Make wellness a priority this spring.
There’s no question the pandemic turned our lives upside down and took a toll on our overall well-being. While we stayed at home, many of us exercised less, ate more comfort food and lost the emotional support that comes from socializing with family and friends. Two long years have passed, and now it’s time to find ways to re-energize our physical and mental health.
What we took care of – and what we didn’t
The pandemic made many of us think about our own mortality, and a lot of people updated their wills and topped up their life insurance. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) made home improvements in their bedrooms, washrooms, kitchens, living rooms, office spaces and more.
However, a lot of essentials were postponed. During the first year of the pandemic, 30 per cent of Canadian adults delayed getting in touch with a medical professional to deal with a physical, emotional or mental health problem. Services critical to long-term physical health, such as in-person appointments to manage chronic disease and cancer screenings, were still well below pre-pandemic levels in January 2021. And as recently as January 2022, self-reported moderate to severe anxiety, loneliness and feelings of depression rose back to levels seen early in the pandemic.
Now, after the challenges of the past two years, it’s time to start prioritizing all aspects of our physical and mental health – and the good news is that it’s much easier to book appointments and health tests thanks to many health providers’ shift towards online tools.
Getting back on track
As you start catching up on missed health checks, also be mindful of how much (and how well) you’re sleeping, eating, exercising and having fun. If there’s room for improvement, consider a Love, Play, Work, Health dashboard. It lets you see how you’re doing in terms of balancing these aspects of life and where you can improve, and helps you plan to reach your goals.
Of course, your goals and dashboard will be unique – customized to help you accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Consider buddying up with someone else who wants to make healthy changes in their life so you can be accountable to each other and find ways to overcome any barriers that are holding you back.
In addition, health-related apps, including mental wellness apps such as Headspace or Calm, can help keep you motivated to maintain new healthy habits. According to a poll conducted by Manulife in 2021, more than half (59 per cent) of Canadians who use health-related apps increased their use during the pandemic. Fitness apps were most popular, followed by wellness apps and nutrition/weight loss apps. Across all three of those categories, about nine in 10 said their apps helped them improve their health.
Take advantage of programs designed to support your efforts
Some programs offered alongside insurance policies provide free wearables and reward you for completing activities that help keep you well, such as:
- Doctor check-ups
- Dentist check-ups
- Flu shots
- Online nutrition courses
You can even get points that add up to insurance premium savings for everyday activities, such as:
- Walking the dog
- Going to the gym
- Hiking in nature
- Checking in on your goals
Small changes can add up to big improvements in your well-being. With an insurance program that offers a variety of ways – and perks – to improve your health, it’s easy to achieve your goals. If you’re looking for that little extra nudge towards a healthier, happier you, talk to your advisor to learn more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to save money while you work on enhancing your physical and mental health.
 Manulife Poll 1 - Mental Health Vitality Report, 2021.