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HOW THE SIMPLE ACT OF WRITING CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME THE BLUES MANY OF US ARE SUFFERING FROM AT THE MOMENT…

With everything that is going on in the world today it is no surprise than many people are feeling low. The dark short and sunless days just add to a feeling of lowness.

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Obviously, it is certainly no surprise to read that people who suffer from chronic pain can also suffer from feeling depressed at times which will be worse at this time of year.

According to Happiful Magazine many of us are worried about someone’s mental health this Christmas. Happiful say that according to a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by the Mental Health Foundation, over half (54%) are worried about the mental health of someone they know this Christmas. As we enter the festive season, significant numbers of people are expressing their concern for the mental health of relatives (38%), friends (31%), partners/spouses (27%) and children (28%).

With news of a vaccine, there’s a taster of hope on the horizon; two in five (42%) said they are feeling happy, hopeful or excited about the season. Yet, despite this, nearly a third (31%) reported feeling anxious or stressed as we approach Christmas.

So, now is the time for giving kindness to someone else be it a phone call, text message or what I have found has really cheered me up this year, an old fashioned letter. Research shows that an act of kindness demonstrates our concern for another’s vulnerability. It can help someone feel appreciated and has the power to reduce stress, improve mood, self-esteem and happiness.

It was my other half’s special birthday yesterday and I wanted to make it special for him so I contacted everyone I could think of to tell them he was celebrating a big birthday and asked if they had time on Sunday to get into contact with him.

He was completely overwhelmed with all the constant messages coming through on his phone, FaceTimes with friends and lots of good wishes from people on Facebook for him. He said it was the best birthday he has ever had and loved the surprises I had arranged for him. That simple act of kindness from people he knew made it very very special for him.

But I am sure many of you, like myself have written notes in your Christmas cards this year. I have a slight tremor in my right hand which means my writing is far from neat so I typed my messages out and popped them in with the cards. One of my friends wrote back with a long and newsy letter and I found out more from that letter this year than I have found out over the past 10 years. It made me want to write back straight away to give her more of my news and thank her for the lovely letter.

The post is expensive but an email letter can be just as nice. You can dress up your email to make it look pretty if you think it looks a bit business-like. After going through all my contact list for my husband’s birthday messages I made a note of many of them I only hear from once a year with a Christmas card as I plan to write each and every one of them all my news from over the last 12 months. I have even had a few pictures of my granddaughter printed to pop into some of them as unless they have a Facebook page will never have seen a picture of her.

Think of someone you know or someone you know are low at the moment or on their own and contact them somehow to make their day.

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TIPS & INFORMATION ON MANAGING YOUR FINANCES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC…

I am sure I am not alone in knowing someone be it a family member, friend or acquaintance who has lost their job due to the pandemic.

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I am also sure I am not alone when I say that finance worries can affect your health in a big way. Stress creates many health problems and can even flare up old ones. We are going through an exceedingly difficult period now and getting our finances in order is essential. People suffering from mental health and anxiety due to the Covid Pandemic will struggle even more.

I have spent some time online looking through different sites for information and topics on finance related information. From savings, budgets, retirement planning, mortgages and personal loans and I think the one thing they all have in common is that you need to calculate anything related to your income and outgoings.

Health is something I write about daily and that includes my own health which as many of my readers will know has taken a bit of a nosedive recently. So, I did take a quick look at Health Insurance. I do have my own but like many insurance policies be it for health, home or car you try and keep the monthly payments down by adding on an excess amount which you pay yourself before the insurance company starts paying for your claim. Researching a bit further on the cost of self-pay for health treatments lead me down the personal loan route, to see if that is something worth thinking about before my next renewal.

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Loans, according to Bloomberg are not just for anyone even large companies like American Airlines are taking them out but they say that it’s the small businesses, who are the beating heart of the US economy and the ones who have needed Covid loans the most. The UK have Covid Bounce Back Loans for small companies for the same reason. But, what about Mr/Mrs Joe Public who is retired, has saved all his/her life for retirement and is now finding their funds diminishing by the day? This pandemic is certainly something they will not have planned for and although the younger generation may think it’s such a long way off they don’t need to worry it’s important that they understand how no one knows what life is going to throw at us.

I found a great list of expert and useful tips from Forbes on ‘Financial Tips for Surviving Covid-19’, which included making a list of ‘separating wants from needs’, ‘taking advantage of a line of credit’, and or ‘utilizing your credit cards’ and more.

Of course, before trying out anything it is essential that you work out your monthly income and outgoings. Take into consideration that this pandemic may last another six months at the very least and we are about to enter Autumn then Winter when our heating and lighting will be on a lot more than it has been on for the last six months.

Do not be frightened to get in touch with any of your own insurance companies and comparison sites to find the best one for you. It is a minefield out there but if you tread carefully you can get through it. I found this great site called Pigly which has calculators for different loans, insurance and even a budget calculator with budget planning, paycheck estimator and cash flow etc.

Dealing with your finances at any time is not everybody’s idea of having fun but needs must now so look at it with your eyes fully open and not half shut. I am a big fan of the Money Magpie site which also has lots of tips on hidden expenses to include in your budget plan which include ‘optometrist appointments’, prescription medication, books and audio subscriptions, house contents insurance, car maintenance, boiler maintenance and much more. And of course the well known Money Saving Expert’s site has MSE Coronavirus Guides which include Coronavirus Finance and Bills Help.

Once you have sat down and written your budget plan, even if it’s not looking so good it will still feel like you have lifted a weight from your shoulders as you have actually starting doing something about it. Just remember to use reputable companies when looking for any further dealings.

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FIVE THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY – WHAT’S YOURS?…

My five things that make me happy at the moment are –

1. Seeing my beautiful granddaughter for real after lockdown.

2. Getting my hair cut for the first time in 4 months.

3. Seeing the sun coming out.

4. Sitting in my tiny peaceful garden listening to the solar fountain bird bath.

5. Feeling alive and well.

What five things are making you happy today?