope you find it an enjoyable and valuable process.