Wellbeing online focus group

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Summary of report content

On Monday 18th January 2021, Healthwatch Liverpool ran an online focus group for members of the public on the topic of Wellbeing, as it was ‘Blue Monday’, said to be the most depressing day of the year, or the day on which people feel at their lowest ebb The focus group was attended by 17 people.

The focus group aimed to understand in more depth what people have done to cope with isolation, and life more generally, during the Covid-19 pandemic; how they’ve adapted, what coping mechanisms they’ve used or developed and how it’s helped, as well as what the barriers have been and how easy/ difficult it has been to access social activities and support.

A number of frequently mentioned factors which prevented wellbeing and participation included:

  • Not having own transport/ having to use public transport when living with people at higher risk/not being able to use public transport
  • Not being able to do usual work/ activities
  • Not being able to see relatives/friends/ work colleagues or to have proper social interaction with them; family living far away (nearly everyone mentioned this)
  • Not being able to engage with others makes it harder to get motivated
  • Working from home and being ‘linked in to work’ at all times/no differentiation between living and working spaces
  • Differences in experiences for those working from home compared to working out of the home
  • The frequent changes of rules - e.g. when deciding whether to see relatives or not

Despite the many challenges of life in a pandemic/lockdown, participants did identify some more positive aspects of life over the past few months. These included:

  • Being forced to work at a slower pace compared to before lockdown when many were working at a burnout level
  • Where people were able to work at home it was especially beneficial to those with additional needs that weren’t always catered for in the workplace
  • Learning that how productive you are doesn’t define you

When asked what had helped their feelings of wellbeing, participants mentioned:

  • Replacing existing hobbies with other things,
  • Joining online groups or moving existing groups online
  • Exercise – walking in the park, cycling to the shops instead of taking a bus, getting an exercise bike
  • Getting out in nature
  • More phone or online calls with relatives/friends
  • Watching something on telly with someone else and discussing it afterwards + Having a structured day – and closing the work laptop during non-work hours.
  • Increased number of days in work (not at home) – added structure
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Volunteering
  • Learning new skills

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General details

Report title 
Wellbeing online focus group
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Liverpool
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 18 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 18 January, 2021
Key themes 
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Focus group
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
17
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Non binary
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
No
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.