06 September 2019
In her latest blog for us, Beth Britton writes about how to enhance your wellbeing through easy daily activities
One of my biggest passions in my training and mentoring work is talking about wellbeing. The wellbeing of people being supported and the wellbeing of staff providing that support is incredibly important when thinking about how we achieve the positive outcomes everyone wants. Without wellbeing, what you are hoping to nurture and see flourish will simply wither and perish.
With this in mind, you’d think most of us would be fairly adept at defining wellbeing, but not so. Many people struggle to sum up what wellbeing is, but the official definition from the Oxford English Dictionary is actually pretty straightforward:
“The state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.”
No surprise then that the recent National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS) Professional Care Workers’ Day, which was themed around wellbeing, included free consultations for care workers with physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, beauty and massage therapists, along with money and careers advice. On Professional Care Workers’ Day, NACAS also published their 2019 report into care worker wellbeing.
Most of us don’t prioritise wellbeing in the way we would more immediate concerns around our health, domestic life or work, but that is often because it’s hard to know where to start. Thankfully, the New Economics Foundation researched and developed the following ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, which provide a guide to the areas of life to focus on in order to improve wellbeing.
Connect: Feeling connected is all about having social interaction with others. Being close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need, and the relationship a live-in carer forms with the person they support can be particularly helpful in enabling both people to feel more connected. Social interaction can also help to reduce or mitigate against mental health problems, and as I talked about in my second blog for Promedica24 , there are positive links between social connectivity and dementia too.
Be active: Being active is as simple as getting our bodies moving, and certainly doesn’t have to mean running a marathon (unless you want to!). The key is to do as much as you can as often as you can to reap the benefits for your wellbeing, which can include improvements to your physical or mental health and the slowing of age-related cognitive decline. Promedica24’s blog ‘Staying active as part of your care regime’ may give you some inspiration to be more active.
Take notice: Taking notice is one of my favourite ways to wellbeing because it’s so simple and easy to achieve. As a mum, my eyes have been opened to the world around me purely because our young daughter is so fantastic at taking notice of anything and everything, from the tiniest spider crawling over a wall to a bird pecking at a berry. Taking notice helps to strengthen and broaden our awareness, and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to put life into perspective.
Keep learning: Constantly learning means exposing ourselves to new (and sometimes challenging) topics or techniques with the hope of gaining knowledge or mastering a new skill. It could be anything from learning a new language by using an app with a live-in carer to making a jumper by attending a knit and natter. The benefits of lifelong learning are impressive – it’s credited with boosting self-esteem, encouraging social interaction and promoting a more active life.
Give: Giving our time or skills to others is very rewarding, leading to feelings of being valued and happy, and of course giving is something we can all do throughout the life course. Indeed, older people have a particularly broad amount of wisdom to share, making giving something elderly people can gain immense satisfaction from if they are given the chance to do so by younger generations.
About the author:
Beth Britton is an award-winning content creator, consultant, trainer, mentor, campaigner and speaker who is an expert in ageing, health and social care.
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