One unique challenge of the coronavirus pandemic is that it’s a global crisis that’s also affected each and every one of us in a very personal way. We’re all learning to balance our worries about huge topics like public health care and the economy with our own disrupted schedules and the daily needs of our loved ones.
Rule number one of good financial planning is: control the things we can control. We think that’s a good piece of advice for dealing with 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.
Depending on social distancing guidelines in your state, you can probably still go outside for walks and jogs. Just try to keep yourself out of those beachfront group shots that are riling people up on social media. Maintain a six-foot bubble, avoid crowded areas, don’t touch fences or other public structures, and wash your hands when you get home.
If you’re really missing your gym fix, there is a wealth of at-home exercise options available. Many trainers and fitness experts 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 basement 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.
Connect more … and less.
Did you ever think you’d miss office chit-chat or a friendly barista this much? Social distancing has turned even our most casual connections into long-distance relationships, and that’s been a hard adjustment for some folks.
You’ve probably started organizing weekly video calls with your friends and family. Supplementing those big calls with quick text messages or funny emails 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 and drive up anxiety. If you feel your stress mounting, unplug. Play games with the friends and family you’re locked down with. Cook a meal with your spouse. Block off some solo time to read, take an online course, or practice your hobbies.
Also, try to 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 just isn’t delivering that day.
Not knowing how long we’ll have to live with social distancing can make it difficult 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 exceed at school?
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, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.