Wellbeing is a nebulous word, which gets used a lot to talk about how we might consider our overall happiness, health and ability to cope with what life throws at us. While we often talk about wellbeing in reference to feeling really good, we have wellbeing at all times. How ‘well’ we are feeling can change over time based on whether our needs are met and in what ways.

It’s also unique for everyone. What one person needs to maintain optimum wellbeing will be quite different to someone else, because of differing priorities, likes and dislikes, and circumstances. In general though, wellbeing is holistic - it impacts and is impacted by every facet of our lives, and for this reason it is possible to think of ourselves as having many types of wellbeing, representing each of those facets. Balance is a key part of wellbeing: making sure each aspect of wellbeing is in balance, no one part of our lives is taking up more space than we would like, and that no part is being neglected. When asked to describe wellbeing, some people talk about it in terms of good things being present: feeling content, happy, safe, on top of things; others consider it in terms of an absence of bad things: not feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or pulled in too many different directions.

Because wellbeing is holistic, all these types of wellbeing overlap and affect each other, so as this article explores how different types of wellbeing can be supported in the workplace, there may be some overlap. For a more in-depth discussion of wellbeing and some of the tips discussed here, please consider signing up for our Stress Management and Resilience course.  

Physical wellbeing is one of the easiest types of wellbeing to talk about. It’s feeling like your body is comfortable, safe, and healthy – by whatever definition of those is meaningful to you. Not feeling hungry, thirsty, cold or tired are all part of maintaining physical wellbeing. 

  • Stay active in the office because it can be all too easy to spend the whole day at your desk with little time spent moving around. Set a timer or calendar reminder to get up and move around, stretch, and rest your eyes. Use these short breaks to look into the distance for a few minutes to help prevent eye strain. 
  • Keep up your energy by making sure you are properly hydrated and take a break for lunch; make sure you’re getting enough to drink and eat; try not to put yourself under physical pressure by being too warm or cold, or otherwise uncomfortable.   
  • Prevent injury by ensuring your workspace is properly configured. The health and safety executive has resources on how to ensure your workspace is set up to prevent injury to your back, neck and eyes. We can spend a lot of time at our desks so it is important that they are not harming us. You may also wish to review any policies around workplace and interview safety that your organisation may have in place.  

Mental wellbeing can be described as being comfortable in your own mind. If you have good mental wellbeing, you might find it easy to look after yourself, like and value yourself.  

  • Take space when you need it. It can feel difficult to step away when feeling stressed, but taking a short break can be really important to help to recentre and gather your thoughts. Take a minute to get something to drink, talk to a colleague or someone in the home, take comfort from a pet, or anything else that helps your get away from your desk and feel calmer. 
  • Practice mindfulness where possible, because studies have shown that mindfulness can help to support resilience, stress management and overall wellbeing. Mindfulness is a general term which encompasses a range of techniques and practices, but it is mostly to do with concentrating on remaining in the present moment and, often, learning to control and understand your own thoughts. For more information, please sign up for our Mindfulness Break e-learning module.  
  • Control the controllable. Feeling a lack of control can be one of the biggest contributors to stress and can have a major impact on mental wellbeing. Many of the issues you face as advisers will be beyond your control; the systemic issues driving debt, the rising cost of living, how quickly a creditor responds, whether a client can find a vital document. It is important then to try and focus on what is in your grasp, and give that greater weight than what is beyond your sphere of control. Mindfulness techniques can help to support this.  

Social wellbeing is based on how you are able to engage with the people around you. It is feeling safe, valued and like you can both reach out and give back to those around you. Our research has found that the relationships advisers have are very important for their wellbeing, and have a strong impact on them, for better or worse.  

  • Find connection where you can; this can be harder at agencies which have hybrid or fully remote working, but finding ways to connect with co-workers – and also your wider community – is important to help maintain a good work-life balance.  
  • Recognise how others influence you and try to act on that information. Perhaps a colleague always helps you feel supported and focused; perhaps somebody else makes you feel drained or small. By recognising this, you can try and maximise the influence of the people who make you feel or act better, and manage your relationships with those with the opposite impact. 
  • Communicate your needs where possible. Often maintaining good wellbeing is about self-reflection and understanding what you need to feel well. As advisers, much of your work is around giving support, and it is important to make sure you are receiving it when you need it, too.   

Occupational wellbeing is often conflated with job satisfaction, though they aren’t quite the same. Occupational wellbeing includes being able to maintain a work/life balance that suits you, feeling like your work is meaningful to you and getting personal satisfaction from your work.   

  • Connect with colleagues through whatever channels are available to you. Colleagues are often our greatest allies in supporting occupational wellbeing, because they can provide vital reassurance that you are not alone with the struggles – and triumphs - of your role. 
  • Celebrate success because money advice has many challenges as a career, but most advisers do feel that they are making a difference; it is meaningful work. By making a point of celebrating when things go well, it can be easier to tolerate the harder moments.  
  • Take advantage of workplace resources where they exist; it is easy for schemes to fall to the wayside when work is busy, but it’s worth seeing if there is anything available to you that might be helpful.  

Financial wellbeing 

Much of MAS’ work is around improving financial wellbeing among the people of Scotland. We want to take a rights based approach to financial wellbeing. Everyone has the right to have control and choice in their financial life, to have a decent standard of living and to be treated with respect, regardless of their financial circumstances. To find out more about financial wellbeing and how you might find support for it at work, please explore our Financial Wellbeing pages 

For more information on resources for maintaining your wellbeing, have a look at our signposting page.