In October last year we launched a social media campaign to encourage the public to share all the fantastic things that they enjoy every single day, thanks to their good health.
Over the last few months, we’ve shared these in an A-Z of Everyday Moments and what has really struck me is just how much our health allows us to do what we enjoy the most. Just going out for dinner, walking to work, chasing around after the kids or even tying up our own shoelaces. Yet, we never consider the value of these activities, until we can no longer do them.
The #EverydayMoments campaign was launched to support the findings of a study we conducted which revealed that seven in 10 of us don't link being able to do everyday things with good health. Two fifths of us, or 20 million people, have never considered how good health helps them achieve their ambitions in life.
We asked 4,000 people what they would miss and found the top things ranged from spending time with family, easily having a shower or bath and driving a car. As a GP, I see this all the time in in our health clinics – I always dread telling a patient that they have to stop driving. It’s an everyday thing, which many find a hassle and a pain, but the moment it’s gone people often realise just how much they need, and appreciate, it. Losing the independence that comes with being able to drive or needing help to bath, even for a short while, suddenly brings the importance of good health into focus.
The full Miss-List as voted by Britons includes:
2. Showering & bathing comfortably
4. Eating & drinking in a restaurant
5. Sport & exercise
6. Playing with their kids
8. Entertaining friends and family
10. Food shopping
What we try to advise people in our clinics is that being more aware of these great everyday moments means we’re more likely to take care of the little things when it comes to our wellbeing. Whether it’s an injury that needs a physio’s once over, an annoying cough that won’t go away, or a health concern that’s keeping us awake with worry, these are all things that can, mostly temporarily, stop you enjoying everyday activities if you don’t do anything about them.
Someone who knows about the disconnect between health and the ability to enjoy everyday life is Lizzie Carr, author of the Lizzie Outside blog, who kicked off our A-Z campaign with ‘A’ for being Active (read the blog post here). I had the great pleasure of spending a morning with Lizzie recently and learned how being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in her twenties altered her outlook. Five years on, having been given the all clear she’s completely changed the way she lives her life. She’s vowed never to take going for a run in the woods or paddle boarding down the river for granted again.
It’s only right that I close by thanking everyone who took part in our campaign and of course, by sharing how I’ve come to realise just how important my own everyday moments really are.
Late last year, I suddenly felt a searing pain down my left leg. Turns out I had a slipped disc. I’m still working my way to recovery, so many of my everyday moments have been put on hold for the time being.
Everyday tasks like emptying the dishwasher have become impossible, and watching TV isn’t something I really want to do anymore because sitting down for long periods of time hurts! However, the absolute worst thing is not being able to lean down and give my children a proper hug. That’s the one key thing that’s keeping me going as I make my way through physio appointment after physio appointment and all the exercises in between. Here’s to regaining my #EverydayMoments once more!