Everything in life is about balance. How much we eat, how much we move, the balance between work and life, the list goes on. Ultimately, your overall wellbeing relies on finding the right balance between your health, wealth and happiness.
Over the last year, we’ve seen a shift in where we spend our time. And our focus has been on different aspects of life. But as things return to ‘normal’ it may be hard to find your feet again, distribute your time and strike that right balance.
Balancing health, wealth and happiness
Our health, wealth and happiness index reached the lowest level in over a decade during the first lockdown in March 2020, and the after-effects are still seen now with 46% claiming they were less happy now than they were pre-pandemic.
Understandably, all three areas took a tumble at the beginning of the pandemic, with only the wealth index rallying and staying up since. The LifeSearch study also found that almost 1 in 3 Brits are feeling better off financially now compared to pre-pandemic, and 56% re-evaluated their finances because of the pandemic.
But it begs the question, why if so many people are feeling better off financially, are they not also happier and healthier as a result?
It may surprise you that Financial Planning isn’t just about chasing investment returns, it’s about creating the right balance between your health, wealth and happiness. As our MD, Rebecca, said (when asked about why she named the company Balance): financial planning is entirely about being well-balanced. We are all looking for a good balance between work-life and personal life. We want to have enough wealth, not too much and not too little.
External factors can offset our balance in life, and covid has tipped the scales for many people, with languishing dubbed the prominent mood of 2021.
What is languishing?
Languishing is a term coined by sociologist Corey Keyes in his 2002 paper. Defined as the antithesis of flourishing – languishing encompasses feelings of being stagnant, uninspired or generally a bit ‘meh’.
According to the recruitment agency Randstad, two-thirds of the UK workforce are languishing.
Here are the signs to look out for:
- Not feeling excited about things you’d typically look forward to
- Your feel to-do list feels longer than you can manage
- You feel like you’re working hard but not getting anywhere fast
- You’ve lost sight of your goals
- You find it difficult to focus
Finding the right balance
If you recognise any of those signs, it might be time for a wellbeing check-in.
Here are some tips that we’ve found helpful for creating a healthy balance in life.
1. Set your boundaries and say ‘no’ when you need to
For some reason, we associate saying no with letting people down. But, if we get into a habit of saying yes all the time, we end up filling our schedule for other people. So, start saying no. Reclaiming time for yourself is all the reason you need.
2. Continue fulfilling/looking for your purpose
Whether you’ve found it already or not, we all have a purpose in life. Something that fires us up in the morning.
The Japanese concept, ikigai, suggests finding your purpose in life (your ikigai) is where your passion, mission, vocation, and profession align.
3. Let go of perfection
“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself” – Maya Angelou
Perfection doesn’t exist; it’s a social construct. Yet, many of us continue to strive for this ideal, only to be disillusioned when we never quite reach it. That’s one of the beauties of life; there’s always room for improvement. Once you let go of perfection, you’ll learn to enjoy what you do a lot more, not trying to strive for something unobtainable.
4. Invest time in you
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck
So, it’s time to start taking care of yourself and making your health and wellbeing a priority. Invest time in yourself and listen to what your body is telling you.
5. Tackle your money worries head on
It’s important to remember that the more money you earn doesn’t mean that your money worries will dissipate. According to Aegon’s Financial Wellbeing Index, 55% of average earners and 1 in 3 top earners worry about money.
Your financial wellbeing is centred around knowing you have ‘enough’ – enough money to afford the things you need now and in the future, as well as having enough to do the things that make you happy.
The tools and expertise of our professional financial planners, and the bespoke financial plans that we produce, offers our clients a complete financial roadmap – considering the bigger picture and making sure no stone is left unturned.
To help you take control of your financial wellbeing, you can:
- Read our top tips for managing your money worries
- Read Aegon’s in-depth guide to improving your financial wellbeing
- Book a meeting with one of our independent financial planners – the initial discussion is always free.