Your most important bank account
By Adam Kohl
No Normal November
It’s probably fair to say that, for those of us in Europe, November is proving to be something of a drag. We are all just trying to work our way through the month and remain as cheerful as possible whilst doing so. We find ourselves locked indoors; with the skies often grey. Meanwhile, many are beginning to miss the usual fun which starts to creep in around this time of the year.
As I reflected on this and how lockdown II compares to its predecessor, I thought back to one of the many conversations I had during lockdown I. I recall people telling me that they were spending less money than usual. There was less to do and therefore not much to spend money on, and with the economy entering a precarious position, it was sensible to hold off on discretionary spending. For those fortunate enough to still have a job, it was even possible to save some cash.
I am sure that it is much the same this time, people may find that they are spending less once again, although it is likely that many are preparing for a shopping explosion in December. As before, people may be lucky enough to find their bank accounts looking healthier in lockdown II, than they might usually do in November.
Basic management of a bank account involves money going in and money going out, leaving us with a running balance. The main principle behind a well-run account being to ‘balance the books’ at the end of each month and maybe to have spent a bit less than went in – not something that we always achieve!
However, when I talk about your most important back account, the one I refer to has little to do with cash. During the course of our lives we find ourselves engaged in activities which drain us and which revive us. Many activities can do both simultaneously; raising a family or building a career spring to mind as prime examples of this.
As we achieve the things that we wish to, we draw upon our time, energy and resources to get the job done. We then replenish these with holidays, family-time, meeting friends, walking in fresh air, painting, exercise or whatever it is that each of us uses to build ourselves back up.
I feel that our mental health and well-being, works in much the same way as our bank account does. We draw down on our resources as we require them and we top them up again as we get our pay-offs. Worryingly, it is likely that many find themselves withdrawing more than they can top back up again at the moment. Covid and lockdown II is draining us all in different ways, but how often do our days find us withdrawing more than we are crediting?
This is actually not a problem on a daily basis, or even over the course of a week. However, if we withdraw more than we put in week after week, we find ourselves overdrawn. Or, when thinking about your own personal mental health and well-being ‘bank account’ – stressed, anxious or depressed. Healthcare professionals have already raised concerns about long term mental health issues which may outlast the pandemic.
Don’t spend it all at once
That bank account of yours, your health and well-being one is likely to take a battering over the coming weeks. You may well find yourself dipping into it frequently in November and probably early December too. What can we do about it? Find ways to credit your account. Listen to music, walk through a forest, pick up the phone and chat to a friend – whatever it is that helps you. Just keep topping your accounts up on a regular basis. Christmas will soon be here and hopefully provide something of a boost to the account and a reprieve from the continuing withdrawals.