Everyday life as we know it is about to look a lot different.
If the COVID-19 virus continues to spread locally at the same exponential rate it has in Europe, things are going to become very real very soon.
From an economic perspective, it’s sobering to consider just how deep an impact there will be for many businesses and families who find themselves out of work.
With all of this going on around us, making intentional decisions with where you choose to focus your attention and energy will be critical.
Here are some reasons to be/ways to stay positive to refer back to when the world is looking bleak:
- Couch Courage: Instead of focusing on the ways the current situation is disrupting your life, try and shift your perspective. You’re part of a collective effort for the greater good of humanity. That’s pretty cool.
- Family Bonding: For many, the coming weeks will provide a unique opportunity for some serious quality time with their loved ones. If you have kids, they’ll likely remember this period the rest of their lives. I recognize how challenging balancing work priorities and home life will be. Just remember that you get to choose how you spend it.
- This is Our Time: We’re living in the greatest time in the history of the world for this to happen. Instead of being asked, “Are you still watching?” by Netflix, take some time to explore some new passions. You can tour over 2,500 museums and galleries right now via Google Arts and Culture: If art isn’t your thing, there are 450 Ivy League courses available for you can take online right now for free. There's an endless amount of opportunity at your fingertips to learn, grow and develop your skills.
- Connection: Social distancing doesn't have to mean less social connectedness. Use your change in normal routine as an opportunity to deepen existing relationships and develop new ones. It's exciting to think of how many more people will be comfortable using apps like Zoom, which I regularly use for client meetings. Speaking of Netflix, you can also still binge-watch shows or movies together with your friends.
- Perspective: Without question, seeing your investments drop in value is painful, especially the way the last couple of weeks have gone. Just remember that being concerned about your portfolio is a luxury that approximately half of Americans don’t have. The same perspective can be applied to your health, job, and home.
- Staying the Course: It’s far too early to determine the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the global economy. When there’s no playbook, all we can do is look at the past. Since the late 1920s, here are the 12 bear markets worse than the current one and how things went how things went afterwards:If you’re like me and choose to think that we will eventually recover from this, history indicates that you’ll be rewarded for doing so (and if you think otherwise, we’ll have bigger problems).
- Outcomes: When we get through this, businesses will be much more efficient. Teachers will have experience with applying new methods of learning. Who knows, maybe we’ll look back and realize that a global pandemic was what we needed to finally bring people together to enact significant change for the better. I’m hopeful that on the other side, we’ll see more kindness and understanding in society, more bipartisanship, and significant policy reform made.
- Progress: China has reported no new local infections and closed its temporary hospitals. There will be many more positive reports as the world recovers. Take solace in knowing that there will be a definitive end in sight, we just need to weather the storm first.
- Rockstars: There are hundreds of thousands of heroes being born every day right now. Healthcare professionals are working around the clock risking their own health to care for others. Supply chain workers, cleaning services, community leaders, and many more are all stepping up in crisis because it’s just what they do. Don’t let your lack of ability to go to the gym get in the way of appreciating that.
- Humanity: Without fail, I’m struck by the collective response of our society to step up and support one another in times of need. For everyone one person that hoards toilet paper, ten others are going out of their way to provide it: When in doubt, #lookforthehelpers (h/t to Lauren Hall). Humanity and the genuine care for one another is and will always remain undefeated.
Remember that while there’s much going on right now that we can’t control, there’s much that we still can.
Stay positive, stay well, and let’s get through this thing together. It's going to be one heck of a party when we do.
Brett Koeppel is a fee-only Buffalo financial advisor, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM , and the Founder/President of Eudaimonia Wealth. Eudaimonia Wealth is a fee-only, fiduciary, Buffalo financial planner and wealth management firm dedicated to helping families prepare for and transition into retirement by providing independent, objective financial planning and investment management advice.