How is your January going? Renowned for being the toughest month and with so-called ‘Blue Monday’ said to be the most depressing day of the year, it can be hard to stay motivated about health goals at the best of times – let alone after almost a year of a global pandemic.
At Plutus Health, we believe that the key is to focus on the small steps you can take to boost your health, wellbeing and finances gently. We’re not big fans of new year’s resolutions, as they tend to promote negative actions (banning / stopping something), but we do recommend concentrating on achievable, positive goals that can last as the year goes on.
Here are some of the small things you can do to help you feel better physically and mentally in 2021:
One of the most popular new year’s resolutions is dieting, but this again relies on banning things – and, in fact, many of the foods labelled ‘bad’ actually contain ‘good’ fat. Turn that resolution on its head and make 2021 the year you learn about nutrition and to cook properly. With lockdown set to continue in Wales at least for the foreseeable future, many of us are still working from home, so why not use that saved commuting time to cook up delicious recipes from scratch? And, with many of us feeling increasingly anxious and low, the physical activities of chopping, peeling and stirring can release stress and prove surprisingly soothing. Create a kitchen playlist of your favourite tunes and, if you’re homeschooling, involve your children as part of their daily education – learning is not all about exam results, after all!
The good news is that routine healthcare is available again, with dentists and opticians reopening and many therapists such as physios and acupuncturists now able to offer hands-on appointments. Chances are you haven’t had a dental or eye check up for a year or so, in which case it’s important to get booked in as early detection can prevent issues from becoming serious. Don’t forget that, with a Plutus Health plan, you get cash back each time you or your family have a routine health appointment, so get in touch with our team to find out more.
Admittedly this has become more difficult with gyms and exercise classes closed, while, in Wales, we’re not allowed to meet anyone outside our household or social bubble for a local walk. Why not join your family and friends for an online walking challenge, instead? There are a number of websites and apps that you can use to clock up, for example, the distance of Spain’s Santiago de Compostela, or a walk across the country of your dream holiday. You can add up the miles as a team or make it a friendly competition, and remember that daily steps count!
Sort your finances
Did you know that January and February are the busiest months for life insurance and critical illness providers? Many of us use the quieter winter months to overhaul our finances and make a will. Understanding the benefits of the various policies can be confusing, so here are the basics:
- Life insurance provides a lump sum for your family after you pass away. You pay a monthly premium, which varies depending on factors including your age and the size of the pay-out provided, and there are no stipulations as to how your dependants spend the money. Life insurance is often used to pay off the mortgage, meet household bills or pay funeral costs following the death of a loved one.
- Critical illness cover pays out a specified sum should you be diagnosed with a chronic condition or terminal illness. The illnesses covered will be set out in the policy and usually include things like cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
- Making a will is a good idea to avoid disputes about your ‘estate’ (your financial assets) following your death. None of us likes to think about dying or the possibility of our loved ones falling out afterwards but, sadly, rows do arise and legal battles can take place if your wishes are not set out. You can write your own will, but it’s good to get advice if matters are not straightforward, such as if you’re part of a step family.
- Health insurance covers you for treatment in a private hospital should you become ill or have an accident, often saving a lengthy wait for NHS treatment. A health cash plan is different to health insurance, giving you money back when you go for routine appointments such as to the dentist and optician or for complementary therapies and some hospital appointments. Check out the full health benefits, including maternity benefits, in our FAQs.
The Plutus Health team is still mainly working from home, but our phone lines and email are fully covered Mondays to Fridays, between 9am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm. Give us a call on 01633 266152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you overhaul your health!