"Focus on the long-term – there's going to be turmoil and stress, but remain positive that we're going to come out of it."
– Craig Strain, Red Willow Wealth Management financial planner
When Strain said the above quote to Gazette reporter Brittany Gervais recently, he was talking about why it's important not to have a knee-jerk reaction to the impact market changes are having on your investments. But the advice itself transcends financial planning.
With the sheer volume of COVID-19-related news we are all being exposed to, and how quickly things are developing, it's easier than ever to get bogged down in the fear, anxiety and uncertainty of the moment. And if you have been overwhelmed by the past week, it may seem like there is no end in sight for how COVID-19 is ravaging our economies and personal lives.
But there will be an end to this, and taking a long-term view can help you get through. In times of crises, it becomes more important than ever to mind your mental health. Most of us are not used to being cooped up for long periods of time, especially if it inhibits our ability to interact with our loved ones. With private gyms and public recreation facilities shut down, even the mood boost from a good workout can be tough to achieve.
To those of you who are feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a breath, take a break, and take comfort in knowing we will eventually return to some semblance of normality, even if that's months away. Our economy will rebound and the memories of people's kindness and giving through these difficult times will linger.
In the coming days, you'll see stories from us on ways to keep yourself mentally – and physically – healthy, whether that means exercising from home, accessing e-resources for learning and leisure, or simply giving your brain a break with a look at some of the positive things that are happening in our community and around the province. We hope those will help cut through the noise of sad and frustrating stories – although those are important ones, too.
As we weather this storm together, keep in mind that our community is full of good and loving people wanting to make a difference. There are personal trainers and fitness experts giving free tips on maintaining your fitness level, which you can read more about in an upcoming edition of the Gazette. More broadly, the National Arts Centre is running a series of live e-concerts that anyone can tune into.
Our country is full of efforts that help bolster our faith in human kindness. If your worry is more of a financial nature, both our federal and provincial governments have just released plans to help us cope with the impact COVID-19 may be having on our livelihoods. You can read more about that on our website at StAlbertTODAY.ca.
And if you're simply hungering for human contact, a phone call, letter or online gathering can do wonders.
Above all, stay safe and healthy, and remember that this, too, shall pass.