Behaviour Experts tell us there is a cycle during times of 'crisis.' That's important information to know - and information we feel is important for our clients to have access to.
In a webinar I attended last week - we were told that "Client Fatigue" may be peaking. What does that mean? It might help if we look at the way clients generally prioritize what's going on. Their 1st FOCUS is the health crisis and the 2nd FOCUS is the financial crisis (loss of job, decrease in investments etc.). This time IS different. Let me remind you - this crisis was NOT CAUSED by bank, credit, or financial product problem as in 2008/09. This is triggered by an event (COVID-19) and the crisis REMAINS WITH US.
It may also help to recognize the PHASES OF THIS COVID-19 CRISIS.
PHASE 1 - REACT
PHASE 2 - COPE
PHASE 3 - RESET
PHASE 4 - NEW NORMAL
By and large, most people are in the PHASE 2 (COPE) part of the cycle. COVID-19 is no longer a 'new' phenomenon. We are now developing (or hopefully developing) mechanisms within our lives to increase our RESILIENCE which, in turn, helps us to COPE. That's the area I'd like to focus on for this blog.
One of the ways to cope is to STARVE OUR FEARS...how?
1. Profile your circumstances: It's now your turn to be the 'profiler' of your own life...We need to slow down enough to take a serious look at our circumstances. What are you experiencing? Dr. Henry Cloud speaks about humans as being 'controllers.' We like to choose where we shop, design our homes, our clothes, our involvement...in short...our lives. But...right now, we are limited. So here's the challenge for this first point: Make a list of the things out of our control. (e.g. - no more than 5 people together, can't shop the way we used to, can't fly or go on vacation...etc.) When they're just 'out there' (not written down) we tend to focus on what we've "lost" which can lead to fear and anxiety taking hold.
I can almost hear you saying "Wait a minute"...if I take the time to make this list - isn't that just going to add to my anxiety? Actually - no it won't. Once the list is done and those items are identified - it actually helps your brain to focus on what you CAN do.
2. Limit the Negative: You should put a limit on the negative 'input' impacting you. There are people who leave the news on all-day - danger. News, by nature, is negative (the old adage "if it bleeds - it leads" is still true.) You know the difference in 'getting caught up on world events' and 'living it hourly.' Too much social media, too much news - can become the definer of your day.
The next part of this COPING STRATEGY is to CHANGE PERSPECTIVE. This is where the 'good work' begins!
1. Stay Connected: This is really important. We need each other - and we need other people. Thankfully, we have technology which allows us the ability to be 'in touch' without actually touching! Our families can visit over the internet - even share meals together - instead of a 2-hour drive or a 4-hour plane ride. If this crisis had occurred even 10 years ago - this type of connection couldn't have happened. The challenge here is: Keep a virtual contact with a different friend or family member (outside your home) EVERY DAY.
This is where the 'good work' begins!
2. Move your body: for at least 30 minutes each day. Let's face it - when we're at home - it's easy to overindulge from either the fridge or the pantry...(I've heard folks have gotten sunburn from their refrigerator light?)
3. Thankfulness: What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? Perhaps this is the time to start listing what you're grateful for? My wife has a "Blessings book" and she adds to it every day. Remember - what you FOCUS ON...GROWS! Make sure your thoughts are those of gratitude for the people and blessings you have in your life!
4. Set a task or goal - and achieve it!: Want to learn a new language, or a new skill? Now's a great time to begin! We just began an online Euchre game which can be played in a group of 4 or as a single. It was so much fun! I know of couples who are holding weekly "Trivia Nights" with members in other countries. There's really no end to the things you can do! Learn to play a musical instrument, learn to juggle...I'm sure you can come up with a much more comprehensive list.
Finally, I'd like to pass on a publication provided by CI Investments titled SEASON OF HOPE AND UNITY...Rediscovering the beauty of the human spirit during COVID-19. It's certainly worth a glance - and recommends movies, podcasts, books, shows, even workout apps. to find this publication - CLICK HERE!
Have a terrific week! STAY SAFE!