What Keeps You Up at Night

It’s 2am. Everyone else is asleep, but you’re lying awake, having worrisome thoughts.

“My mother is one fall away from needing full-time care.”

“I’m not spending enough time with my kids.”

“I still haven’t scheduled that MRI/eye exam/dental procedure/diagnostic.”

“College has gotten so expensive—how can we make it work?”

“What if I don’t have enough money to retire?”

Our biggest life stressors — such as familial concerns, financial strains, job pressures, or major life transitions—are commonly responsible for racing thoughts at night. They may be related to our past experiences, present circumstances, or future aspirations.

Worrying about these stressors won’t solve our problems, but it can make us aware of the things we need to bring to light.

Why We Experience Nighttime Worrying

For many of us, daily life distracts us from our anxious thoughts. We can keep ourselves busy with an endless list of projects, to-dos, and surface interactions to escape anxiety. But in the middle of the night, without the usual daytime diversions, we can’t hide from the issues we may be avoiding.

Fatigue compounds the difficulty of coping and dealing positively with our concerns. At night, our brains lack the energy needed to keep them in perspective. It’s the perfect recipe for nighttime worrying.

And until we identify and address our issues, they will likely continue to surface.

A Thoughtful 5-Step Approach

You’re not alone, nor are you the only one who has had these thoughts or worries.

Quite often, things OUT of our control cause us the most stress. Much of the planning work we do with our clients includes incorporating control into some of life’s uncontrollable situations. Many of these scenarios involve the intersection of wealth, family, and longevity.

We encourage clients to follow our 5-step approach to starting crucial conversations associated with their biggest concerns and issues:

  • Reflect
  • Identify
  • Prepare
  • Act
  • Ease

1. Reflect

Reflect to help you to understand your communication habits…and how your past experiences may have shaped them.

From a young age, many of us learn that it’s tough to be both truthful and polite at the same time. We start to believe there are some things we shouldn’t say to certain people (including ourselves). And as we get older, that list of things we hold back just keeps getting longer, resulting in our silence around some of the most important issues we face in our lives.

You can reflect on your worrisome thoughts through writing, talking to someone you trust, or seeking help. Keeping a notebook and pen at your bedside to jot down or journal about the things that keep you awake at night is a simple way to start your reflection process. 

  • What are the specific issues causing you to worry?
  • How do you typically cope with these challenges?
  • Are you hesitant to address them openly? 
  • Do you have a support system to help you to tackle your concerns?

Self-reflection can help you gain clarity and perspective around your worries or concerns. It’s the first step you can take toward intentionally resolving these challenges in ways which align with your values.

2. Identify

Identify the most important life issues you’re facing…that need to be addressed but have been postponed or avoided.

Many weighty issues require considerable reflection and often lack clear solutions. When they occupy our minds, we tend to overthink or envision catastrophic outcomes.

Let’s go back to those thoughts that were keeping you awake at night. A useful way to frame these worries is by presenting ourselves with complex and abstract social questions around them, such as:

  • What’s truly at the heart of what’s troubling you?
  • What do you really want for yourself and/or other people or relationships at hand?
  • Just as importantly, what is it that you really DON’T want as an outcome of these worries?
  • What can you do right now to move toward those goals?

If we can focus on questions like these, our minds can reengage in a different, unemotional, and productive way. Once you feel you’ve truly identified the heart of the issues you want to address, you’re ready to move onto the next step in our process.

3. Prepare

Prepare with the support of trusted resources that educate and empower you…to more easily open lines of communication.

It’s natural to feel anxious, especially when facing crucial and unfamiliar challenges. Having access to trusted resources and an experienced support team can help you gain the answers and knowledge you need to keep moving toward resolution. We frequently serve as a sounding board or guide for clients, helping normalize and demystify many of the important topics on their minds.

Ultimately, many of our clients’ worries involve their loved ones or other important connections. We can help them prepare to have candid conversations in a way that can strengthen, improve, or mend those relationships.

For example, we often support our clients in preparation for a family meeting. Who can we connect or collaborate with today to gather information and educate? How can we help put things in place if a family member is beginning to experience dementia or other significant health problems?

Often, “we don’t know what we don’t know”. Clients and their loved ones can engage in an open dialogue or schedule a 20-minute “Ask Us Anything” session with our team. This can serve as an initial step in preparing to address the underlying issues you or your family may be avoiding.

Whether you’re worrying at 2am or 2pm, we can help prepare you to resolve some of your deepest life issues and challenges.

4. Act

Act on your plan to take purposeful, confident action…to build control into life’s uncontrollable situations.

Confidence to act grows with experience, as we’re reminded of and see evidence that we’re on the right track. For most people, major life events like retirement or the loss of a parent or spouse happen only once. But our team has helped clients through these scenarios many times over.

Our long history in collaborative financial and estate planning helps us guide clients through their biggest life transitions with assurance and support.

Taking clear and informed actions, no matter how small, can introduce a sense of control into the uncertain situations you may be facing.

5. Ease

Ease your mind, finding comfort in having faced these issues…reflecting alignment with what matters most to you.

Feeling a sense of ease as you address your most important concerns can be wonderfully comforting.

Because life is ever-changing, our crucial concerns tend to develop, shift, and evolve with it. We’re committed to continuously seeking to understand each of our clients’ individual situations, making ourselves available to provide the necessary support to help clients move forward confidently.

Ultimately, our hope is that the deep and enduring relationships we build together can help our clients experience more ease and sleep better at night.

Start at Your Own Pace

Each of us will start addressing our biggest concerns when we’re ready.

Reflecting and identifying are foundational tasks that you can take individually and at your own pace, allowing you to concentrate in your own time and environment.

Here are some simple ways you can help move toward resolving what’s keeping you up at night:

We’re here to help you prepare for and act on the crucial conversations and decisions you’re facing.

Our thoughtful approach to facing and addressing your biggest concerns is an ongoing process. Regularly reviewing your financial plan and seeking guidance from our team can provide you with reassurance and help ensure you’re equipped to navigate whatever may come your way.

The more we know, the more we can help.

HT|TC Wealth Partners is a group comprised of investment professionals registered with Hightower Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Some investment professionals may also be registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC. All information referenced herein is from sources believed to be reliable. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates make no representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or for statements or errors or omissions, or results obtained from the use of this information. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates assume no liability for any action made or taken in reliance on or relating in any way to the information. This document and the materials contained herein were created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s), and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax or legal advice. Clients are urged to consult their tax and/or legal advisor for related questions.

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