As we discussed in Part 1 of the Living Fully Series, financial advisors have a vital responsibility to support distressed clients during the current crisis. At times like these, I find myself so completely engaged in helping the people I work with that I often let my connections slip with those I love the most.
Right now, you may find that you’re giving your best energy to clients, and under the circumstances, that is understandable. But if my wife gets me at my worst because I’m tired and my emotions are frayed, that’s not good for either of us. I’ve come to realize that my wife Kelle has her own set of worries that she is carrying, and she can feel helpless too. Sometimes I assume that because she has been married to me for 33 years, she is immune to the fear and worry created by volatility in the markets. I need to be sensitive to her concerns and worries.
Cooking dinner together is what my wife prays becomes my love language. I’m not sure I’ve gotten to that point, but meals are a great opportunity to put the phone down, stop watching the news and the markets and connect for a few minutes. Take responsibility for putting boundaries around your job. It’s important to prioritize time together, such as going for a quick walk, watching a movie, playing a game, or Facetiming with family. I’ve found that taking even just 10 minutes to connect with my wife can do wonders. Try asking your spouse or partner: What are you worried about and thinking about? Is there something I can do to help? It’s also a chance to share how you are doing yourself. What do you need to do to take care of yourself? The people who love you the most can be your best sounding board.
If you have young kids at home, you are probably running a school or daycare while also trying to work remotely. Along with balancing your and your partner’s work-at-home responsibilities, make sure to spend some time connecting with your children. It’s often moms who end up with the larger share of childcare, even when both partners are working from home, and dads can help relieve some of that burden by taking the kids out to shoot some baskets, going on a walk, reading to a younger child or playing a quick board game. Let your kids know that while you are very busy and this is a challenging season, you are never too busy to carve out some time for them.
Our parents and other family members are worried about the stress we are experiencing and it’s important to connect with them too. It’s a chance to receive their care and concern, and help share their burdens as well. Frequent short phone calls can really lift everyone’s spirits.