COVID-19 has presented everyone with new challenges and stresses. Dr. Evelina Grayver of Northwell Health joined TMR’s MasterAdvisor series to share tips on improving mental health and avoiding burnout during this time.
For advisors, Dr. Grayver understands what an important aspect travel is in people’s lives.
“Traveling is the ultimate mental release, it is the ultimate sort of you're taking away a break from your routine you're putting yourself in a place that is unusual that is different you're interacting with different people you have different experiences that in itself is so enlightening it's so inspiring and it's so motivating that it lifts up your mental health significantly.”
“COVID doesn't affect us only one side, just professionally. It affects us personally and professionally at the same,” Dr. Grayver said. “I think that we are all dealing with significant amount of uncertainty and loss at this period of time whether or not that loss is professional or personal it's real, it is significantly real, so how do we cope with this.”
1. Physical activity
Dr. Grayver said her own method of coping has been physical activity. “To me that was the only way that I could potentially clear my head… whether or not it was a 30 minute just a quick jog outside.” She explained that when you're doing anything physical you produce “all of those happy hormones the serotonin and the dopamine that really brighten up that mood.” For some, that could be jogging outside, like herself, or a restorative type of physical activity like yoga or Pilates.
2. Nutrition is key
Staying away from heavy carbs with a high glycemic index, which tend to be really sugary, can help you avoid that feeling of being tired and fatigued, as the blood flow is taken away from the rest of your body to try and digest. Dr. Grayver also suggested staying away from caffeine “outside of a routine level,” because “all you do is you create these sort of highs and lows” when you crash and burn. Instead, up your hydration by drinking water throughout the day.
3. Create a new routine
For most of us, our days are a lot different than what we’re used to. But following a routine “that is well known to us is conforming in these times.” Just make you’re maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands. “Trying to think and living in the past that what it was or what I could be doing now anything else that will do absolutely nothing for you but just create significant amount more anxiety and depression actually,” Dr. Grayver said.
4. Focus on things that you can control
Advisors are dealing with so many uncertainties as so many factors are constantly changing. They don’t know when business is going to fully return or what's going to happen three months from now or even six months from now. “The way that I've kind of been looking at it is really trying to focus on things that you can control and well you cannot and realizing that,” Dr. Grayver said.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Even Dr. Grayver admits this is easier said than done, as stress and anxiety can prohibit one from getting the recommended seven to eight hours of shut eye. “When it comes to turning your brain off, I actually use my physical activity to really kind of physically exhaust myself,” she said. Dr. Grayver also recommends turning off all electronics, for her around 9 pm, “so our mind is not continuously being stimulated.”
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
“Seek that support right whether or not it's from your loved ones, from your friends, or from professional support,” Dr. Grayver said. “Like I mentioned before, at this period of time every one of us kind of understands what it is that we feel when we're anxious or depressed or sad and if we have that loved one that we can confide in great, or if we need a professional wonderful there's no shame in either.”