One unique challenge of the coronavirus global pandemic is that it has affected every one of us in a very personal way.
All of us, together, are learning to balance our worries about vast topics like public health care and the economy with our own disrupted schedules and the daily needs of our loved ones.
Along the line some years ago, part of my training was to learn about ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’, arranged like a pyramid, which deals with the foundations of life as being the very basic:
Level 1 is Food and Shelter, moving up next to
Level 2 Safety (health and wealth/job security)
Level 3 is love and belonging,
Level 4 is Esteem, and
Level 5 is Self Actualisation or ‘helping others’.
Revisiting this within the context of what we have and are all still experiencing, it explains a lot.
And worthy of note is that we can’t move up the tiers unless 80% of any level is achieved – theoretically.
Rule number one of proper financial planning is, control the things we can control. We think that’s a good piece of advice for dealing with life in general, but to the coronavirus pandemic as well.
Here are some things you can do to care for your body, your mind, and your perspective every day during this difficult time, and help smooth your path up to the top of the pyramid.
With this in mind, this week’s episode of Island influencers was recorded with Ravina Talbot just last week and contains her valuable guide for Mental Health and Wellbeing tips; Staying calm in a stressful and confusing world.
Move more (eat less!)
Depending on social distancing guidelines; at the time of writing, you can still go outside for a walk, jog, bike ride. I know for many, this feels something of a lifeline, compared with other countries whose lockdown laws don’t permit it. I tell my son to maintain a six-foot “bubble” around him!
If like me, you’re really missing your gym fix, there are a wealth of at-home exercise options available.
Many trainers and fitness experts like Joe Wicks are offering free online classes, which gives you a chance to stay fit and try something new risk-free.
It might also be time to dust off that treadmill or stationary bike in the garage to mix up your Netflix or podcast routine.
Just don’t think that because you’re stuck at home or don’t have a Peloton, you can’t stay healthy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger recently posted, “I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria” and shared his “no gym required” workout.
Old standbys like push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and running in place can still give your body what it needs. And for the record, no I can’t do a chin-up.
And last I checked, the good old Isle of Man Steam Packet together with our incredible band of local food growers and producers are giving us a fabulously reliable supply of fresh and nutritious produce, and salad weather is approaching. I am just saying!
Connect more – and less
Did you ever think you’d miss office chit-chat or a friendly bartender or barista in Costa this much? Social distancing has turned even our most casual connections into long-distance relationships, and that’s been a hard adjustment for some of us.
You’ve probably started organizing weekly video calls on Facetime, Zoom or Houseparty (down with the kids 😉) with your friends and family. The Thornton team meet up on Zoom at 11 am each day to check in how we’re all doing and making up for that coffee-chat time we would typically have in the office.
I, for one, enjoy regular contact with our productive and supportive team, even if a particular challenge with technology does provoke gently cajoling of certain team members from time to time.
It’s also been useful for us to have some structure which I think we all need. For client meetings, we have now produced a quick ‘how-to’ join Zoom meetings’.
Supplementing those big calls with quick text messages or the pick of the day’s funnies can make those connections feel more integrated into your life, even in isolation.
However, experts warn that too much video chatting and social media can have the adverse effect of driving up anxiety.
If you feel your stress mounting, unplug. In our family, even before this, we would have an ‘unplug day’. We find it amazing how children revert to sociable and positive communicators!
Play games with the friends and family you’re locked down with. Cook a meal with your spouse. Block off some alone time to read, take an online course, or practice your hobbies.
Perhaps we need to almost embrace a little boredom from time to time.
In our always-on, always-connected society, we feel like we should always be doing something, always be watching something, always be messaging someone.
A quiet moment alone with a cup of coffee, letting your mind wander, can lead to inspiring ideas, a problem-solving breakthrough, or the inner peace Facebook and Twitter just aren’t delivering that day.
Not knowing how long we’ll have to live with social distancing can make it challenging to think about your life outside of your house and beyond the coronavirus.
So much of our attention is focused on what’s happening right now and what we need to get through the next day.
But you will get through today, and the next one. And eventually, we’ll all be back outside, heading to the office, sending our kids to school, spending real face time with friends and family, working towards the goals that are most important to us.
Try to carve out a little time every day to think about those long-term goals that are hard to see right now.
What’s something you can do every day to move the needle?
Can you devote ten minutes to that side project you want to present at work? Can you write more? Paint more? Cook something a little fancier?
Be a little more involved in helping your kids or grandchildren exceed at school?
I find it useful to keep a good old-fashioned notebook to hand so I can note these ideas down in a list, rather than temporarily forgetting what was it I was going to do 5 minutes ago!
Big-picture thinking can also help you maintain a proper perspective about the long-term financial goals your plan is designed to achieve.
However, we understand those goals seem especially far away under these circumstances. If you need a little extra short-term financial guidance or just a catch-up, please get in touch. We’re here to help.