New handbook puts wellbeing centre stage

Think Feel Do, a new handbook written by June O’Sullivan and Lala Manners, explores how practitioners can use the nursery environment to strengthen ten key elements of wellbeing

Created as a useful resource for staff and designed to help them think about how ‘being well to do well’ can work in their nursery or relevant setting, each chapter follows the same structure with practical activities, advice and tips. Topics include: the power of body image, the relationship between movement and health, understanding boundaries and limits, the importance of friendships, making kindness your modus operandi, dealing with stress and how to be more resilient.

The new book comes at a time when research from sector organisations such as the Early Years Alliance have found that the wellbeing of staff is a real concern and recommendations include asking employers to consider more ways to support their staff health and wellbeing.

As many practitioners are fully aware, working with young children (whilst considering the needs of parents, colleagues and the local community) can be both joyful and stressful as it places a lot of physical and emotional demands on staff – all of which impacts their general well-being. Negative experiences of discrimination, financial concerns and relationship issues can also seriously affect people’s daily lives. Developing wellbeing strategies that can mitigate the impact of these experiences is therefore essential.

Whilst there is no ‘quick fix’ or ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to wellbeing – the handbook address WHY it is vital that everyone understands what it means for them, to find ways to look after themselves and to really value what they do and who they are.

June O’Sullivan, chief exec of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) and co-author of Think Feel Do says: “During the pandemic, many people experienced fear and fatigue as well as wonderful instances of deep kindness and support from families, colleagues and communities. As we slowly emerge from this challenging time, we must ensure that wellbeing is the guiding principle for all organisations and at the very heart of what they do when it comes to their employees and workplace culture.  It is not ad add on but central tour practice. This practical handbook will certainly shape ideas to think carefully about how ‘being well to do well’ can succeed in their nursery or setting.”

Lala Manners, Early Years educator, Teacher and Researcher and co-author of Think Feel Do adds, “Wellbeing in the workplace is a hot topic as many consider that a supportive, open- minded organisational culture is critical for it to be properly addressed. Such a culture means staff feel more comfortable about including their personal and private selves in their professional lives. Through communicating, listening and trusting others – we can ensure that self-care is not considered selfish but an essential part of everyday life.”

Think Feel DoA wellbeing handbook for Early Years Staff by June O’Sullivan and Lala Manners is available via Amazon priced £9.99

https://amzn.to/3tQqg5y

Date Published: February 2, 2022