COVID-19: How We Can Do Our Best to Stay Well – Mentally & Physically

26.05.2020 by Jim Ker

These are trying times; there’s no doubt about that. There is a lot online about our new ‘normal’ way of life, but we’re sure you’ll agree that nothing about the pandemic is normal – and now, more than ever, we need our family, our friends and the things that make us happy.

This quote we stumbled upon online sums things up perfectly: ‘We aren’t all in the same boat, but we’re all facing the same storm’.

After all, some of us are happily working from our home office, while others are juggling home-schooling with their usual day job. Meanwhile, our country’s key workers are heading out to put in a vital shift on the frontline or in supermarkets, for example, and some people have been furloughed or been forced to cope after losing their job.

Here, the Kingston Unity team share their top tips for staying positive during lockdown – however long it lasts and whatever your situation. Read on…

 

Maintain a routine 

For most of us, a routine is vital right now. It stops the weekdays and the weekend blurring into one – and allows us to easily break up ‘work time’ and ‘leisure time’.

And while leisure time might not be quite what it was, it’s still important to end your remote office day (or even your usual shift away from the home) with something to look forward to – whether that’s an episode of a favourite TV show, or an evening walk.

If you’re looking to get stuck into some good TV, we can recommend BBC’s Normal People, which is based on the book by Sally Rooney and has certainly got lots of people talking online. Other series worth a watch include Ricky Gervais’ After Life (season one and two are now on Netflix, as is Money Heist, which is proving popular).

The NME website has pulled together a list of ‘overlooked’ series you could try, too.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself doing your day job from home, we suggest maintaining some form of routine – if possible. Create a clutter-free and engaging workspace – even if it’s just at the kitchen table – and try to keep within your usual ‘office hours’.

While it’s tempting to work in your jogging bottoms, putting on something smarter will get you in the right mindset, while ensuring you’re always ready for an impromptu Zoom meeting.

If you’re heading out to work in a hospital, supermarket or in another key job during the pandemic, you may find you’re feeling more anxious than usual. By keeping some normality at home and looking forward to an online catch-up or even a post-dinner dessert, you may be able to find a little more joy in your day.

 

Exercise daily

Exercise boosts your wellbeing, so now the Government is urging us to enjoy unlimited outdoor exercise. Perhaps a spot of Vitamin D will be the boost you need.

But you don’t have to head outdoors to exercise. Even if you do something as simple as a half-hour online yoga class on YouTube, you’ll still be moving your body and we promise you’ll feel better for that.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may struggle to doze off to sleep, with anxiety about the virus taking over. Thirty minutes to an hour of daily exercise should help you get some shut-eye, too, meaning you’re more than ready to tackle the following day head-on

If you’re already on your feet throughout the day, spoil yourself with a well-earned rest. We’re all dealing with the pandemic differently and that’s okay.

 

Try meditation

Speaking of your head, have you considered meditation? It can really help calm your mind when times are a bit tougher.

Headspace is an app and complementing website that can slowly ease you into the art of meditation. You can use the app itself to help you better manage anxiety or simply to find a moment of relaxation during an otherwise busy day.

The site is jam-packed with research-backed stats and facts about how meditation can positively affect your wellbeing. There’s also a section of the site which shows how managers can support their employees? by instilling in them the benefits of meditation.

Try meditation for yourself, if you haven’t already, and discover how it can help improve your mood – and better assist you when navigating this new way of life.

Seek support

The support of close friends and family is important, particularly now. True, we may not be able to catch up with those closest to us face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect with them.

If you can, make the most of online video calling and schedule some time to chat to those who make you feel happy – whether on FaceTime for a 10-minute call during your lunch break or via Skype for a digital social event, like a quiz.

 

Complete the tasks that you’ve been putting off

If you’ve been furloughed or you’re working from home, you may be saving at least an hour on your morning and evening commute. With that extra time – up to two hours or so per evening, why not complete some tasks you’ve been putting off?

Now’s the perfect time to declutter (we love the KonMari method); compare prices on energy rates to find the best deal, or start work on that novel that, until now, has just been the seed of an idea in your head.

You may even find your normal working hours (at a school, for example) have reduced, so use the time how you see fit. But don’t get too bogged down by social media to always be productive; sometimes we all need to take it easy. Our tips may not work for everyone and we fully understand that; you do what’s right for you.

 

Reassess how you bank 

Is your bank account working as hard for you as it might? Or perhaps you’re entitled to financial support from the Government if you’re self-employed; if you haven’t already, it’s worth checking this out.

The lockdown might also encourage you to reassess how you bank.

While some of us are spending less on takeaway coffees, shop-bought sandwiches, and our daily commute to work, this could be the time to put some money aside for a rainy day.

Maybe you’d like to build up a nest egg for the future or get on the property ladder. There are a host of accounts available to help you manage your money, so consider doing your research to find the best one for you.

You could cut back on spending on non-essential items, too. You’ll be surprised how much money you’ll save when you put your mind to it – and with nowhere to go but the supermarket or work, many of us will have the chance to put a little extra money aside.

Want to chat to the Kingston Unity about our savings products? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team and we’d be more than happy to help.

Please Note: You must confirm you have read the key facts, before downloading this document.

Key Facts about our services and costs

1. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services. This document is designed by the FCA to be given to consumers buying certain financial products. You need to read this important document. It explains the service you are being offered and how you will pay for it.

2. Whose products do we offer?

We offer products from the whole market

We only offer products from a limited number of companies

We only offer our own products

3. Which service will we provide you with?

We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs.

You will not receive advice or a recommendation from us. We may ask some questions to narrow down the selection of products that we will provide details on. You will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed.

We will provide basic advice on a limited range of stakeholder products and in order to do this we will ask some questions about your income, savings and other circumstances but we will not:

  • conduct a full assessment of your needs;
  • offer advice on whether a non-stakeholder product may be more suitable.

We can only offer products from Kingston Unity Friendly Society. These products will enable you to:

  • protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of death
  • save and invest with the added benefit of protecting yourself and your loved ones in the event of death
  • provide benefit cover in the event of sickness

4. What will you have to pay us for our services?

Normally, if you buy a financial product direct from us, there will be no payments such as commission or fees payable. If there are any commission or fees payable, we will tell you how we get paid and the amount before we carry out any business for you.

5. Who regulates us?

Kingston Unity Friendly Society, 9 Navigation Court, Calder Park, Wakefield, WF2 7BJ is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and .the Prudential Regulation Authority. Kingston Unity Friendly Society’s FCA Registered Number is 110056.

Kingston Unity Friendly Society permitted business is advising and arranging life assurance and pensions business.

You can check this on the FCA’s Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

6. What to do if you have a complaint

If you wish to register a complaint, please contact us:
…in writing Write to Kingston Unity Friendly Society, Complaints Department, 9 Navigation Court, Calder Park, Wakefield, WF2 7BJ. …by phoneTelephone (01924) 240164

If you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

7. Are we covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

We are covered by the FSCS. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim.

Most types of insurance business are covered for 90% of the claim with no upper limit.