Coping with healthy behaviours: Sense-making with peers

I wanted to share some recent work I did with a group of colleagues on well-being and coping with healthy behaviours and share some of the key tips that came up on what you can do for yourselves to look after your well-being and develop strategies to be the best you can be.


A bit of context. Our aim was to facilitate a supportive and confidential space to explore issues/concerns that arise for the group in their various roles and to share with each other what and how to manage using healthy behaviours and strategies to support themselves and each other.

It was timely as it was three years since the pandemic started, which for many people heralded the first time they’d worked from home. Now, returning to normality, we’ve found our working lives are not quite the same. We’ve also become more self-aware about the importance of looking after ourselves keeping an eye on our mental health and well-being as well those around us, whether at work or in our personal lives.  

One of the things we asked the group in our workshops was, 'what are you like when you’re at your best?' and 'what are you like when you’re at your worst?' and 'what can you do, to support your well-being and resilience, as individuals and together?' We asked them to explore stories about their experiences of what’s it like working under pressure and how you cope with challenges where resilience and well-being are tested. We gave permission for a variety of responses and triggers and worked through these as a process of normalisation using discussion and reflection.

We put together three workshops around the following themes:

  • Building resilience and reflecting on a shared experience.
  • Sense-making with peers. Coping in a healthy way, spotting the signs, and responding.
  • Coping in a healthy way, exploring the questions 'what will I/we see when I am at my best?' and 'what will I/we see when I am at my worst?' And then asking, 'what can I do? What can we do? And what can others do?'
  • What resources are needed to support healthy behaviours?

What is it to be resilient?

We started by considering what we mean by resilience. And how do we build resilience? 

The Cambridge dictionary defines resilience as:

“…the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched or pressed.”

“…the ability to be happy, successful, etc., again after something “bad” or “challenging” has happened.”

Cambridge dictionary definition:

Resilience is about how we cope under pressure, with setbacks or difficulties, how we maintain our emotional health, and manage our stresses to allow us to continue to be the best we can be whether at work or home or at play we can ensure that our life has balance we are healthy and can manage when challenged.  

9 tips for coping with healthy behaviours

These are the key tips our group came up with for supporting their well-being:

1. Self-care

The way you look after yourself. Practise supporting your physical self, looking after your body’s health, and your mental health, such as being mindful to help ease stress, build awareness, and boost mood, and your emotional well-being such as nurturing our connections with those who are important to us.

Doing what works for you – use what you have in place and already works. Give yourself permission to prioritise this. Be self-compassionate and kind to yourself by staying in contact with how you feel. Having self-compassion will help you to be resilient and sustain your work. Check-in with yourself regularly.

2. Reach out

To a trusted friend or colleague, or another support person like a co-worker, a mentor, a coach, or your manager. Talking to someone can really help to lessen the burden. 

3. Foster supportive relationships

Regularly check in with your colleagues/friends and offer support when it’s needed – whether it’s simply a listening ear or more. This helps us feel secure and can reduce feelings of stress. Helping and supporting others can have a positive effect on well-being so actively playing a part in supporting your colleagues/ friends can give you both a boost. 

4. Active listening

Take time to listen to your colleagues/friends lets them know that you value what they have to say and, importantly, give them the space to come up with their own solutions and conclusions. Learn to listen to problems instead of fixing them.

5. Rest

Make sure you rest and relax. It rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood, and is linked to improving learning and memory function. Have some time with no goals, such as taking naps, watching clouds, lying on the beach, developing a wise mind – mindfulness, meditative practice. Find a way to escape physically and/or mentally – give yourself permission to prioritise this. You could try reading, taking days off, or holidays, going on walks, or seeing friends. Honour your scheduled breaks and annual leave.

6. Play

Have fun and do things that make you laugh like playing with children or your pets, creative activities, watching a favourite comedy. The idea of being proactive about having fun can seem counterintuitive. It’s not so easy to get home from work and think ‘right, it’s time to have fun’, especially if you’re tired and a bit stressed. However, scheduling in a ‘fun’ activity – something different from that list of things you must do (gym/housework/haircut). Something that lights you up and makes you smile. Making dates gives you something to look forward to and makes the tedious or difficult daily tasks more bearable.

7. Focus on your purpose

...and what you are achieving! Have a plan for who you will ask for help if you need it. Pay attention to the factors that can develop your resilience. Be realistic about what can be accomplished

8. Where and how we use our workspaces

For many of us, remote working is becoming normal as is hybrid working - a combination of working from home and going to the physical office is now more common. Many recognise working remotely as more productive, but this also brings some unintended pressures of working more intensively, a feeling to keep on working, or just do one more task.

One of the key messages when working in these new ways is to ensure your workspace is conducive to well-being, make sure you build in boundaries to delineate when working from home, take breaks, and avoid starting early and finishing late. Find ways to separate the workday from home life and switch your activity and your brain away from work. Go for a walk, and create a separate space. 

9. Be kind and supportive to yourself and those most important to you

Make sure to celebrate achievements, and take time out. Think about what is important and prioritise that. Set yourself boundaries. Do the things that matter. Make time for reflection.

Whatever you/we do, our mental well-being and health should always be a priority. Using a wellness action plan like the one used in our sessions can support in coping in a healthy way. It asks questions about what affects our wellness. It helps to reflect on what keeps us well and encourages us to be as specific as possible, to think about what we can do to overcome challenges and who can help us with that. 

These sessions on coping with healthy behaviours can work equally well with groups/ teams and in one-to-one coaching settings. The sessions are safe, mindful, compassionate, and exploratory. 

If you feel you would benefit from seeing a life coach or would like to know more about how coaching can work for you or those you are working with, then please do get in touch.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Oxford OX1 & London SE21
Written by Wesley Powley-Baker, MA, BA (Hons), MAC | Professional Life Coach and Mentor
Oxford OX1 & London SE21

Written by Wesley Powley-Baker Life Coach. My coaching is tailored around you. You set the direction and where you would like to get to. I ask you to be ambitious for yourself and your world and to set yourself worthy goal(s). As a coach we will craft these together.
Contact: or message me 07788304566

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