Wellbeing wins: the positive post-pandemic trend surviving the cost-of-living crisis
The timing of this cost-of-living crisis makes it unique. We have experienced financial crises before, but none that have come off the back of a global pandemic. Through this blog series we’ll explore how this unique combination of circumstances is affecting consumers, what post-pandemic behaviours and trends are surviving the cost-of-living crisis, and the implications for brands.
Awareness around protecting our mental and physical wellbeing is higher than ever and our conversations with customers suggest it has become a non-negotiable in their lives.
The Covid-19 pandemic acted as a collective awakening around health. Not only were people suffering physically, but it also had a detrimental impact on our mental health. According to the charity Mind, around a third of adults and young people said their mental health has got much worse since March 2020. We emerged from the pandemic with a much stronger desire to make health a priority.
This desire has continued. The cost-of-living crisis has plunged us back into to survival mode, but instead of health spend being cut, we’re seeing it protected.
We recently spoke to Sue* who is feeling the financial pressures of rising living costs. She’s saving money by cutting back on using her car and has switched to the discounters for her weekly food shop. But she won’t give up her gym membership: for Sue this is now a non-negotiable monthly spend to support her wellbeing. In her words, “It’s what keeps me happy. Without it, not only would my fitness suffer but also my mental health – the habit of going [positively] impacts every part of my life”. Spending money on the gym is giving her the mental resilience to cope with her increasing financial pressures.
Similarly, Ben* is prioritising his spend on his wellbeing. The uncertainty of the pandemic meant Ben and his partner paused their plans to buy a house, but last year they took the leap and got themselves onto the property ladder for the first time. They wanted to push on with decorating, furnishing, and making a beautiful home. But rising living costs mean they’ve had to make tough choices about where to spend their money. Ben has decided to pause on house furnishings to enable him to keep singing in his choir – a monthly cost he’s not willing to give up because it’s one of the best things he does for his wellbeing.
Research by Accenture found that although 66% of people are feeling financially squeezed, 80% were planning on maintaining or even expanding their spend on health and fitness. Protecting our mental and physical wellbeing is now seen as necessary to surviving this double dose of uncertainty.
This is something to celebrate! Our desire to protect our wellbeing and build our resilience is a positive trend that emerged from the pandemic and is holding fast even at this challenging economic time. As companies, colleagues, community members and friends, let’s all do what we can to help people stay true to their healthy intentions.