Nduku can’t walk and has relied on her wheelchair to move around since birth. Despite her disability, she has a stable job and lives a happy life.
Then there’s Alice who has worked odd jobs, cleaning people’s homes and running their errands for over two years. While she’s physically well and has no mobility challenges, she is unhappy. You see, it’s hard to quantify quality of life as there are different measurements and scenarios.
What is the meaning of quality of life?
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes it as an individuals’ perception of their position in the context of culture and value system in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns.
Simply put, quality of life is the degree to which you are healthy, comfortable and able to participate in or enjoy life events.
How do you improve your quality of life?
As quality of life is viewed as multidimensional, it includes elements you can use to improve your quality of life. These are:
- Food- food is fuel for your body, and eating a healthy diet ensures your wellbeing. You require a balanced to keep you strong and healthy.
- Family size– When starting a family consider your income and how well it can support the number of people in your family. The larger the family the more you’re likely to spend on basic needs. Have a family size that you can support easily with few to no financial constraints.
- Family income- This is the total amount of money that comes in from you and your partner every month. Consider working as a team and managing your income well to sustain your home and still be able to save
- Health– this is an important element of quality of life. You need to take good care of your health and that of your family. Eat well, exercise often and visit your doctor regularly.
- Education– education offers endless opportunities that improve your quality of life. The more learned you’re, the better chances you have of landing a good job and improving your living standards.
- Sanitation– The surrounding areas around you should be kept clean. This not only helps you avoid diseases but offers an enjoyable living environment.
- Security- Why do you lock your door at night or when going somewhere? You do so to protect yourself and your valuables. When you’re safe, you’re at peace and you’re able to concentrate on other matters better.
- Saving– you must save to safeguard and maintain your lifestyle once you retire or for a rainy day. We’re now living in unpredictable times, so having set money aside for either investment or retirement could go a long way.
- Housing – having a roof over your head falls under basic needs. You need somewhere you can rest after a long day, somewhere to recharge and gain strength to tackle the next day’s challenges.
- Social and cultural values- consider your social and cultural values when evaluating your quality of life. These values help mould you to be your best self to your family and community.
Quality of life is about everything that makes you who you are and the kind of life you want to live. Working on you as a whole will help raise your standard of living and in turn improve your quality of life. Be consistent and intentional as quality of life is an ongoing process.