PERMAnent Wellbeing in Times of Uncertainty / 1

At a time of unpredictability and change, RNCM Lecturer in Musician’s Health and Wellbeing Sara Ascenso explores how to maintain our mental health and wellbeing.

Stressful times can affect how we think, feel and behave in ways that will be different for each of us and that will also vary over time. However, there are strategies that have proven widely useful.

The RNCM Wellbeing team will be sharing a series of five blog posts over the coming weeks to help you with practical suggestions on how to maintain your wellbeing while we can’t participate in the normal day-to-day of College.

These posts are based on a model of wellbeing suggested by psychologist and wellbeing researcher Martin Seligman: the PERMA model. According to this model there are five ingredients that help us stay well:

The P stands for Positive emotions. This is about feeling good and being satisfied with our life. We can increase our experiences of positive emotions about the past (e.g., by cultivating gratitude and forgiveness), about the present (e.g., by savouring pleasurable everyday moments) and about the future (e.g., by building our optimism and hope).

The E stands for Engagement. This refers to the psychological state in which we are immersed in a task. Investing in creating our own structure for each day and planning activities that absorb us and make us focus is the second element contributing to our wellbeing.

The R refers to Relationships. This has been highlighted as the most vital of all the components of PERMA. We are social beings and have an innate need for connection. Some of us are more introverted than others, but we all need to experience a sense of belonging in order to be well. Looking at how to nurture our relationships and develop new ways of connecting through this phase of social distancing and isolation will also be key to maintain our wellbeing.

The M stands for Meaning: a sense of belonging and serving something bigger than ourselves. Serving others and engaging with causes that bring us a sense of purpose will also help us flourish during this phase.

Finally, the A stands for a sense of Accomplishment: investing in pursuing the goals we value, building mastery and achievement. Setting aims for this season and thinking of ways through which we can use our time well will be key in sustaining our wellbeing.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll zoom in on these five elements and explore how we can boost them in our lives and also how people across our RNCM community have been finding ways to enhance them in their everyday routines. Stay tuned!

8 April 2020