During this holiday most of the country is now under orders from their local or state governments to “shelter in place”. During times of crisis, our country has come together many times to face challenges. Now, we are being asked to stay away from each other to avoid the Coronavirus and flatten the curve, so our healthcare system can respond.
Since there are a lot of unknowns right now, it’s best to focus on what you can control in your own world. Especially with family and holiday traditions being disrupted, it can be difficult to find peace and joy during this season. Behavior researchers suggest we focus on what we can control to limit the affect these negative emotions have on our lives. In no particular order, below are some tips.
1. Remain connected to friends, family, and coworkers.
We may not be able to do this “in person”, but we can use various technologies to remain connected. While texting and emailing is nice, it doesn’t provide the same “connection” that a phone call or a video call/conference does.
I have several groups last weekend that met for a book club or happy hours, using conference and video meeting apps to connect. At one, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt – and it felt SO GOOD! We need this human connectedness more than ever.
Call friends and loved ones to check in on their well being, and enjoy the added bonus of making yourself feel good, too.
2. Focus on the “THREE E’s” – Eating, exercise, and empathy.
Eat healthy, don’t get into the Oreos too much (oops, I slipped up over the weekend). Exercise. Try to stay in your routines. Many physical trainers are offering classes or videos to continue your fitness. At minimum, get outside in the fresh air and walk.
Lastly, show empathy to others. While this is hard for all of us, there are likely people you know in a worse situation. Perhaps they’ve lost their job, or have some underlying physical challenges, or are trying to juggle kids at home and work. Reach out to them, offer support. You don’t have to fix their problem, rather show that you care and are willing to listen and support them.
“Reach out to [others], offer support. You don’t have to fix their problem, rather show that you care and are willing to listen and support them.”
Good sleep is essential to fight off both mental and physical fatigue and stress. Turn off the “blue lights” – phones, tablets, TV, a full hour before you go to bed. Limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.
4. Calm Your Mind.
Find ways that work for you to calm your mind. Techniques can include: Meditation, Reading, Walking the dog, a Creative activity such as playing a musical instrument, writing/journaling, singing or gardening; Deep breathing, Yoga, and Exercising. Figure out what helps you and build into your routine.
5. Help others.
As mentioned in empathy, you may know others going through a tougher time than you. Putting the focus on others is cathartic.
This is not an exhaustive list, rather one to get you thinking about what you CAN control in your life in this uncertain time. Share with us your thoughts on what is helping you get through this challenge and how you and your family celebrated the holiday.
Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, a former corporate executive, is a Principal, Financial Planner and Executive Coach at Aspyre Wealth Partners. She helps people Master What’s Next®, no matter what phase of life. Aspyre partners with clients to navigate life transitions. A dog lover, Joni also golfs, exercises, travels, and watches old mystery TV shows.