As the cost-of-living soars around the globe, making a small effort to maintain health and wellbeing each and every day is both a useful tool for dealing with current life stressors, and an economic solution to avoid a bigger health spend.
In an ever increasingly complicated technological world, stripping health maintenance back to basics is a great way to circumvent mental overload and ensure that you stick to implementing behaviours daily.
The benefits of mindfulness have been proclaimed far and wide in recent times, but it’s worth recognising that financial pressures can cause an increase in anxiety and ruin quality sleep. Now is the time to find a winddown routine to prepare you for a restful night, and even a few hours lost to tossing and turning can quickly land you in a sleep debt. Getting enough sleep isn’t just to keep us feeling on-form at work, it’s a health preservation activity. Insight Timer is a free resource with a range of different tools to get you started, from soundscapes for sleep to guided meditations for stress.
As an article on Healthline explains, catching up on sleep during the weekend isn’t the same as consistently getting adequate sleep throughout the week. In our modern state of chronic sleep deficit, this is a debt that becomes impossible to repay and our health suffers consequently. Regularly being short on sleep can result in higher cortisol – a stress hormone – and puts us at increased risk of diabetes, a weakened immune system, higher blood pressure – the list seems endless.
There is a science to optimal sleep, and most of us are doing it wrong! There are plenty of sleep tracking apps – SleepScore has a free version, for example – and seeing your data mapped out paints a picture of how restful (or not) your nights are. Literally looking at a poor night’s sleep might just be the thing that keeps you accountable for those sleep conducive routines. The depth of our knowledge in this field is continually growing, and in future a better understanding of circadian science could see us commonly using time to optimise our health. You may be familiar with The Daily, but the episode ‘The Sunday Read: The Quest by Circadian Medicine to Make the Most of Our Body Clocks’ is worth a listen for a rundown on the premise of circadian medicine.
Poor sleep has a flow on effect to your wallet too. Tiredness can change the way we weight options when making decisions, and buyer’s remorse could easily be exacerbated by current pressures. A CNBC article highlighted that an expensive purchase a person would usually mull over can turn into an impulse buy when tired. Bernadette Joy, host of the Crush Your Money Goals podcast, also shared in the article that shopping can feel like an energy booster or a hit of dopamine when she is burnt out. I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘retail therapy’, and starting each day refreshed from quality sleep is key to avoiding the slippery road to burnout and those ‘treat yourself’ purchases that tend to come with.
Now is probably also the time to seriously ask yourself whether that gym membership is really value for money. If you enjoy going to classes, is there a way you could recreate that environment outside the gym? It only takes a quick search online to find an abundance of localised running and hiking groups. In fact, this could see you meeting new people with a common interest at a time when socialising over dinner and drinks keeps getting more expensive.
After prolonged periods of isolation from lockdowns around the world affecting our ability to be social, spending time with people we care about is an important part of maintaining our mental health. However, this doesn’t have to come with further financial pressure. There are vulnerable conversations to be had with friends about being time poor and feeling the bite of inflation, which could also serve as a litmus test for the genuine strength of the relationship. Who says running errands and doing chores together can’t be quality time! There’s no extra spend involved and you might be left with enough spare time to get in meditation before bed….
How else can you maintain your health whilst feeling the pinch in your wallet? Nutrient density is another avenue to assess value for money as we look to manage our finances, and NatureBee’s Power Pollen is one of nature’s most complete foods. It is exceptionally nutrient-rich, containing high levels of proteins, amino acids, lipids, minerals, fatty acids, fiber, and vitamins. There are various subscription-based offers available, including a three-month subscription which supplies 400 capsules for $126 incl GST, or around $0.63 cents a day.
By Keren Cook, Naturebee