Top tips to stay healthy after lockdown

We’ve finally made it! It’s been a long, dark road for many of us, but with more than half the nation vaccinated and Covid infection rates coming down, we are finally emerging from months of lockdown. We’re remaining cautious, but we’re also keen to celebrate our rediscovered freedoms.

Planning for freedom – how can we emerge from lockdown healthy?

Despite being excited about life returning to normal, some of us are worried about the months ahead. Perhaps you’ve managed to get fit and healthy during the lockdown and you may be concerned that you’ll throw it all away. Alternatively, you might have slipped into bad habits and want to turn that around. Others have given up vices such as drinking and smoking and many of us have managed to save money, clear debts and organise our personal finances. 

If you are one of the people who have managed to find some benefits in the lockdown lifestyle, you may be concerned about maintaining positive changes as normality returns. And you’re not alone. So, how can we do this in a way that won’t damage our health, our mental wellbeing and our personal finances? 

We think everyone should be able to enjoy their freedom without dropping back into bad habits. That’s why we’re going to take a deeper dive into financial healthpost lock-down. We hope to offer you some practical advice to help make sure you’re equipped for normality again.

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Your financial health

Research from Future Plc., carried out in early 2021, found that 75% of households in the UK have managed to save money over the past twelve months. The average amount put aside by these households is a whopping £4,808. 

These impressive statistics come about despite the fact that many of us have suffered job losses and other financial setbacks along the way. It just goes to show the impact that spending – and particularly the opportunity and temptation to spend – has on our personal wealth. This also suggests that with some improved self-control we could all benefit over the long-term from this newfound ability to save rather than splurge. 

But this is going to be very challenging as normal life returns. The Future Plc. research found that 45% of the households that have saved are already making plans for how they are going to spend their savings in the coming months, with 57% of the planned spending likely to occur before the end of June.

So how do we restrain ourselves from overspending once the usual temptations to ‘buy buy buy’ are back? Here are our top tips:

  • Shop in the sales:  Retailers are going to be selling off-season clothes and goods at knock-down prices now that the shops have reopened. Many would have received piles of stock during the lockdown from supply contracts made well before the pandemic took hold and, somehow, they still have to sell these goods off. There’s never been a better time to grab a bargain so make a promise to yourself not to buy anything at full price as you return to the stores.
  • Buy local: Instead of spending your cash on armfuls of goods from national chains, visit your local stores and small businesses and spend your money there instead. Look for high quality items that will last and make ‘quality, not quantity’ your new mantra.

  • Focus on ‘doing’ not ‘consuming:’ Yes, the shops are open, but aren’t there better things to do than go shopping? As you look to make the most of the coming months, consider what you have really missed during the lockdown. This is likely to be spending time with people, visiting new places, experiencing new things and socialising. These things don’t have to cost the earth or involve spending your savings.
  • Get a buzz from saving, not spending!: If you’ve been able to start saving money and putting money aside in a savings account, you might have caught the saving bug. Seeing your savings balance increase can actually give you the same buzz as spending cash in stores, and it’s a hell of a lot better for your financial wellbeing!

However you feel about the year ahead, one thing is for certain – you are not alone. The pandemic is something that people all over the world have shared and help and support is at hand for those who need it. It’s also important to be patient with yourself and celebrate the victory of simply getting through an enormously challenging time. Try to stay positive, stay healthy and make the most of the coming months, whatever that means to you personally.

 

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