Financial Advisors: Are You Taking Care of Yourselves?

The expression “You can’t pour from an empty glass” doesn’t just apply to overworked, overtired new moms. In the case of our current global crisis, it can be applied to the medical professionals on the front lines, parents juggling work while homeschooling their children, grocery store and gas station workers covering shifts for sick colleagues.

It can be applied to financial advisors, as well.

It’s likely that you’ve been spending more time than usual easing your clients’ troubled minds and reassuring them about their portfolios. And that’s a good thing: engaged, accessible financial advisors who are also wearing cheerleader and therapist hats will emerge on the other side of this pandemic with stronger client relationships (and possibly more clients in general). 

But it’s critical to avoid the trap of serving only your clients and not yourself. After all, this is a scary, unprecedented time for every single one of us. We’ve never been here before. And we don’t know how long we will be. You probably have doubts, insecurities, and concerns of your own: maybe your spouse was laid off. Or your kids are home from school, and now you’re a teacher as well as a financial professional. Maybe you have a parent with higher risk of infection.

If you don’t dedicate the time to taking care of yourself, you run the very real risk of burning out, leaving you unable to effectively continue taking care of your clients. Click To Tweet

And while it may be hard to see them, there are silver linings to be found during our forced quarantine. One of them is extra time. Most of us are working remotely, which gives us back the time we used to spend commuting. And we quite literally can’t go out to dinner, to bars, to the movies, or shopping, except to the grocery store. “Wait a second,” I’m sure you’re thinking. “I thought this was going to be about the good things.” 

It is. Without all that traditional noise, there are tremendous opportunities right now for you to focus on your own health and wellness—which can, in turn, make you a better, more effective, more energetic and empathetic advisor (and could have the bonus effect of improving your family relationships, as well). 

Let’s start with fitness. 

Gyms are closed—but outside isn’t. The simplest, most natural form of exercise is walking, and it doesn’t require a single thing except a decent pair of sneakers. And the benefits of walking are countless: improved mood, increased cardiovascular function, enhanced balance and coordination, healthy weight maintenance, management or prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes—the list goes on.   

If you have children who can walk with you, make it a family affair. Or get them out on bikes. In fact, get yourself out on a bike if you have one, and have access to safe roads or trails. 

Maybe you’re missing your favorite fitness classes. There’s no substitute for an in-person workout with all the regulars in your Thursday morning boot camp, but many fitness professionals and studios are offering virtual classes free of charge or with extended free trial periods while the pandemic persists. 

Body weight exercises can be done right in your living room or in the backyard, no equipment required. Choose a handful—squats, lunges, pushups, jumping jacks, burpees, crunches—and do ten reps for five rounds. You’ll be amazed at how energetic you feel afterward.  

You spend a lot of time talking with your clients about financial goals—so you understand the motivation that setting a goal can inspire. Why not set your own quarantine fitness goal? Do an extra pushup every day. Start the Couch to 5k program you’ve never had time to do before. Or simply set a goal to move for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week.

**Want to improve your fitness level and join a community of advisors? Follow us on LinkedIn for regularly updated workout challenges, wellness check-ins, and more!**

It’s important to note that exercise doesn’t have to be an actual, dedicated workout. Use the time you have now to do something active that also fulfills you, like gardening, or restoring antique furniture, or repainting the living room. The bottom line is that the couch and Netflix are incredibly tempting partners right now—resist them. You’ll feel better and perform better if you make the time to move.

Nutrition is another critical piece of the wellness puzzle—and unfortunately, diving headfirst into a sheet cake doesn’t count as exercise. 

Look for fresh produce if it’s available, but remember that frozen is just as good for you, since fruits and vegetables are frozen at their peak freshness (plus they’ll last a lot longer).

Grocery stores are struggling to keep meat in stock, so consider alternative protein sources, such as eggs, beans, and tofu. Now is a great time to get creative, try new recipes, and encourage your family to join in. 

Avoid overdoing it on stimulants, like caffeine, or depressants, like alcohol. Both cause your body to crash, which is hard on both your physical and mental well-being. 

In that same vein, sleep is essential for feeling your best. And it’s understandable if you’ve been having trouble relaxing enough to fall asleep—after all, nighttime might be your only chance to be alone with your thoughts. But poor sleep can have immediate negative effects on your mind and body, so if you can’t seem to shut your brain off on your own, there are some tricks that can help.

Yoga and meditation are both excellent relaxation techniques, and you can find any number of videos for both on Youtube. There are also apps available to help you reduce stress and improve sleep, such as Headspace and Calm.  

Finally—and perhaps most importantly—do not feel selfish for taking the time to take care of yourself. Those 30 minutes you spend jogging, meditating, or cooking a healthy meal don’t just benefit you: they’ll go a long way toward helping you better serve the people who need you.

And if you need us, we’re here! Don’t hesitate to contact one of our team members with any questions or concerns.

Not working with Orion yet? Let’s talk! Reach out today to set up a conversation about how we can help you best meet your clients’ needs.