We are currently facing unprecedented challenges to our wellbeing – individually, locally and globally. Sadly for some it is a matter of survival, but for many it is more a day-to-day struggle to ‘cope’, to navigate the completely new way of life we are facing. Whether the challenge is loneliness, boredom, juggling 24 hour a day caring duties with working remotely or working in new and challenging circumstances, everyone is having to adapt fast to completely different daily routines and increased worry about health, finances, housing or loved ones. The impact this is having on wellbeing is almost universal and unlikely to ease any time soon.
Whilst there are an overwhelming number of tips and advice on ways to help improve our ‘mood’ flooding into inboxes and social media streams, the opportunity to really focus on what matters most for our wellbeing and our capacity to thrive in good times and bad, is often being left to chance.
That is why we have used our ten years of developing tools and materials to measure, understand and improve wellbeing to provide some practical support in this time of crisis.
Firstly we’ve updated the Happiness Pulse, our leading individual wellbeing survey to reflect the changed circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis and to keep it relevant to the ‘new normal’. The Happiness Pulse can help individuals explore their own wellbeing, and help front line organisations measure, understand and track the wellbeing of their community. At this difficult time, understanding wellbeing is more important than ever. We hope that the updated Happiness Pulse is a useful resource to support both individuals to explore their own capacity to thrive and organisations to better target and evaluate their support for community wellbeing through the crisis.
Dr Lisa Muller, Head of Research at Centre for Thriving Places explains:
“The questions in the Happiness Pulse are arranged into four domains – General Wellbeing, BE (mental and emotional wellbeing), DO (behavioural wellbeing) and CONNECT (social wellbeing). Whilst people’s context has changed the evidence based drivers of wellbeing haven’t.
For that reason we’ve kept the core Happiness Pulse questions the same but are encouraging people to reflect on the changed circumstances. For example, it’s still important for wellbeing to connect with other people: reaching out digitally or on the phone is still likely to increase wellbeing even if people ordinarily would have met up in person.
The new questions we’ve added are a really useful tool for organisations using the Happiness Pulse to measure wellbeing to understand how people’s context is impacting their wellbeing – helping to explain why wellbeing may have changed since the COVID-19 crisis.”
The changes we’ve made include:
- A new question set which gives more information about the context that people are in – whether they face new caring responsibilities and how easily they are able to access green space for example. This information is critical for organisations who are looking to support people’s wellbeing as it helps them to understand the context in which their team or service users are living in.
- An updated and simplified resource page to provide more targeted support for those seeking to improve their wellbeing at this extraordinary time
- New landing pages which reflect the changes that have taken place and point to mental health support services.
Secondly we are reaching out to some of the many research teams exploring the impact of the crisis on individuals and communities around the UK. We are offering them access to the exceptional data behind our Thriving Places Index to help make sense of the connections between the local conditions for wellbeing, and local resilience and responses to the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. If you are a researcher and would be interested in working with us on this please get in touch.
Finally, we’ve adapted our hugely popular five ways to wellbeing booklet, the Little Book of Wow, for the lockdown period. Check it out and share it here The Little Book of WINS (Wellbeing in Novel Situations).
For organisations who are already using the Happiness Pulse to measure, understand and improve wellbeing we’re able to add a COVID-19 adapted Pulse wellbeing survey to your account free of charge, regardless of whether you are using our Essential, Plus or Advanced packages. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request this, referencing the email you use to access your Happiness Pulse account. If you don’t already use the Happiness Pulse please go here to sign up.
To explore your own wellbeing take a COVID 19 adapted Happiness Pulse to see the changes in full.