Group photo from the C2C in WS, NC on March 18, 2019

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Winston-Salem, NC on March 18, 2019 to discuss Wellbeing.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • We discussed wellbeing through the lens of our own lived experience. We shared the stories of friends, colleagues, parents, comedians and even ourselves. As we talked about wellbeing, there were several recurring themes:
    • The need for balance and moderation. Running through many of our stories was the realization that we often feel pushed in our lives to focus on one aspect to the detriment of others – whether that is focusing on grades by spending more hours at the library or focusing on work by spending more hours at the office. We all felt, however, that wellbeing required us to push back against this pressure and make room in our lives for many things. One participant also pointed to the new concept of work-life integration, noting that even in jobs that don’t allow for a clear delineation between work hours and personal hours, it is possible for people to find balance.
    • Nature. Several of us talked about people in our lives who found time in nature, especially in their gardens, to be healing and restorative.
    • Mindfulness/Being Present. One of the reasons many people found nature so important to wellbeing is that it provided a space that encouraged mindfulness. Making space to focus on the present moment, as well as to put that moment in perspective, came up many times in our discussion.
    • Wellbeing evolves over time. We talked about the idea that wellbeing evolves. Does wellbeing at 89 (which may be pie for breakfast!) look the same as wellbeing in our 20s?
    • Wellbeing is personal. Tying into the idea that wellbeing can evolve as we and our lives change is the realization that wellbeing is intensely personal. Having the courage to listen to our own bodies and our own limits is an important part of wellbeing and health.
    • Wellbeing is both physical and mental. We focused a lot on the mental aspects of wellbeing. While we talked about the importance of exercise and diet, our main focus was on how we managed stress and the other mental aspects of wellbeing. For many of us, stress and anxiety seemed to be two of the main challenges to our feeling a sense of wellbeing. Many of our practices for wellbeing – gardening, exercise, meditation, hobbies – were all designed to help alleviate the stress and worry that can all too easily keep us from enjoying the present moment. In the end, the mental and the physical blend into one another and cannot be separated out.