Lifestyle

Looking after your mind, body and soul

3rd April 2020

The Author: Craig Gardner

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Craig works in the Madrid office as a Financial Planner and is responsible for helping clients make better financial decisions.

Now that most of us are experiencing some sort of confinement, we want to share some ideas we’ve come across for staying fit and healthy in mind and body. In our round-up, we’ve included ideas for keeping kids entertained too, which we know is no mean feat! 

Mental health

Looking after your mental health is more important than ever. We’re constantly bombarded by news updates and doomsday predictions, which isn’t helping anyone. While we’re not mental health experts we believe the BBC has shared some great advice on how to protect your mental health during this challenging time. It is all about finding a routine that works for you. There is no silver bullet to protecting mental health during a pandemic.

Top 10 apps for staying calm

Many have turned to mindfulness apps in recent years. Ranging from guided and silent meditations to calming bedtime stories and gentle exercise, there is a great range of mindfulness apps on offer.

The following ‘top 10’ are available for download on both iOS and Android:

  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • Simple Habit
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • 10% Happier
  • Insight Timer
  • The Mindfulness App
  • Buddhify
  • Reflectly
  • Smiling Mind

Both Headspace and Simple Habit have opened up their app as a free service. Simple Habit is now free until the end of April; they have also curated a collection of plans dedicated to combatting stress caused by COVID-19. Headspace is offering premium access to all NHS workers and US Healthcare professionals. Additionally, they have made a Weathering the storm collection available to everyone.

Body

Have you always found excuses for not exercising? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We know not everyone has access to a home gym or even a garden but with a little creativity you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

We’re not exercise experts  – we look after your financial wellbeing. However, we do know the benefits of staying fit and healthy and looking after your immune system. We have come across some great tips, especially if you’re restricted to small spaces.

  • The Darebee Resource is an independent fitness resource run and maintained by a small group of fitness professionals and volunteers. There are free workouts and training plans to download along with nutritional information and meal plans. There’s even a ‘Workout of the Day’.
  • The current health crisis has got everyone talking about immunity. But where do you even start to learn more? Australian Accredited Nutritionist and Mindset Coach Stephanie Malouf has shared some really useful information about how to boost your immune system against viruses and other infections.
  • Sanlam Wealth have curated a series of expert led events over the coming weeks to help frame positive thinking about both health and wealth. For a gentle introduction into the pillars of mobility, stability and strength you can join their webinar at 10am on Wednesday 15th, 22nd and 29th of April and 6th May. Register your place here.

Care for your soul

While feeding your mind and body is crucial, feeding your soul is just as important. Did you know you can visit some of the world’s most incredible museums without having to leave your couch? Here’s a list of the top 10 museums offering a peak into their collections:

Catch a movie 

Now is the time to relax and enjoy a good film. Fortunately, there are many curated lists making the rounds at the minute. Some of the best ones we’ve found are:

If you’d like to improve your financial knowledge at the same time we’ve recently updated our recommendations for the top finance and investment-related movies and television series.

And if you’d like a decent cocktail to go along with that movie, or book, then you can join the virtual mixology class held by Joyce and Raissa de Haas who are the award-winning owners of Double Dutch. Their class is running on Friday 24th April at 16.00 BST.

Lose yourself in a good book

While we’re all easily distracted right now, reading can be valuable. It helps focus the mind, zone out distractions and help take advantage of those extra hours we find ourselves looking to fill.

Here are some nonfiction books that can shed light on the current predicament thanks to Bloomberg Opinion Columnist John Authers:

  • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
  • When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling.

Prefer something easier yet still finance-related? We recommend:

  • The Fear Index by Robert Harris
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.

Keeping the kids busy

Just when we thought school holidays were challenging enough, now many of us find ourselves having to keep children occupied all day, every day, with no end in sight! Confinement is easier to manage when the kids are happy, hence why we’ve included this in the soul section.

In our travels across the internet, we’ve come across some great ideas to keep kids entertained, from cool space-related fun to living room workouts.

  • If you have a budding astronaut in your family, check out NASA Kids’ Club.
  • Is there an aspiring artist in the house? If so, make pop art like Warhol.
  • Or perhaps you need to find a way to burn all that pent-up childhood energy? P.E. with Joe Wicks are great online workouts that are fun for all ages. You don’t even need equipment and it’s proving to be a great workout for adults as well who are missing out on their gym sessions.

Your future mind, body and soul

Confinement can be a good time to catch up on some leisure activities as long as you aren’t trying to juggle working from home and homeschooling!  However, it is also a good opportunity to take a step back and reassess where you are financially. Now is not the time to neglect your financial goals.

You can use your time in confinement to seek greater clarity around your savings and investment plans and to talk about, or reflect upon, what’s really important to you and your loved ones. It’s a good time to refocus.

What are the important but ‘boring’ jobs you’ve been putting off?

Do you need to make adjustments to your insurance policies? Are you a parent considering options for your child’s future education? Perhaps now is the time to crunch the numbers. Do you need to get your paperwork in order so that you can better prepare your financial future?

Enforced downtime can be the perfect opportunity to ask yourself the following questions to better prepare your financial future:

  • Who would you like to spend time with?
  • How often do you want to go on holiday?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What skills have you gained that might be useful in a second career/as a volunteer?
  • Who do you feel a sense of financial responsibility toward in life?
  • What legacy would you like to leave?

Above all, we encourage you to use the time wisely but most of all use it to look after your wellbeing, financial and otherwise.