Each of us has seen enough news reports and online articles by now to have something to worry about, whether it’s Coronavirus itself, economic and financial fallout, or our plans for the ensuing weeks and months being put on hold. Fear could easily get the best of us.
Social distancing, quarantine, and shelter-in-place are the emphases of our nation. Most of us have a lot of time at home on our hands, time that can be spent either fretting or making the most of our disrupted lives. Let’s make it the latter.
There are three practices that we find therapeutic and useful for ourselves and our clients, and we recommend them for everyone:
Organize Your Stuff
You might be getting around to household projects you’ve wanted to tackle for a while, and we suggest you add this to the list. Organize your stuff (and by that, we mean both finances and physical possessions), but go a step farther than straightening up or getting rid of things.
Take inventory of what you have, and make lists that will help your loved ones in the future.
Anything can happen to any of us at any time. Regardless of your age or health, it’s a wise rule of thumb for you to organize your assets and possessions so that someone could make sense of things should you die or become incapacitated.
We suggest two such lists:
An Estate Guide and Inventory
An Estate Guide and Inventory lists all your assets and their locations, account logins and passwords, insurance policies, etc. It’s meant to help your Executor or next-of-kin as they sort through your estate after you die, and it makes their job easier by leaps and bounds.
A Gifts and Memories List
A Gifts and Memories List helps you organize your physical possessions. You can use it to designate certain items to go to certain people once you pass away.
It might seem morbid to think about your death, but you’d be surprised how soothing it is to prepare in this way. It will make you feel more confident about the future, and it will be an enormous blessing to your loved ones when the time comes.
Write Your Thoughts About Life
These uncertain times provide us a greenhouse for reflection. We’re limited by quiet and stillness, and ironically, freed by them too. Look around you, watch Spring unfold, and think about what’s important in life. When COVID-19 and its effect passes and life returns to “normal” many of us won’t have the same slow pace by which to consider what matters.
We encourage you to write these thoughts down.
Now is a perfect time to make your Ethical Will, a document we regularly urge our clients to create.
Ethical Wills are documents meant to express your highest values and pass on what you believe when you die. If you put it with your other end-of-life documents so that your loved ones can access them after your death, they’ll have a piece of you to treasure and remember.
Nurture Your Relationships
This takes the most creativity during social distancing and looks different than how we normally tend to the people we love. What do you do when you can’t hug and kiss your grandkids or spend time chatting over a meal with close friends?
The first two practices are practical ways to care for your loved ones. Just taking time to organize and ensure that your loved ones will get specific gifts from you is caring in and of itself. It shows you’re willing to work to make the future easier for them.
We’re finding that nurturing relationships right now can also look like writing letters to old friends, calling to check in on those you care about, or praying for people.
We’ve got time on our hands. Let’s make it count in ways that nourish our souls and are productive for others.