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Looking after your mental health during COVID-19

Kyla Tustin

One of the less-documented effects of COVID-19 and all the upheaval it represents – new working
arrangements, families working in close quarters, social distancing – is how it has impacted people’s mental
health.

It’s an easy thing to ignore, especially because there’s already so much happening around you – new
restrictions, economic crises, home-schooling – but letting your mental health slide may be having a greater
effect on you than you realise. As the Greate Group founder and life coach Kyla Tustin explains, “Everyone
thinks they should be able to cope through this, but bodies and brains aren’t actually built to live this way, with
so much stress and constant technology usage.”

Looking back at the GFC, Kyla saw similar worries – but they’re magnified now, compounded by ” the health
crisis, ongoing lockdown uncertainty, financial instability and rioting in the USA. People are getting to the
tipping point of despair and hopelessness.”

As a result, Kyla explains, many people are (consciously or otherwise), turning back to old coping mechanisms –
alcohol, junk food, constant TV watching and so on. “Self-care definitely isn’t always the easiest option to
choose, and wellness isn’t about living perfectly, being happy all the time or ignoring our stresses and
emotions. Though these current distraction and comfort zone habits are not the healthiest or kindest ones.”

“Kindness in itself,” she continues, “has been proven to be the opposite of stress, as it brings oxytocin into our
bodies which has a calming effect.” She recommends “choosing kind words, thoughts, actions and choices
through these times is critical.”

While she’s passionate about people exercising self-care during this difficult period, she’s careful to note that
“the kindest thing for your mind and body isn’t necessarily the ‘easiest’ one. Self-care isn’t just sitting on the
couch.” With that in mind, what are some practical steps you can take right now?

Practice “aligned action” every day

Kyla believes “the way you start your day determines how you will end it.” To that end, she suggests ensuring
that when you wake up each day – perhaps earlier, if necessary – you practice some kind of self-care.
“If people just wake up and go straight to the computer,” she explains, “they’re not really preparing themselves
for the day. Prior to this, we’d at least be going to the office, commuting, moving our bodies. We don’t have
that option as much now.”

She says that even if you’re working from home, “you can still do a kind of ‘commute’. Maybe just a five-minute
walk around the block. Some kind of exercise that tells your body what it’s preparing for over the course of the
day.”

Take regular breaks

Taking time away from the computer when working at home seems like a desirable thing to do, but Kyla’s
spoken to many people who rarely manage it. “The computer’s right there,” she says, “so it’s easy to just work
all day and work late. When I started working from home, I wasn’t even thinking about taking breaks or going
for walks. I still had my investment banking ways of living and was in the mindset that the faster I go, the longer
I worked, the more work I’d get done.”

In fact, Kyla says, she found the opposite was true: the more she pushed herself, the less she was actually
getting anything done. “Burnout” is an oft-mentioned idea in the context of working in the office, but in some
ways it’s even more dangerous when you’re within email distance 24/7.

“Our brain is 31% more productive in a positive state,” she says, “rather than neutral, negative or stressed. It
essential we take regular breaks, especially for fun and play. And realise your work, wellness and productivity is
going to suffer if you aren’t looking after yourself or continue to push your body and brain to burnout.”

Inspire yourself

During a time like this, it’s incredibly difficult to avoid the constant coverage of everything that’s going wrong in
the world: whether it’s infection rates, market volatility or unemployment. And while Kyla believes people need
to be educated about what’s happening, she says one also needs to responsibly limit their exposure.

“Be aware that everything you consume,” she explains, “whether it’s news, other media or even conversations
with people, is going to impact how you feel and how you look at the world.”

“For me,” she continues, “my energy and mindset will determine how I support my clients. If I’m consumed by
fear and despair, I’m of no use to anyone. You can stay informed and educated while also regularly asking
yourself this question: is what I’m watching useful right now? Is my mood getting depleted?”

If you’re getting to that point, Kyla recommends turning to inspiration and asking yourself these questions:

  •  Who do I want to be?
  •  What do I want to feel or experience?
  •  What can I choose to focus on? (For example, gratitude, appreciation or celebration.)
  • Then, reflect on your thoughts, choices and actions throughout your day and ask, “Are they kind,
    useful and supporting to elevate my energy, mood and mindset?”

It’s difficult to tell when this crisis will end, but you’ll come out of it stronger if you take the time to prioritise
yourself.



The information in this document has been prepared and issued by OneVue Wealth Services Ltd ABN 70 120 380 627, AFSL 308868 as the
Fund Promoter. It is intended to provide you with general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives,
financial situation or needs. Before making any financial decisions, it is important that you read the current product disclosure statement
(PDS) and consider your particular circumstances and whether the particular financial product is right for you. The current PDS for the
product is available here on the Fund website. You should consult a financial adviser if you require personal advice. Diversa Trustees
Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235125 RSE Licence L0000635 is the Trustee of the Fund and the product issuer.
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Protecting your future during this crisis

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has left many Australians concerned for their health and financial
security. The crisis has required unprecedented containment measures and had severe effects on domestic and
global markets.

While most coverage focuses on what’s happening right now – understandably – you may also be concerned
about the pandemic’s effects further down the track, especially as it pertains to your superannuation.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to ensure you’re providing yourself the best opportunity for a
comfortable retirement:

Firstly, ensure your employer is paying in the right amount of super

  • Organise online member access with your super fund, and check your transactions regularly to see
    what your employer has contributed. If they are contributing quarterly or more irregularly, ask your
    employer if they can change that to monthly. Time and money make a difference, the more regularly
    you invest, the faster money grows.
  • Check your myGov account and your super for extra contributions to your super account, for instance,
    there could be unexpected irregular payments made by employers (from past jobs) In our gig
    economy, it can happen, a colleague we know suddenly received a contribution of $850 from a job he
    had in the late 90s.

Review, and consider consolidating your super

  • Your myGov account will show you how many different super accounts you hold. Each has an
    administration fee, and many can have insurance attached.
  •  Consolidating into one super account that meets your needs can give your super a boost, through
    reduced costs alone. Whether this is by only paying one administration fee, or reduced insurance
    premiums.
  • While it is important to have insurance to protect your loved ones, and ensuring they are looked after
    in the event something happens to you, having it with too many super funds or Insurers can mean you
    are paying insurance premiums multiple times, and sometimes, depending on the insurance policy,
    you may not be able to claim on it. You should take the time to review your insurance cover on a
    regular basis or obtain professional financial advice if your circumstances change.

So consolidating your super is a good thing, but how do you go about it?

  • You can rollover using your super funds services – just complete the rollover form, either online in the
    online application form, or by downloading the form, completing by hand and sending it in.
  • Using myGov, you can choose the super fund you want the other super funds rolled into, and organise
    directly online. It’s as simple as that.

Money for later – Food for thought?

So While for many of us, it’s tough now, it’s still worth giving some thought to how you will manage to
have some funds for later.

 

 

The information in this document has been prepared and issued by OneVue Wealth Services Ltd ABN 70 120 380 627, AFSL 308868 as the
Fund Promoter. It is intended to provide you with general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives,
financial situation or needs. Before making any financial decisions, it is important that you read the current product disclo sure statement
(PDS) and consider your particular circumstances and whether the particular financial product is right for you. The current PDS for the is available here on the Fund website. You should consult a financial adviser if you require personal advice. Diversa Trustees

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Should you take out your super?

Vanessa Stoykov

There has been a lot of press around the early release of super scheme, and the fact that Australians have
taken $31 billion out of their retirement savings to use now during the pandemic as at 9 August 2020.

Whether or not everyone has used the funds to their best advantage is yet to be seen, although early data
indicates that a fair portion of under-30s have spent on increased entertainment and consumer goods. There
are now over a million people who have taken from their super twice and a further 3 million who have taken
theirs once1. Now that the government has extended the early release scheme for tranche 2, it would seem that
there may be potentially well over a million people still considering whether or not to take from their super.

If you are one of those people, or know someone who is, here are three points to weigh up when making your
decision.

1. What is your plan for the funds? Can you invest in something like a new business idea or something that
will give you a future income? If so, it may be worthwhile using this seed funding to make yourself more
income. If not, how essential is it? By taking from today, you may be robbing yourself tomorrow. So, really
weigh the income producing potential, and how essential your spend truly is.

2. Is there any other way you could make this income without touching your super? It may mean a side hustle – doing a second or third job to make this possible. While that might seem very hard now, I can tell you that the older you get, the harder it is to hustle. If you can push yourself now, your future self will thank you.

3. Is this the first time you have really looked at your super? It is your money, and maybe now is the perfect
time to understand how it is invested, and what it could become if you leave it where it is. Or, do you need to
move to a new fund? Look carefully at your super and use the moneysmart.gov.au calculators to do some
numbers.. Knowing you are an investor, and how you can capitalise on it via your super, may be the most
important outcome for future you.

There is no doubt, we are living in uncertain times, and it looks like that is set to continue. I encourage you to
really think about what is right for you – both now and in the future. And if you can, seek financial advice, or
financial counselling and have the experts weigh in.

 

1Sourced from apra.gov.au/covid-19 Early Release Scheme Issue 16 dashboard


The information in this document has been prepared and issued by OneVue Wealth Services Ltd ABN 70 120 380 627, AFSL 308868 as the
Fund Promoter. It is intended to provide you with general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives,
financial situation or needs. Before making any financial decisions, it is important that you read the current product disclo sure statement
(PDS) and consider your particular circumstances and whether the particular financial product is right for you. The current PDS for the
product is available here on the Fund website. You should consult a financial adviser if you require personal advice. Diversa Trustees
Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235125 RSE Licence L0000635 is the Trustee of the Fund and the product issuer.