This week is World Wellbeing Week (22nd to 26th June) and as some of us, and our clients, are starting to get out and about a bit more, this is a good time to look at how we can support them, especially the ones who are still isolating and shielding.
You may also be thinking about starting back and how this will work. Connecting with clients at the moment is very important so that when the time comes you will be able to communicate with those who want to start classes/sessions again whilst still support those who need to stay isolated.
It is clear the situation is having a big impact on people’s wellbeing as shown by this extract from the latest survey from the Office for National Statistics about coronavirus and the social impact on Great Britain: 5 June 2020
Indicators of concern, well-being and loneliness
Over two-thirds of adults (69%) said they were very or somewhat worried about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life now. This is similar to last week (67%), however, there has been a downward trend in the number of people reporting feeling this way since data collection started (27 March 2020).
For a third week, the most common impact was a lack of freedom and independence with almost 6 in 10 adults (58%) reporting this. Other common issues were an inability to make plans (52%) and personal travel plans being affected (50%).
More than 4 in 10 adults (44%) said their well-being was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past seven days, a decrease from 47% last week. The proportion of those aged 70 years and over who reported their well-being had been affected (36%) continued to be lower than the general population but for those with an underlying health condition, it was similar at 47%.
The most common issue affecting well-being continues to be feeling worried about the future (63%), followed by feeling stressed or anxious (56%), and feeling bored (49%).
View the full report here.
Let’s go back to the components of total fitness when we think about how people may need support. There is probably a big hole in their lives at this time without classes and gym sessions and other social interaction.
Clients may need to be reminded of the CMO guidelines and given support to meet the recommendations. Are your classes or virtual sessions meeting the guidelines or could you help them set goals or send them handouts and exercise plans which do? We are having to be a bit creative with home workouts so consider using cans and bottles as weights, sending out dynabands and using toilet rolls in place of mini balls.
We know some clients are struggling with healthy eating as many of the population are. There are a lot of people baking lovely cakes and then having to eat them! It is important to work within the limits of our qualifications but PTs can ask people to submit food diaries and suggest healthy swops.
Reinforce hydration, vegetable and fruit intake, low fat and sugar, 2 portions of fish, healthy carbohydrates and protein. Try sending out recipes you have made or encourage people to share healthy recipes with store cupboard ingredients.
Mental, emotional, social and spiritual
This will be linked to physical fitness but other things that will impact on people greatly are connecting with other people, learning new skills, giving to others and mindfulness.
You can find out more here.
Think about asking people to do things for you, linking people up, phoning or contacting someone who may be isolated and asking for contributions and ideas for your Facebook page, newsletters or communications.
Some instructors are running live sessions and Zoom classes but this may not be for everyone. As we can now meet outside in groups of 6 including the instructor, it may be that you you can meet with people for a socially-distanced walk.
You could also send out mindfulness videos or links to APPs or just a handout. Here is an example of a video link: https://youtu.be/wfDTp2GogaQ
Send out this link to mindful breathing provided on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
Spiritual health is about having a healthy belief system and is very personal. The main thing is that we accept all beliefs and religions as part of equality and diversity.
Let’s take this opportunity to really think about how we can support people holistically, not sure in relation to fitness but every element which supports good wellbeing.
Feel free to come and join our Facebook group and share how you are supporting your clients during this time. CLICK HERE TO JOIN.
We would also like to invite you find out more about our online training hub which is full of resources to use with clients and training to help you make a real difference to your client’s lives. Doors close on 30th June so don’t miss out (the price will increase too for our next enrolment). Hope to speak to you soon!