As the country and our world emerge from the battering of the pandemic, the Russian aggression in the Ukraine has now added a different, far-away, uncontrollable stress on our minds. Not to mention the markets’ reaction and inflation, although markets naturally experience up & down cycles. In light of all this, one of my best – and as it turns out most insightful – clients sounded in on the following:
- Now more than ever, our health and survival in the short- and long-term depend on Self-Care. (I would add that self-care includes having personal finances somewhere near “in order”.)
- Realize, though, the financial stability part can only come about after the self-care part is addressed.
Before deleting this message, please read on… to Part One of this edition of TGIF 2 Minutes.
First, what is “Self-care”?*
- Self-care is asking (and answering) “What do I need?”
- Do I need:
- a nap?
- to read a novel instead of professional/work-related reading?
- time in nature?
- a few laughs or a good cry?
- a break from social media?
- a better night’s sleep?
- more vegetables or leafy greens?
- less sugar?
- more water and less booze? (This can be a tough one but worth it!)
The answers to these questions will likely not come immediately! This muscle in our brains is rarely used, if ever. Financial goal setting may be easier than answering the self-care question, “What do I need?” But ask the question anyway!
According to Katie McDonald, a self-care expert, “[there] are small shifts we can make to gain traction” including:*
- Meeting after work, instead of at a bar, for a walk with another 1 or 2 people.
- Instead of another Zoom call, opting for audio only and walking around the block for part of the call if possible – lots of people may have already figured this one out.
- Instead of standing and eating, or eating breakfast in the car, sitting down at a table and actually savoring meals and snacks.
- Instead of blasting the news on the commute, relish the quiet to mentally prepare for or unwind from the day.
- Instead of checking social media for validation, checking in with yourself to ask, “what do *I* need?” each morning (there’s that question again).
- Instead of being distracted by a persistent colleague asking petty questions, set boundaries of when the ideal time is/is not to bug you; allowing time to focus on the bigger picture you are paid to manage.
If this sounds impossible or not fun, apparently the experts say it is not impossible and can be fun. Imagine a small amount more peace of mind by implementing just one or two (or more) of these things. We may need more mental strength that we know in order to deal with events in the short-term. Self-care sounds like a great place to start, both health-wise and financially-wise.
*Katie McDonald, Self-care Strategist; “Self-Care Strategies”; NY.COM municipalmatters, Vol 4, No. 4.