We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with Healthily, the world’s first medically approved self-care app. Healthily is on a mission to help a billion people find their health through self-care, believing that healthcare is a human right and that health is a personal and holistic journey.
Healthily, our preferred health partner, brings medical knowledge out of the clinic and into everyday life. Globally trusted, individually focused, simple to use and free, Healthily helps you take control of your health, whoever and wherever you are.
At The Joy Club, we too believe that healthcare is a human right. Medical jargon and unclear messaging can sometimes get in the way of understanding what’s happening with your health and – in turn – prevent you from being proactive about seeking help, when needed.
Every Wednesday, we will be sharing a blog from Healthily to give you tips, advice and guidance on a wide variety of health conditions as part of our new Wellness Wednesdays campaign – we want to empower our members to be able to take control of their own wellbeing.
To kick us off, Healthily has shared an exercise to help you take stock of your wellbeing.
‘How good is your overall wellbeing?’ exercise
Good health isn’t simply about being free from disease. It’s about your overall wellbeing. But what exactly does wellbeing mean?
Wellbeing means different things to different people, and no formal definition exists. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wellbeing can be described as judging life positively and feeling good.
If you’ve never thought about your health in terms of general happiness, this exercise below aims to help you do so.
The first step in making any change is to understand where you are now, where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. This is an approach that’s commonly used in life coaching for personal development.
To help you understand where to start, use a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 equals not important at all, and 10 equals very important) to rate how important each of the following areas of life is to you:
- Physical: being physically well (fit and active)
- Mental / emotional: being mentally and emotionally well (happy and calm)
- Social: being connected with those around you (family, friends and wider society)
- Psychological / life satisfaction: having a sense of purpose and meaning
- Intellectual: having a sense of growth and achievement
Then, after rating the importance of these five areas, consider where you are right now. Rate how happy you currently are with each area on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 equals very unhappy and 10 equals very happy).
You should have 2 numbers for each area of your life. Subtract the score for where you are now from the score for how important that area is to you.
This will give you a figure that reflects how much attention you should give to each area of your life. The larger the figure, the more attention that area of your life may need.
5 ways to wellbeing
The NHS promotes 5 steps to mental wellbeing that loosely correlate with the 5 areas of life explored in the above exercise. These ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ can form a useful guide for the changes you can make to improve your wellbeing.
Here are a few practical steps you can take today to make small but effective changes to increase your wellbeing over time:
- Connect. Set aside time to speak to someone you haven’t connected with in a while – ask how they’re doing and really listen to what they say. Or, you can reach out and tell someone you’re thinking of them by sending a letter or card.
- Be active. You don’t have to go to the gym to stay active. There are many ways to build activity into your day such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking or cycling somewhere instead of driving. You can also give yourself a daily activity goal like aiming to take 10,000 steps.
- Take notice. You can increase feelings of positivity by being more aware of the present moment – also known as mindfulness. You can be more mindful by pausing to notice your thoughts and body sensations throughout the day, and trying something new. Increase your awareness of your feelings by silently naming them when they arise – for example, if you feel nervous before giving a presentation you may say, ‘this is anxiety’.
- Keep learning. Learning new skills can help you feel more confident. Make learning a habit by signing up for a course on something you enjoy, or teaching yourself a new skill such as cooking a dish you’ve never tried before.
- Give to others. Acts of kindness – both small and large – can make a difference to the person you help. They can also give you a sense of purpose and make you feel more satisfied with life. Small ways you can give to others include identifying someone in your life who’s struggling and offering them a helping hand, and by helping a colleague with a work project.
It’s time to take action. Why not choose a few of the ideas listed above and focus on doing them this week?
This content was originally published in the Healthily Health Library.
We have a range of free or discounted wellbeing and fitness activities on offer for our members. Not yet signed up? Come and join The Joy Club today for a more active and fulfilling retirement! New members get a one month free trial when they sign up… what’s not to love?