the ‘i feel fine’ paradox

We say we’re fine, but are we really?

Athletic apparel company, lululemon, has cemented its commitment to advocate for holistic wellbeing – through movement, mindfulness and connection ­– with the release of its first-ever Global Wellbeing Report, which is said to expose the paradox of people saying they feel fine.

According to a statement released by the company, the Report is based on a 10-country study and benchmarks the state of wellbeing worldwide – exploring the dimensions, drivers and barriers to being well.

“The events of the past year brought unprecedented challenges to the physical, mental and social wellbeing of people worldwide,” says lululemon CEO, Calvin McDonald.

“At lululemon, we believe in a holistic approach to wellbeing that helps create a healthier future for all.

“This research accelerates our efforts to support the wellbeing of the guests, employees and the communities we serve.”

Key findings

While not entirely surprising perhaps, given the events of the last 12 months, the Report reveals not a lot of us feel like we’re in good physical health (15%); that we manage stress well (17%); that we get enough sleep (19%); that we’re confident within ourselves (19%) or that we have good work/school/home life balance (18%).

In fact, the Report reveals that only 29% of global respondents indicated strong wellbeing across all three dimensions – physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Another perhaps unsurprising finding due to the global pandemic is that optimism for the future has fallen significantly – only 40% of respondents feel optimistic about the future now compared to 59% who felt optimistic a year ago.

Barriers impacting wellbeing

So, what are the barriers impacting our wellbeing?

The Report indicates that 86% of respondents felt key inhibitors to their sense of wellbeing are:

  • Covid-19 (51%)
  • Time/personal responsibilities (47%)
  • Lack of money (46%)
  • Lack of a personal support network (45%)
  • Health conditions (42%)
  • Stress (32%)
  • Limited access to resources (32%).

The need for a holistic approach and proactive mindset

According to lululemon, a focus on simple activities increases the ability to cope and enhances wellbeing during difficult and unprecedented times.

The Report reveals that those who focused on simple things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, connecting with people they care about, being physically active and spending time outdoors, were more likely to cope well compared to those who didn’t focus on these things.

A proactive mindset is another important driver to stronger wellbeing and a more optimistic view of the future, according to the Report.

The Report reveals that those who are proactive are more likely to feel they are in good physical health and able to manage stress.

People who have a proactive mindset are also significantly more likely to be optimistic about the future compared with those who are not proactive. 

For more information and to view the full lululemon Global Wellbeing Report, click HERE and HERE

So, while it may be easier said than done at times, increasing our sense of wellbeing is within our control. While we may not be able to control what’s going on around us (looking at you, Covid), we can control our mindset. Let’s focus on being proactive – on controlling the controllable – and on the little things in 2021, such as sleep, nutrition, meaningful connection, regular exercise and spending time away from the desk and in nature. Because while 2020 was a tough ride, it’s time to make 2021 awesome. We got this!

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