Most of the time, when you think about risk management, it usually means you’re thinking about business. Risk management helps identify, assess, and control threats to an organization. (Sounds like something I would catch my mom talking about over a work call.) But the concept there seems like something really useful for everyday life. Who doesn’t want to identify, assess, and control threats and risks to your day-to-day life? So here are a few ways to practice risk management for your personal life.
Ways to Practice Risk Management for Your Personal Life
We can separate life into a few categories. We do it here on Everyday Owl for content all of the time. Your life consists of relationships, your job/career, your health, and money. Don’t get me wrong, other things in our lives make it great, but I’m only going to talk about these broad categories, except for money. (We already did that one.)
Some of life’s most fulfilling ventures come from healthy relationships with friends and family. Healthy relationships don’t just fall into your lap. They take time, work, and intent. I’ve been friends with “the boys” for as long as I have. We carve out time for each other. I live on the opposite side of the country, but nothing has changed between my friends and me. We call each other to talk about new movies or shows. We hop online to play video games, and when I return home for vacation, it’s like I never left. We make time for each other, even if it’s only virtually.
There is an ugly dark side to relationships that is only ever really talked about in romantic relationships. Why would you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t treat you well? Willingly taking on the extra stress of a bad friend is only going to make you miserable. You should have friends who challenge and inspire you, not tear you down and disrespect you. Friends who mistreat you don’t deserve your energy.
No one wants to die at 40 from a heart attack. (If you do, I have no comment.) Manage your health risks by following some simple rules. All you have to do is think of yourself as a plant.
- Drink enough water. Most of the time, when you feel like crap, you’re probably dehydrated and need some water. I set alarms and reminders on my phone to drink water. I don’t realize how thirsty I am until I start gulping down water like I’ve never had it before.
- Eat food. Iced coffee and a bagel aren’t enough food for the day. Plants need nutrients to grow big and tall, but they also need them to maintain themselves. So like a plant, you need nutrients to grow big and tall as a kid, but as an adult, you need them to maintain your body. Eating cleaner helps with energy levels and, at least for me, makes me feel more productive. I feel like an adult when I eat a healthy lunch instead of a Happy Meal.
- You need sunlight, just like a plant. Sunlight is a precious commodity in the Pacific Northwest. Summer rolls around, and everyone stays outside for as long as possible. Winter is right around the corner. As a born and raised South Floridian, I need sunlight. Seasonal depression kicks my butt. My solution was to buy a SAD lamp. You’ll feel better if you get 15 minutes of sun a day. (Don’t forget your sunscreen.)
- This last rule has nothing to do with being a plant but getting some exercise is great for you. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Go for a walk after work. Get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Daily exercise does wonders for mental health.
You can’t control unexpected situations that lead to massive layoffs. (COVID) You can be proactive about decreasing the chances of problems in your career. It’s all about developing your skills and having a little foresight. Otherwise, you won’t grow as a person or an employee.
Always keep your resume updated. You don’t need to update it every week or month, but maybe check in on it every few months. See what needs updating or outright changing. Also, you’re not doing this out of fear of losing your job. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You never know the kind of great opportunities might fall into your lap, so be prepared.
Networking is one of the simplest things you can do for your career. It allows you to learn more about the job market, learn new things you can bring to your current position, and connect you with others who might help if something happens to your current job. It allows you to learn your space and position and what it might look like in similar fields. It never hurts to go out and network.
Risk management is proactively preparing yourself and avoiding risk by taking preventative measures. We might not be able to avoid all types of risks in our life, but we can better prepare for them. Better to have a plan to fall back on than to react to everything as it comes your way.