Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Celeste Warren to chat about personal wellness and resilience. Celeste is a Leadership and Wellness Coach who has been working with our firm to offer wellness workshops to our team members and clients. She has over 20 years of experience working in HR, specializing in employee engagement, corporate culture and overall wellness.
Let’s face it, COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, in one way or another – which is why we’ve been working with Celeste. She offers tools and exercises that individuals can apply to both their personal and professional lives.
The purpose of this interview is to share some valuable insights and resources for anyone interested in focusing on their emotional wellness.
Q: Celeste, how would you define emotional wellness?
A: “Emotional wellness can be defined as a person’s ability to take exceptional care of themselves. To make it a priority to do the things that make them feel healthy and balanced, to invest in positive relationships, and also set boundaries when needed. Knowing what you need – as an individual – helps keep you balanced and in control of your thoughts, actions and behaviours. Living in accordance to your core values is of utmost importance when it comes to achieving emotional wellness. Finding your “compass” is key, and also being able to express your feelings and needs to those around you.”
Q: In your opinion, how does an individual’s emotional wellness impact their professional life?
A: “Those professionals who invest in their emotional wellness have been proven to become more balanced and effective leaders. In taking amazing care of themselves, they end up with the energy to lead, a determination to remain undeterred through change, and the positive mindset needed to inspire those around them.”
Q: What are three daily exercises you recommend to enhance emotional wellness?
A: “The first is physical movement. Every human body has the need to move, at a minimum, at least 30 minutes each day. Find what type of movement works for you, and your body, and make it a priority. There are so many types of exercise that we can take advantage of out of the comforts of our own home or neighbourhoods. Yoga, running, HIIT, Pilates, hiking – the list is endless. Find your routine, carve out 30 minutes, and make it a non-negotiable part of your day.
The second is finding some time to become “mindful” as you move through your busy day. This could mean paying more attention to your breathe as you go about your day, focusing intently on a non-moving object for 5 minutes as you drink your morning coffee, or listening to a guided meditation through an on-line meditation app. There are so many ways to our thoughts on pause, and it is so important to find what works for you. The results are tremendous when it comes to emotional wellness and those who make this a priority often experience radically positive results.
Finally, I would focus on your relationships. Really pay attention to who you’re spending the most time with and the quality of those relationships. It has been said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with – so choose wisely!”
Q: What is personal purpose and why is it important?
A: “Personal purpose is all about understanding the ways you’re making a positive impact throughout the different roles that you play in your life. What are you known for? What are your gifts? How are you using those gifts throughout your interactions each day and making a difference to those around you? And it’s important to look at these contributions both personally and professionally.
The key is to start paying more attention to the contributions you’re making and to find ways to contribute further from those “gifts”. Things that come naturally to you may not come naturally to others.
Another way to look at purpose is to think about how you can more intentionally serve others, and also think about what you want to be remembered for!”
Q: How can an individual define (or re-define) their purpose during COVID-19?
A: “As a result of the pandemic, we’re all experiencing a tremendous amount of challenge and change. As such, this is a perfect opportunity for us to reflect on how we could be supporting our loved ones, our neighbours, and the entire world around us. What small (or big) things could we be doing to help others during this time? How could we show up more positively for our families, friends or colleagues?”
Q: As a leader, what can you do to support a team member’s mental wellness?
A: “I would say the most important thing for leaders to do right now is to invest in their own emotional wellness and from there, translate their leanings to their teams. Encourage discussion around wellness during team meetings, make the time for 1:1 meetings, ask how people are really ‘doing’! All of these actions will absolutely contribute to your ability to become a more authentic, compassionate and caring leader.”
Q: What books or resources do you recommend regarding emotional wellness, and why?
A: I would recommend these books on the topic of emotional wellness as each of these authors has a unique and special way of speaking to different types of personalities about what it means to bring more strength, balance and contentment to your life.
A big thank you to Celeste Warren for taking the time to share her insights, knowledge and resources on the topic of personal wellness and resilience. For more information, or to request a copy of Celeste’s workbook, email HRTopics@excelHR.com.