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4 Easy Ways to Assess Your Well-Being

Wellness Measures You Can Track on SparkPeople

You're committed to a healthy lifestyle. You hit the gym every day when they open their doors, ditch soda for water, and brought healthy fruits and vegetables back to the center of your plate. Then you step on the scale, only to find that you haven't lost a single pound after all your hard work. Is it even worth it?

Of course, the answer is yes. Although weight loss can take time, there are other changes happening in your body—and mind—that you can't ignore. After just a few days of sticking with your healthy lifestyle plan, you might start to notice a difference in your energy level, stress level, quality of sleep and overall feelings about yourself. By tracking your progress in these areas, you can stay motivated and learn to appreciate all the little improvements you are seeing, regardless of what the scale tells you.

Taking a daily stock of your energy level, stress level, sleep quality and self-esteem is important for everyone who is trying to live a healthier life. It will help you notice trends and patterns (you tend to eat more on high-stress days or sleep better when you exercise in the morning) so that you can tweak your plan for optimal results. And it can help you appreciate the small achievements—like feeling more confident when you exercise regularly. That's why we recommend recording these wellness measurements on a daily basis. Here are some tips for assessing your daily wellness in each of these four areas.

Energy Level
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how is your energy level today? Do you feel full of vigor and ready to tackle the challenges of the day (5), as if you can barely drag yourself out of bed (1) or somewhere in between?

Many factors can affect your energy: how much you slept the night before, how stressed you are, whether you're exercising too much or too little (both of which can zap energy), and the quality of your diet (too many sweets and not enough nutrient-rich foods can both be culprits). Serious health conditions like depression or anemia can also affect your energy levels, so talk to your doctor if you notice a long-term trend of tiredness.

Stress Level
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how would you rate your stress level today? Do you feel like you're about to bite someone's head off (5), like everything just rolls off your back (1) or something in the middle?

Stress affects more than your quality of life. It can contribute to high blood pressure and hinder your weight loss, making you want to eat more or causing you to eat as a way to relieve stress. There are many ways to reduce stress, from exercising and meditating to simply relaxing or practicing breathing exercises. Looking for some easy ways to reduce the stress in your life? If you notice a problem with stress, learn how to deal with it in a healthy way before it gets the best of you.

Quality of Sleep
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how well did you sleep last night? Did you feel well-rested when you woke up this morning (5)? Did you toss and turn all night and feel terrible today because of it (1)? Something in the middle?

Like stress, poor sleep can lead to a host of other health problems, from weight gain to a suppressed immune system. SparkPeople's Better Sleep Resources can help identify your sleep problems and suggest ways to improve the quality of your shut-eye.

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how good do you feel about yourself today? Do you feel confident and self-assured like a rock star (5), like you don't matter and there's nothing good about you (1) or something in the middle?

Your self-esteem goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle. If you don't think you're worthy of good nutrition, moderate exercise, and a better body, then you can lose your motivation to make the right choices. When you feel like you're worthwhile, you're more likely to make the best possible choices to care for yourself. It isn't easy to go from chronically low self-esteem to high confidence, but it is possible. Learn how you can use exercise, positive self-talk, and yoga to feel better about yourself and your body.

It's easy to get caught up in the numbers—calories, pounds and pants size. But taking these daily wellness measurements is a good reminder that your overall feelings of health and well-being are just as important!

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Member Comments

  • DEEG84
    good article but like some of you stress is my highest then self esteem because if I can't handle the stress I don't feel good about myself.
  • I really enjoyed this article..It is very helpful !!
    It is a little late for this lady. BUT, I am going to make the best of what health I have left and do the best I can to help others be what they are able to be with the state their they may be in for now, doing all they can to maintain. Do what you can. These are very good tips. Thank you.
  • Stress is a big problem for me. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when things don't go according to plan. And then my sleep suffers because of it. I like the idea of tracking my stress level. By being more mindful of it perhaps I can think of strategies to reduce the stress in my life.
  • Thank you, those are good points!
  • HAN130155
    Yes, I understand all e comments and suggestions.
    Then life gets in the way.
    How can you keep on top of stress if it can't be planned?
    How do you know when exercise is too little or too much?
    How do you know if everyday chores like gardening are as effective or more effective then gym class.
    How do you gym exercise if funds don't stretch to them

    Life would be wonderful if everything was easy
    Keep up the hard work everyone! I lost 84 lbs using SparkPeople and I am trying to lose a little more. Start with little changes but be consistent and then work your way up. When I started exercising I only did so for 10 mins a day and some of those where in a chair. Also, keeping track of calories even w/o making a change will help as you become more aware of what you are eating. Keep going!
  • Really nice article--thank you for sharing this! I will bookmark it to remember to do daily assessments.
  • JEAN_0817
    Hello, I have just joined this group and looking forward to losing some weight and getting back into shape. I had extensive back surgery in 2013, hence the weight gain. I Need to lose at least 20 pounds.
    I am trying to get to 124 lbs. where I should be at 5'2". I started at 148 and I went to 143 now I am up to 146. I try to exercise everyday and eat right. I have so many stomach issues that most food makes me sick so I don't always eat the allotted calories. I am so discouraged. - 7/14/2014 10:51:17 AM

    You must be my twin diet-wise anyway. I'm 5'2" and see-sawing between 148 and 152 lbs. I'm aiming for 136, which will take me out of the "obese-zone". It's so frustrating when we don't see results that match our efforts! But knowing we're not alone, and measuring progress outside of the bathroom scale, will take us there. Hey, we're still considered "petite"! ;-)
    About 2 weeks ago my blood work showed chol and tri's UP, "again". It's time they came down. My efforts, or rather, non efforts, are upsetting. So, here I am Spark People, changing those old habits, and starting my healthy eating, and weight loss on a "weekend", rather than waiting for Monday. I've seen many Mondays go bye, and no change in me. I bought a NIKE shirt with the logo, Just Do It. Something has to spark with me, I am a br cancer survivor, and wish to stand with that statement, indefinitely. Let's start!!
    I am trying to get to 124 lbs. where I should be at 5'2". I started at 148 and I went to 143 now I am up to 146. I try to exercise everyday and eat right. I have so many stomach issues that most food makes me sick so I don't always eat the allotted calories. I am so discouraged.
    DebbieFou - Don't be down on yourself! You lost 28 lbs! Have you ever picked up 28 lbs.? It's definitely noticeable! Keep it up! You can do it!
    On November 2013 I my doctor recommended the Bariatric surgery. I am well over 100 pounds over my recommended weight. I went up for the review. I went to the nurses pre op in February and in May 5 I was up for blood test and appointments with a medicinal internist, a psychiatrist, a Dietitian and a Behavioral nurse. At the beginning I had the support of my family after all this now they are changing there mind. Anyway I am trying to follow the rules and steps for diet. (they want to make sure you will be able to follow the rules for after the surgery). The first week I lost 10 lbs. This week I only lost 1 which really makes me feel very discourage. I have to go back in August to show them how I am doing. My family is hoping I will be able to loose the weight before the surgery so I won't go through with it. I so want to get off so many medication. I have high blood pressure, i'm a type 2 diabetic , I have a whole slew of medical issues along with Fibromyalica . At the beginning I started at 240 lbs back in November at my appointment in May I was at 212lbs now I set at 202lbs. My goal is 140lbs even though I should be at 110 lbs for my small bone frame and 5'1" height . I feel that since I just turned 60 yrs of age i will be happy at 140 don't want to look to old . But I am really down on my self
    I weigh 193 pounds. I need to follow doctor's orders to lose 20 pounds but have tremendous limitations because of serious surgery and I don't know where to begin. However, I will begin walking on the treadmill.

About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

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