I recently listened to a podcast that has helped me better understand the psychology behind our emotions and actions during the Covid pandemic. Brené Brown chatted to Dr Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and Harvard lecturer, about her recent Washington Post article “Why this stage of the pandemic makes us so anxious.” She explains the emotional rollercoaster that we’ve all been on, entering and exiting wave after wave of Covid repeatedly. And the fact is, no one really knows how the story will play out.
We are confused. My friends, myself included, are still feeling a bit lost. We have not really adapted to the pre-vax or the post-vax rules. Our minds and our bodies are exhausted with constant worry, sadness and uncertainty. We have been running on adrenaline for a long time now and the end is still not in sight.
So what do we do? We look for change. People often look for change when they are feeling lost or out of control. Most people look for change after introspection and a desire to align their lives with their values. And in most cases, these changes are positive.
One of my clients decided to stop putting off their intended move to the West-Coast until after retirement. They felt strongly about living their best life now, not sometime in the future. We worked out a Plan, ran the scenarios and implemented the move without risk to their long-term strategy. Another client planned to retire in a few years, but after contracting Covid, he realised that there were so many things he wanted to do in this life. He wanted to spend more time on his Karoo farm and start going on all the trips he and his wife have always talked about. Fortunately, they had enough funds, so the plan worked.
I have seen a few clients that have decided to get divorced. In all the meetings I’ve had, the decision was not taken lightly but rather on not wanting to cause their partner any more unhappiness. Working these Plans have been about how both partners can exit the marriage with enough funds to start afresh.
This has been a good time to take a step back and re-evaluate many things in our lives. And change is good. But the change must be planned, thought through and based on what you value most. I believe we must be extra careful in this time, given our heightened stress and anxiousness when thinking about change. We don’t want to be making irrational decisions for the wrong reasons and regret them later.
If you consider significant changes that will alter your life, please reach out to your financial planner. It is so important to get objective advice that will not sabotage your financial plan.
Always remember, when it comes to your money, be inspired, be brave and be on purpose,