Top Five Free Digital Wellbeing ToolsCaroline Laurenson
Find out about yourself and your mental health
Technology sometimes get a bad reputation as the root cause of our mental health and wellness issues. Just like our diet, and even exercise, too much of a good thing can actually be bad, it is all about balance and knowing what is right for you. Quite often we need to try out different things before we find out what works, or we need some help to work out which areas to focus on. There is a saying “what gets measured gets managed”. For most people this simply means bringing your awareness to your key wellbeing indicators and then looking for ways to make small incremental improvements.
This blog piece looks at a few tools that you can use to track and improve your wellbeing.
About Our Blog
We live in an ageing society. But what does that really mean?
In the next 20 years the balance of young and old will shift to the point where there will be one elderly person for every two people of working age. The challenge this presents is two-fold, a reduction in family members able to provide support and a smaller pool of professional carers.
TL Tech is a Smart Homes Solutions provider with a difference. We help people get the best out of smart home technologies and create unique home environments to meet their needs and budget. Our vision is to “create a home that cares for you as you age”.
Smart home technologies have the power to transform lives, especially for the vulnerable in our society. This blog series will be looking to showcase the opportunities, find out more about the people working in this field, and how we can create a world where “smart meets kind” ®.
We’ve spent the last five months researching wellbeing and in particular issues related to loneliness. This was to form the basis of our new voice skill for the Amazon Alexa devices.
In particular we wanted to understand where technology can actually help, given the amount of time we are spending at home. We asked ourselves the question “can a conversation with a voice assistant provide an insight into wellbeing, such that the individual can then action improvements?” Rather than dive straight into building, we looked around at good examples of where people could get support and advice. There is a wealth of information and tools available and we have enjoyed sharing what we’ve learned on our social media.
With so much information out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we’ve hand-picked our favourite free digital tools that will help you find out more about yourself and your wellbeing.
Do you know yourself?
Knowing yourself can be one of the most powerful ways to support your mental health. Do not underestimate how important this is. Having better self-awareness can help you to understand your preferences and why certain situations or ways of working are more stressful for you. This quiz from 16personalities is our favourite tool for assessing your Myers-Briggs profile. The assessment is really clear to follow, and the outputs are written in an accessible language. If you sign up for the mailing list, then you get regular tips every 1-2months tailored to your personality profile.
What are your key strengths?
Within your personality you can delve even deeper into understanding your top strengths. These can literally give you strength and build your self-esteem. You can talk about them in job interviews and illustrate with real examples of how you use your superpowers. Because they are superpowers and what makes you unique.
This tool by the VIA Institute on Character is again quiz based. The outputs rank 24 character traits in order from strongest to weakest. You can download a PDF of your results for free.
A Holistic & Practical Health Overview
A good place to get a full holistic and practical overview of how you are doing is the NHS One You website. They’ve created this in-depth quiz that covers the full range of wellbeing aspects. There are five parts to the quiz, it does take a little while to complete the first page (moving the sliders between 0-100 felt like a bit too much choice), but the style of questions is engaging.
Your results are given out of 10 with some useful links to health information like the NHS Couchto5K, Active10 and EasyMeals apps. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/apps
How are your stress levels?
We’re all feeling the strain right now. This super quick ten question tool from Be Mindful, gives you a stress score out of 40.
Be Mindful offer an NHS-approved course that can help you to manage your stress levels and improve your mental health.
Have you discovered wholehearted living?
Our top tool is from Brene Brown. This tool pulls together her amazing books “The Gifts of Imperfection”, “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong”, all worth a read to really appreciate the wisdom inside of this powerful research.
Of the tools we tried, this one took the longest to complete, but was very thorough and the results relate back directly to the guideposts in The Gifts of Imperfection so you can then understand the areas that need work. If you only try one of our recommended tools, this is the one that could change your life.
We really hope that you enjoy trying the above tools and that they help. Just taking this first step is an achievement and you can then build your own personalised plan to improve and maintain your wellbeing. Of course, you will have good days and bad days, but draw strength from knowing that you are on a positive path.
One other thing that can help is to find someone close to you to share the insights you’ve learned, and any improvement plans you’d like to make. They can help to keep you accountable, motivated and share your successes.
It’s important to know that these tools are designed to be educational and are not to be used as a substitute for professional advice and support. If you are concerned about any aspect of your wellbeing you should see your doctor.
This is just a small list of things to try, we’d love to hear if you have any favourites to share, comment below and we’ll share them on our social media channels.
We’re are very close to the launch of our wellbeing related voice skill for Amazon Alexa called Kindspace and are looking forward to sharing more on this in future blog posts.
If you liked this post, check out our website for more technical advice on using voice assistants. You can also subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we have new posts and support material available. You can also join our Facebook community group, which is a safe space to ask questions or share your own tips and advice on all things smart homes and voice assistants. Just search for Smart Meets Kind or use this link and request to join.