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Working in changing times: 5-point checklist for wellbeing

Working in changing times: 5-point checklist for wellbeing

Decorative image: person lying in grass, reading a book

If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate on your scholarly writing in these times of uncertainty, here’s a very simple checklist that might help you ground yourself.

I continue to hope that everyone is doing OK as more countries or regions ease their lockdown (stay at home, shelter in place, circuit breaker, physical distancing…) restrictions.

Some of you may be tired of hearing about “wellbeing,” but intercultural psychologist Trisha Carter introduced me to the New Economic Foundation’s “Five Ways to Wellbeing” and I love it for its simplicity.

If you’re trying to concentrate on your scholarly writing but are finding it difficult because you’re feeling down or distracted or “off” in some way, you may want to look at this model to help you regain some of your balance.

A 5-point checklist for wellbeing

The Five Ways of Wellbeing lays out what individuals need in order to be mentally well.

Five ways to well: 1 connect, 2 be active, 3 take notice, 4 keep learning, 5 give. By new economics foundation, 2008

Take a moment to see whether you’ve got all five needs covered. Are you:

  1. Connecting with the people “around” you — even if it’s done remotely?
  2. Being active?
  3. Continuing to learn something?
  4. Taking notice? (a bit more on that below)
  5. Giving?

“Taking notice” is about stopping to “savor the moment,” to acknowledge whatever is going on. If you’re into mindfulness, journaling, etc., you know how taking notice works.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) describes it as being:

… aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

The New Economics Foundation. 2008. 
Five Ways to Wellbeing.

I like this model because it’s simple. It doesn’t overwhelm me with the feeling that I have to learn a whole new set of skills or change my entire mindframe.

I’m no expert on the model—just trying to use it (yes, it’s that easy)—so I strongly suggest you start off with Trisha’s explanation and NEF’s update on “Five ways to wellbeing at a time of social distancing“.

Further resources1

Despite the various upheavals, I’m still here to help with your scholarly writing projects! Please get in touch via the contact form or email me at

Cover photo by Wokandapix from Pixabay.

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  1. In order of relevance (in my opinion); not alphabetical

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