What can we do to help people flourish and thrive?

As we start to look ahead, beyond the pandemic

What comes to mind when you think about the wellbeing impact of COVID-19?

Likely, you will reflect on the negative impact that the pandemic has had on the wellbeing of millions, if not billions, of people around the world. This is only natural given our negative bias as human beings, and although it’s important that we acknowledge the harmful impact the COVID-19 has had on individuals and communities everywhere, we want to always promote human flourishing.

What does this mean? We want to help people to understand the resources they can draw upon, in order to support their own wellbeing, and remain resilient. As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, with the end of lockdown in sight and COVID-19 vaccinations widely available, we’ve been thinking about what it is that we can do to help people flourish, as we move on from the pandemic.

What can positive psychology offer to those looking to get back to their best, post-pandemic?

One of the most researched and widely used models of wellbeing is the PERMA model, from Martin Seligman, the founding father of modern positive psychology. The PERMA model includes five pillars – Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment -that encompass those elements of life that make it ‘most worth living’. What does the PERMA model have to tell us about how to approach work, and life, more broadly as we look ahead to a world less dominated by the threat of COVID-19.

Here are some questions to consider with regards to the PERMA model and the end of the pandemic:

Positive Emotions: What positive emotions can we experience when we focus on life after the pandemic? What positive emotions do we experience in relation to the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccinations?

Engagement: What opportunities for greater engagement in our work will we have following the pandemic? How can we engage fully in tasks and activities that bring us joy, that we’ve missed during the past year?

Relationships: How can we build even better relationships with colleagues, as we return to our work environments? How can we support others best as we return to work?

Meaning: How can we reconnect with what is most important and meaningful in our lives, as we return to some sense of normality? How will our sense of purpose have changed following the pandemic?

Accomplishment: What small tasks will we be able to take satisfaction from everyday that have been limited during the pandemic? How can we take the time to notice everything we accomplish each day to boost our sense of achievement?

These are questions that we’ve been considering at Bailey & French, and we’ll be providing some suggestions in our upcoming webinar on Thursday 22nd April. During the 45 minute webinar we’ll briefly reflect on the impact of the the COVID-19 pandemic, before turning our attention to how best we can thrive and flourish, as we return fully to our work and our lives. We’ll be exploring what positive psychology has to teach us about human flourishing, with a particular focus on the role positive psychology can play in moving us into a post-pandemic world, and we’ll be sharing practical tips.