WELLBEING RESOURCES

With all the turbulence we’ve experienced in 2020, staying on top of our wellbeing has been a real challenge for many people.

The ongoing uncertainty at the moment has made it hard to maintain a routine or focus on what our minds and bodies need.

Yet, as we are all adapting to the situation, many people are eager to reestablish some control over their lives, health and wellbeing. The good news is that there are lots of resources out there to help with this, so we wanted to share a few of our favourites.

One quick caveat, before we get into it: your mind and body are completely unique, and while we hope you experience benefits from some of the apps and services we list below, it’s important to remember that not everything will work for everyone. 

The resources we’ve listed are great for quick, in the moment support, but ultimately we recommend getting personalised support from a professional wherever possible. If you have any questions or concerns about your health and wellbeing, you can speak to your GP, or enquire with our team at Meadows Wellbeing.

Now, let’s dive in and look at some of the apps and services available to help you get and stay well…

Health Trackers

It’s so easy to slip into bad habits simply because we’re not aware of what we’re doing. A simple way to help offset this is to track your habits so you can identify patterns and make adjustments quickly.

The great news is there are lots of ways to do this. It could be as simple as making a note on a printed calendar or you could use an app to keep track. The important part is deciding what you want to track, because there are a lot of options. Below we’ve listed a few ideas and some apps you can use:

STEPS:

It’s recommended that we aim for 10,000 steps a day if possible, yet many of us fall short of this. Tracking your steps is a great way to see how much you move in a day to motivate you to move more if needed. You can use your phone (most smartphones has a pedometer built in), buy a cheap pedometer (ideal if you don’t carry your phone everywhere with you), or download a specialist app (step counter is a free option, but you can get others that also track other activities, such as Map My Run).

WATER INTAKE:

Experts suggest aiming for eight glasses of water a day, but this can be hard to do when life gets busy. Keeping track can help you get into and maintain a healthy habit. You could make a note on some paper during the day, or download an app such as Hydro Coach, Aqualert, or Daily Water Tracker Reminder. The benefit of an app is that they will normally remind you to drink as well.

HEART RATE:

We rarely think about our heart rate, but knowing what’s normal for you and being able to watch for warning signs is important, especially as we age. Again, this can be done manually (just find your pulse at your wrist or neck and count the beats for a minute). Your phone may have a built in pulse monitor, or you can download an app such as Instant Heart Rate.

NUTRITION:

What we put into our bodies is just as important as how much we move them, so being aware of your nutritional intake is a good idea. There are many calorie counting apps available such as MyFitnessPal and MyNetDiary, but these tend to rely on you already knowing what your nutrition goals are. If you need advice on establishing a balanced diet then the NHS EatWell guides are a good place to start, they also have a weight loss app available (NHS Weight Loss Plan) which is a 12 week programme focused on nutrition and movement.

Meditation

Countless studies have found that meditation is good for the mind and body. Regular meditation can help lower stress, it can improve focus and concentration, and reduce physical symptoms such as pain. 

If you are brand new to meditation then attending a class may be the best place to start. We run sessions at Meadows Wellbeing, but if you are not local to Billinghurst, look online and see what’s available in your area.

For those who may be pressed for time, or simply prefer to practice meditation alone, then apps and online resources are a great alternative. Headspace is probably the best known app, though you do have to pay for some meditations. Smiling Mind is a free alternative with meditations for sleep, stress, and work. If you prefer a more social experience then Insight Timer may be a good option as you can connect with others through the app to discuss your experiences. You can also view videos online, or purchase meditation CDs if apps aren’t your thing.

Goal Setting

Setting and achieving a goal is a fantastic way to boost your wellbeing, and although it’s more challenging at the moment, don’t let this stop you striving for better. Whether that’s in your health, career, or personal life, there are plenty of ways you can bring about positive change, and setting a goal is a great way to make that happen.

There are a huge range of apps out there to help with goal setting including Coach.me, Strides, Goals on Track, and Habitica. These make it easy to track progress towards an existing goal and stay motivated.

However, if you need help identifying your goals then speaking with a counsellor, career coach, or even attending a hypnotherapy session might be a good place to start. Alternatively you might find that journaling is a good way to explore your feelings and discover what will bring you joy and meaning. 

Mental Health

Keeping your mind healthy is hugely important, especially right now, and we are all dealing with our own struggles as we navigate this bizarre situation. Even if you’ve never experienced any mental distress in the past, the recent upheaval may have impacted you, and if so, it’s wise to seek help and support early on. 

There are many mental health resources available through the NHS, and this includes everything from apps to online counselling sessions. The NHS has a list of apps that it has evaluated and approved, which cover a wide range of mental health issues. It is also worth speaking with your GP to see what support is available in your area. 

Alternatively you may prefer private counselling, but be sure to check credentials and take time to find the right counsellor for you to ensure the best outcomes (for tips on finding the right match, read our recent blog on the topic). 

For urgent mental health issues, charities such as Mind, Rethink, and the Samaritans have helplines available where you can seek support in crisis.

That’s just a selection of the many resources available out there to help you get and stay healthy.

Not every app or service will work for you, but we wanted to highlight the fact that no matter what you may be struggling with, there are resources out there to help.

And don’t forget that our amazing team of therapists are also here to help, whether you need treatment or just have questions about how to stay well, they are always on hand to help however they can.

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