Many of you would agree, given September headlines, that keeping your sanity in this crazy world would be easier if neither your family nor your major assets reside in a hurricane-prone area, a flood zone or within a targeted range of nuclear weapons.
There’s little we can do to protect ourselves against disasters or lunatics. So let’s focus on people and values that matter most to us and over which we have some responsibility and control.
If you’re one of those folks who live as though you owe your life to your employer and pride yourself on working 80-hour weeks or 24/7, accept the fact that you’re short-changing people in your life to whom you’ve made promises and sooner or later, you’ll pay the price in your health or your relationships.
On the other hand, if going through life with your fingers crossed is about as much effort as you can muster. Go back now to your low-level aspirations and crossing your fingers.
Reduce Your Stress
Following are tips I’ve adapted and pass along to you. These help to cope with some of life’s many stressors in the 21st Century.
- Start with the TV control and other media hype you allow into your life. If any of it puts your gut in a churn or interferes with your sleep, shut it off. You’ll feel better and have more time for people and activities that matter.
- Do everything you know to maximize your health and build a strong immune system. Eat a more healthful diet. Limit your sun exposure and keep your “numbers” (cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure) in line. Keep up with shots and inoculations and get off the couch and move more—a lot more. Exercise is one of the best “all-purpose medications” to help reduce stress. As well as, warding off all kinds of problems from colds, cardiac events, diabetes, obesity, and premature aging. Frequent prayer, meditation, and reflection are musts in my life for the serenity I need and choose to have.
- If there are still things gnawing at you, figure out what’s bothering you and then deal with it whether it takes 10 weeks or 10 years. Don’t wait until problems increase in size and complexity beyond your ability to correct them.
- Live in a place you love where healthcare, cultural, educational, recreation, shopping, proximity to airports, restaurants, family and your faith community match the lifestyle that will serve you now and in the future. That’s a tall order but if you’re not satisfied with where you’re living now why not make a change to “the ideal place?”
- Make spaces in your life for self-care and nurturing relationships with family and friends. Schedule weekly and monthly time for activities that bring you peace of mind, joy, and serenity. For me, that includes taking time to develop new skills, spending time in nature by strolling through beautiful gardens, attending the symphony and art exhibits. What is it that feeds your soul? Sporting events, a day of fishing on the “big lake” or running marathons? Whatever it is, build it in, make it happen and take somebody with you!
Get Your Life in Order
- Whether you’re in your twenties, forties or well beyond, get your financial team in place and schedule periodic meetings with each. These can include a CPA, estate planning attorney and investment advisor. Getting and keeping your financial house in order is not a do-it-yourself project. It requires both time and money. Trust me on this: you need trusted professionals on your side.
- Prepare and organize your financial records in a single place that a family member or your executor could easily locate critical information in the event you’re not there. As a minimum, include and keep current: contact names and addresses, account numbers and passwords for all your professional advisors, financial institutions and insurance policies. Insist that your adult children or anyone for whom you’re the named executor do the same. You may be saving yourself a heap o’time and trouble!
An executor who had just settled the estate of his mother-in-law said to me, “If you think settling the estate of someone who’s head of a traditional household is complex, just wait ‘til you factor in second marriages, step-children, daughters-and sons-in law, grandchildren, and former spouses still listed as insurance beneficiaries. It can get pretty wild!”
You owe it to yourself and those you love to put your life in order while you have full use of your faculties, the ability to make important decisions and the wherewithal to make it happen. You may not enjoy the journey but let me assure you the destination will be worth the trip.
© Judith DeLapa High-Impact Coaching 2017