Turning Point’s National Head of Service, Davinder Jhuty, discusses focusing the new year on health and wellbeing and making manageable resolutions.
At the beginning of each new year, many of us set some new year’s resolutions, whether they be big or small, from running a marathon to learning a new language. If you do take a moment to focus on things that you would like to achieve in the coming year, it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Tips when making new year’s resolutions:
- Set achievable goals: don’t set yourself up for failure with something that’s completely unachievable. You can always set new goal posts during the year when you reach it.
- Don’t compare: It’s harder than ever before, in the age of social media, to remember that nobody is perfect – even if it appears that way online. Instead of setting goals based on what you think others are achieving, outline small to large objectives based on your own personal track and timeline.
- Prioritise self-care: looking after your health and wellbeing isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity that needs to be at the top of your priority list. Make new year’s resolutions that will help improve your mental and physical health such as more physical activity. That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, it could be as simple as walking to the local shops once a week.
A healthier lifestyle is a common resolution, and everyone can take steps to improve their health and wellbeing, but some people might need some extra support to make a change. Turning Point’s Health and Wellbeing Handbook can be used by support workers or family carers supporting someone with a learning disability to make changes in order to improve their health and wellbeing. It is full of information and practical tips within that ranges from healthy lifestyles to staying safe, emotional health, physical health, sexual health, and relationships.
This resource has been developed collaboratively with colleagues from across Turning Point, bringing together expertise in the areas of drugs, alcohol, mental health, sexual health, healthy lifestyles and learning disability to develop a tool which can be used across our services.
Health and wellbeing mean different things to different people. For instance, we might consider it being illness free, eating a balanced diet, taking exercise or feeling able to cope with the stresses of everyday life.
Many people with a learning disability have poor health outcomes. The life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years less than average. For men with a learning disability, it’s 14 years less (NHS Digital 2017). Access to healthcare is a key factor in this difference but adopting a healthier lifestyle can also make a big difference in a person’s overall health and quality of life. People with a learning disability should have the same opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing as anyone else.
People need good information if they are to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing, have access to the services they need, and feel comfortable to take advantage of those services and support.
Using the Handbook, we hope to empower the people we support across all settings to set their own goals for the year. I am excited for the year ahead and to see what people will achieve in terms of their own health and wellbeing goals in 2023.
Read the full blog post here.
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