The power of doing new things

There is a lot of real and perceived pressure around the start of a new year to ‘reinvent’ or make a big change in our lives. The good news is small changes can also give you a sense of achievement.

Woman painting


When was the last time you tried something new?

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

There is a lot of real and perceived pressure around the start of a new year to ‘reinvent’ or make a big change in our lives.

The good news is small changes can also give you a sense of achievement.

(It still counts after the New Year period, too.)

Regardless of when you try them, trying new things is good for our wellbeing.

When we try new things in one area of our life, the benefits can be felt across all areas.

Wellbeing at work

Wellbeing is not just limited to health benefits. Nowadays, we know that wellbeing is more than just absence of illness, particularly at work.

Research now shows that employee wellbeing is about optimising the health of all employees.

It’s not only about physical wellbeing, but other elements of wellbeing that cannot be ignored when talking about healthy and well-functioning individuals or employees.

When we’re experiencing cycles of stress, something new can be the ideal circuit-break for our brains to reset – improving our awareness and motivation.

Trying new activities or responsibilities at work can bolster employee morale, retention and satisfaction.


Instigating positive change

When it comes to instigating something new at work, there are many benefits which are at your fingertips.

Something as simple as listening to new music increases mental acuity – new songs prompt our brain to learn and predict.

Small changes at work can make a huge difference.

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How Managers can bolster/improve employee wellbeing

  1. Developing supportive relationships with work colleagues is an important strategy for increasing staff wellbeing.
  2. Challenge yourself (or your teammates) with something new to improve your brain function. Simple things like:
    • Solving a Rubik’s cube in the fastest time.
    • Completing an online crossword.
    • Take a different route to work or to the shops.
    • Listen to a new kind of music or a podcast.
  3. Give positive feedback about their new skills – positive reinforcement and a sense of achievement are cornerstones of employee satisfaction.
  4. Encourage people to keep moving throughout the day – consider incorporating more walking and standing into meetings while the weather is favourable.
  5. Encourage and invest in team-building exercises – lasting friendships can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of our lives. Recent research proves that when working in a team, friends outperform strangers.
  6. Look internally – according to research, more workers first turn to their peers, second only to asking their bosses. Peer-to-peer collaboration can break through some common barriers to skill-building.

Hands holding up balls, books and instruments to show new hobbies

Some new pursuits for 2022

  1. Fitness challenges – these are a well-known way to kickstart your wellbeing and unlock the spirit of fun and friendly competition. Group activity encourages greater participation and inspire your team to push themselves further than they would on their own.
  2. Learning sign language – learning a new language or another form of communication can utilise new parts of the brain. Courses in communication skills will help your team develop the essential skills they need to communicate both verbally and in writing, internally and externally.
  3. Time management – it’s always a good time to brush up on work-essential skills. Managing changes in work circumstances due to lockdowns can be assisted by time management skills. This results in lower stress and improved work quality. Time management training can provide techniques and tools that will help your team stay organised, focused, and be more productive every day.
  4. New hobbies – research shows people taking up new interests and hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities which get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Group activities like team sports can improve your communication skills and relationships with others.
  5. New vocational skills – learning new skills through education, training, or employment inthe workplace can boost your motivation at work. The added benefits include potential for higher earnings, career progression, improved job opportunities and more specialised services.
  6. Engaging with motivational speakers – sharing our experiences and stories can be empowering. Those who are struggling with physical and mental health issues find comfort in listening to individuals who have overcome challenges. It gives them hope that they too can find happiness and success in life.
  7. Create a personal deck of mental wellbeing activities -practise 2-3 of your chosen activities each day and check in with how you are feeling in one month.
  8. Try a new recipe – challenge yourself to try one new recipe each week. If the kitchen is your happy place, then make your happy place your paradise! Ditch your tried-and-tested, easy recipes and challenge yourself with something new and exciting. You can use a slow cooker or pressure cooker to bulk cook food. This can make help you make lunches, or food to freeze.