A huge part of what makes the South Coast special is the lifestyle we are able to enjoy. But what happens if we neglect or don’t take the time to consider our wellbeing?
This week I met with Annie Raven-Vause from Heartled Wellbeing. Based in Wimborne (she also has rooms in Bournemouth and Dorchester), Annie, a qualified psychotherapist, master practitioner of NLP, nurse and midwife, has spent three decades working in and around health and social care. She now runs her own wellbeing practice.
Typically we spend 22-25% of our lives in the workplace where typically 1 in 6 UK workers will experience stress, anxiety or depression, indeed stress is the most important reason behind long-term sickness absence in the UK today and there is no doubt it costs our economy. Heartled Wellbeing are focusing on working with local businesses to improve this.
Annie, how important is it that we consider all aspects of our health and lifestyle and not just what is visual to us?
It’s hugely important that we consider all aspects of our health, physical, emotional and social. We believe if your body is unhappy with what you are doing with it or what you are putting inside it, it will work to create symptoms of ‘dis-ease’ to tell you about it. So when we work with our clients we always take holistic approach to look at the whole person in the context of their life. Naturally this includes their family and support systems.
We help people create a wellness recovery plan that takes them towards improved physical and mental wellbeing. We want them to get the joy back in their lives. This might include teaching them things like the importance of self-renewal, we call it ‘me time’, ‘thee time’ and ‘we time’ or working on a deeper level programme of personal change. In a nutshell if I take time for me, then you have the right to take time for you and that means that the time we spend together will be that much better. We believe everyone should ideally spend 15 to 30 minutes engaged in one or more activities that will recharge them mentally, physically and spiritually 3 to 5 times a week where possible. It can be anything from a walk outside to a relaxing bath.
You’ve started working with businesses in the area on their workplace wellbeing , what do you see is the biggest need at the moment?
The biggest need is the recognition around employee wellbeing. The economy is tight, people are trying to do more with less and employees are frightened to say no, so the hours over contract culture is becoming the norm. Staff often end up too tired to think straight and that leads to mistakes. You’ve only to look at national sickness figures to see there is a problem and often this is because we don’t teach people or companies about workplace wellbeing.
We work with organisations to introduce sustainable wellbeing programmes. We start by looking at their metrics; how much time they are losing from sickness away from the workplace? Are there any trends? Are people away from work due to stress? What is staff turn over saying?
From this we create a bespoke programme to develop a culture of wellbeing that will work specifically for them. It could be assistance with leadership empowerment, fast track to physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment or on-site performance coaching, counselling and therapy appointments. We also have a huge variety of people we work with so we can bring together a team of specialists who can radically transform your workplace, from Physiotherapists, Chiropractors to Coaches and Reflexologists etc. When you have this in place your staff become engaged and they feel cared for which in turns brings a more motivated and proactive team, less time lost and improved profit.
What plans have you got coming up for the future?
In the coming months we are hoping to launch two new services, retreats and a mens group called Boys, Braves & Bonfires. The retreats will be based in Dorset because we have a ready access to a world heritage site and beautiful countryside.
‘Boys, Braves and Bonfires’ is a new Dorset support network run ‘by men for men’ which aims to grow and become a national organisation. The aim is to help men develop and improve career, relationships, their friendships and reduce emotional isolation during times of transition, such as becoming a husband, a father, an elder, when facing divorce, or acting as a carer, during bereavement, and other pivotal times. That might mean children leaving home, redundancy or career re-organisation.”
‘Boys, Braves and Bonfires’ has been designed to be a safe and supportive space where men bond whilst undertaking fun activities for example playing the didgeridoo,foraging, hurdle making, wood and wilderness crafts, sporting events and walks. However, a group might choose to tackle a community interest project as members’ interests drive organic growth.
What do you love about being on the South Coast?
I’m originally from Cheshire and I moved to the South Coast in 1985 after a round the world trip. We came back to Manchester and after 2 weeks decided to move to the opposite end of the country! The beaches and the light are the biggest draw for me, I love being able to be out in the elements preferably by the sea (I used to be a windsurfing teacher!). Dorset does it differently!
It has been a pleasure speaking with Annie and if you would like more information you can click here for the Heartled Wellbeing website. They can also be found on both Facebook and Twitter!
You can also hear Annie on Radio Solent on the 12thJune on the Sasha Twining show speaking around building confidence!
Thank you for reading,