Resources for Managing Wellbeing

managing your wellbeing


How do you manage your wellbeing whilst navigating the complexities of balancing your career and parental responsibilities?

There are several external factors affecting working parents' wellbeing, such as the global increase in working parents suffering from postnatal depression and research findings that mothers are one of the most lonely groups.

Hope is not lost; on the contrary, there are working parents who have a sense of wellbeing and we can take learnings from them to help others.

Working parents are greatly affected by the system around them so we have pulled together tips and resources to support you as you navigate ambitious careers around family life. Access everything you need to thrive not survive below.

Clarifying Purpose & Vision

Perfect wellbeing is an illusion. Professor Russ Harris writes in his book The Happiness Trap that children, especially when young, don't increase parents' overall happiness but increase their feelings of purpose.

There is research that shows that a strong purpose in life is protective against depression and increases wellbeing 

In our Fellowship, we support working parents in working out their purpose for their career and family life by giving them time and space to focus on their vision, their north star.

What experiment could you do if you want to increase your purpose?

Take three sheets of A3 paper, write down at the top what my career and family life would look like if nothing were to stop you, and write without judgment for three pages; the first page will come easy and become more apparent.

This exercise is essential for working parents because, in all likelihood, you are pioneering things. You don't live in the mould according to others. Perhaps you are a dad who exceeds the breadwinner expectations, or you are the most senior woman in your organisation on a job share. If you don't define your vision, others, your boss, and your peers will do it for you.

Managing Workload

Workload is one of the top barriers to working parents progressing their careers up the ladder. More than 80% of parents we surveyed said that although they wanted to progress they didn't think it was possible due to the workload of a senior role conflicting with caregiving. 

Having a better workload isn't just essential for wellbeing, it is crucial for career progression for working parents.

Leaders Plus regularly writes about this, with current blog posts focusing on managing workload through conversations with your manager.

Read Our Tips For Talking To Your Boss About Your Workload

Setting Boundaries

As a working parent, setting boundaries and balancing work and family life can be difficult.  Evidence suggests that feeling in control and having autonomy is a strong driver for happiness and wellbeing. Part of that is being able to set boundaries that work for you.

Leaders Plus has put together a Setting Boundaries Workbook to help.

The Setting Boundaries Workbook helps you choose when to say "no" and how to do it. It is packed with tips from experienced professionals who have successfully balanced a senior leadership career and home life.

Download the Setting Boundaries Workbook

Listen to the Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

There are a number of episodes of our 5* rated Big Careers, Small Children podcast which would be helpful to listen for tips and advice around wellbeing, including:

Episode 69: Compilation Episode: The Best Tips for Managing Workload, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Episode 89: Suzy Reading - Self-Care for Busy Parents

Episode 110: Dr Martha Deiros Collado - How to be Present With Your Children at Home & Not Feel Guilty About leaving Them When at Work

Find Big Careers, Small Children on Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you normally get your podcasts. Or search through the episodes here.

Wellbeing Support on the Leaders Plus Fellowship and the Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship

Our award-winning Fellowship Programme is for ambitious parents who believe they shouldn't have to sacrifice progressing their careers or spending time with their young children. 

We focus on career progression. But, as a side effect, being part of our Fellowship has positively impacted Fellows' wellbeing.

  • 75% of our latest cross-sector Fellowship reported an increase in their satisfaction with their work-life balance
  • 97% of our 2022 NHS Fellowship reported an increase in satisfaction with their work-life balance
  • 100% of Fellows' from both Fellowships saw an improvement in their confidence in balancing their career with looking after their family

Find out more about the Leaders Plus Fellowship download the brochure.

Download Leaders Plus Fellowship Brochure