Our physical, mental and even our financial health are more connected than we might think. Gen.T brought together three experts to discuss the relationship between these three pillars of wellness at a private virtual event organised by Gen.T and Tatler Singapore, in partnership with HSBC

Do you feel bloated or lethargic? Have you lost your appetite lately or had trouble sleeping? These are all indications that our bodies aren't healthy, but not all of us will catch the signs when they appear. We may be too caught up with work or used to not fussing about “the small stuff”, even if it comes in the form of discomfort, stress or pain. 

Recent data, however, shows that more of us are becoming aware of the importance of self-care. According to McKinsey & Company, 42 percent of consumers in the six countries it surveyed see wellness as a top priority. But how can we encourage more people to prioritise their physical and mental health? And how are our health and financial wealth correlated?

Three speakers discussed this and more at a virtual panel session on November 30, co-organised by Gen.T and Tatler Singapore in partnership with HSBC. They were Sabrina Ooi, co-founder and CEO of mental wellness platform Calm Collective, Teresa Pena, a holistic and culinary nutritionist and founder of Balanced Nutrition Lab, and Maxine Teo, founder of Global Max Academy, which provides bespoke training in communication skills to private and public companies.

Here are some highlights from the discussion.

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Above Listen To Your Body. What Is It Telling You? Gen.T and Tatler Singapore invited three speakers to discuss this at a virtual panel session, organised in partnership with HSBC, on November 30

To change, start small but be consistent

“The biggest challenge for people who are trying to make a change is breaking habits,” said Pena. “It isn’t always because of you, it could be due to pressures from family, friends or work as well. Sometimes we just can’t cope with everything, so it’s hard to [add] something new to your routine.

“That’s why it’s always good to take one thing at a time. Start small [with your goals] and make sure that you [build on them] gradually and consistently.”

How to check in with yourself

There are four questions you can ask yourself to find out how you’re doing personally, said Ooi: 

  1. How do I feel right now?—“I’ll take some time to name the emotions I’m feeling and rate each of them on a scale of one to 10. If it rates [highly], I’ll try to understand why I’m feeling that way a bit more, which is when I ask my second question.”
  2. What am I letting go of right now?—“By asking myself this, I recognise what I’m holding on to. Maybe I’m letting go of the fear of failure or of comparisons.”
  3. What am I grateful for?—“This question helps to ground me in the present and recognise both the small and big things that make me happy and make me who I am.”
  4. What am I focusing on?—“This helps me move ahead.”

See also: How Can We Normalise Mental Health Discussions?

The 30 types of plant-based foods challenge

“Every time you eat a fruit, vegetable, herb, spice, seed or nut, write it down,” said Pena, who challenged guests to take on a small challenge to improve their gut health. “At the end of a week, see if you’ve reached 30 different types [of plant-based food]. If you did, you’re feeding your microbiome the right way—and a healthy microbiome is essential for good health.”

Building up your financial health

“Before we talk about wellness, it’s key to ensure we’re financially able to take care of our health,” said Teo. As we live longer, planning our finances and looking after ourselves early “will ensure that we have the energy and mood to enjoy our wealth and life later,” she adds. Wealth management planning can offer a sense of control and help to promote peace of mind about the future.

Teo also proposes diversifying investments as another key strategy to consider. Are you putting all your investments into illiquid assets such as real estate or stocks? “Leveraging a mix of other financial tools in the market, such as insurance, will help you to hedge against economic risks.”

This panel discussion was organised in partnership with HSBC. The global bank aims to open up a world of opportunity for clients—wherever their wealth is created, invested and managed—through their comprehensive range of wealth management solutions. See more events by Gen.T.

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