While the crisis is creating uncertainty and fear, it also gives us an opportunity to be still, relax with our loved ones, and think about what truly matters in our lives. 

Most of my calls the last two weeks have been around helping advisors show leadership, how to communicate and show empathy with clients. We know clients left to their own devices can and will make emotional decisions that can negatively affect their financial plans. With all the focus on the clients, we can forget to take care of ourselves, too.

Our contributor, Shannon Gallagher, reminds us today to increase our own mental health. In today’s post, she gives some great tips to de-stress your day so you can be better equipped to deal with clients.

Please enjoy Shannon’s post -- JDA

As we all know, our lives have recently changed in a very drastic manner. Most people I know are cooped up in their houses with their entire families (and if they're lucky, their furry friends) — something they may have not done in a very long time (if ever). Some of my closest friends and family members are even out of work for the time-being with no assurance that they will be able to go back any time soon. The entire world is suffering a scary crisis and a question that keeps coming up is, “How are we going to manage?” I was on a call with a handful of our women advisors recently and we discussed how to stay centered for our clients. We all agreed that the key to finding your peace during this time of uncertainty is to take care of your own mental health. When you are taking care of yourself, you are in turn, taking care of those around you — like your clients and family. You are able to better show up and be present in their lives. You can feel more relaxed in unexpected situations, and you can make your days more productive.

So how exactly are we going to manage?

The world is giving us a major reminder to slow down. We need to take time to take care of ourselves and spend time with the ones we love. This gives us an opportunity to actually sit, listen, and relax with our loved ones. It gives us time to decompress and think about what truly matters in our lives on a daily basis. 

stones and lavendarI am sure you are working around the clock, checking in with your clients frequently and doing what is right for their current lifestyle and goals. Making sure your business is running as smoothly as possible will benefit in the long-run. John Anderson just recently gave a few tips on how to keep your business up and running during this unstable time, as well as how to keep that interactive element with your staff members. Obviously, your business is a very high priority in your life, but how are you spending your time outside of your work? 

When not working, a great idea is to give yourself at least one hour a day to take care of yourself. That is only 1/24th of your day. Here are some tips that will keep you feeling more at ease during this troubled time:

  • Take 10 deep breaths
    • This sounds so simple, but think about the last time you actually paused for ten full breaths. If you don’t already have this in your daily routine, then it probably has been a while for you. You can take these deep breaths anytime, but I suggest you make a habit of doing it when you first wake up, before you lay down for bed, mid-day (maybe before lunch?) and any time you feel stressed or “out of control.”
    • If you are enjoying mindfully breathing, look into guided meditations online that are 5-10 minutes at a time. A daily mindfulness practice helps you to be thoughtful with your actions throughout the day.
  • Spend time outdoors as much as you can
    • Although we are in a quarantine, as long as you are social distancing, you should be able to take frequent walks and breathe in the fresh air. Walking barefoot is actually very beneficial for your balance in life. It may create stronger roots and a feeling of being grounded in your everyday life.
  • Schedule virtual happy hours/toasts with your closest family and friends
    • My mom’s job is actually remote, but now that most of her friends are working remotely, as well, she has been scheduling virtual happy hours every night of the week and having a blast! Be thankful for the evolution of technology and how we can successfully connect with almost anyone we’d like, whenever we want nowadays.
  • Make a meal you enjoy
    • Hopefully you are able to take your time when cooking dinner during this time. One of my favorite things to do recently is to try out new recipes. I hear there is a website where you can type in the handful of random ingredients in your fridge and pantry and it will tell you what delicious recipe you can make. This might be a fun adventure while you are stuck at home.
  • Take breaks from electronics
    • Whether you are stuck at your computer all day or glued to your phone afterwards, it is so important to get up, walk around and even do small stretches – stepping away from technology. It gives your mind a break and helps calm your body.
    • If you are a yogi like me, you can find full one-hour free virtual classes right now. Take advantage!
  • Have a game night with your family
    • Whether your kids are young or full-grown adults, or you are sitting with your dog at the dining room table, there are games you will be able to enjoy! Pull out the cards or game apps on your phone and have a fun-filled competition on a weeknight.
  • Relax on the couch with your favorite show
    • Sometimes, it feels really great to just. do. nothing. Netflix can be your best friend at times, so make yourself a bag of popcorn and truly relax.
  • Write what you’re grateful for
    • Lastly, and maybe most importantly, take this time to think about how great you have it. Although there is a lot of uncertainty going on in our world, we are so lucky to be able to do everything written above, and more. Thank yourself for all of the time you have invested in your life and give yourself that well-deserved relaxationfamily playing jenga

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