I truly believe as humans; we experience challenges to help us grow and get to the root of who we are intended to be in this lifetime. The first major challenge I had in life, was in my thirties where in two years, I had a crazy tumor resulting in a major surgery, a divorce and at the same time, the loss of my grandfather, grandmother and father, while running my first business. I did not grow or learn healthy coping skills, I simply pushed through. It wasn’t till our four-year adoption wait that I did the work while building my current business. I dug in and learned healthy ways to get through the intense battle of depression and anxiety. I learned how to tame my perfectionism, how to let go of controlling everything I came into contact with and leaned into vulnerability resulting in finding what made me be my healthiest self physically and emotionally. I am leaning into these tools again during this time, and it feels so peaceful.
I recommend for business owners, the following during this time.
Do what you must do first. Handle the employee layoffs, send your team members tools for weathering this time, local food resources, online health resources, financial assistance programs, etc. Then block out time for daily business necessities.
Give yourself a break! Take a stay at home vacation for a minimum of two weeks if you are able. Reset your emotional state for when the time comes, because we know it will! People are going to want to travel and get out of their homes. You will be ready for the push and revenue that you will need to boost your business. As well as be graceful with the restart.
Find your happy place and curb the numbing (drinking, over eating, social media/news surfing, Netflix marathons, any addictions that don’t bring true joy in the end).
- I am a huge fan of 30 days of gratitude. Write down each day, one thing you are grateful for everyday for 30 days. Research shows it is like taking an antidepressant. If you forget a day, you must start over though and make sure to write it down. I do this twice a year when I start to have negative thoughts creep in and I promise, it works! I have also skipped a day because I was so close to the 30 days and thought it wouldn’t make a difference, it does. It is the searching for the area of gratitude that resets your brain and that is why 30 days straight is essential for producing results.
- Find a way to increase your heart rate for 30 minutes once a day. I like to jog or speed walk. Swim, bike, find an online workout video or pull out the old Buns of Steel workout. This will increase your vibration and help your brain fog.
- Meditate in some form. Sitting still is challenging for myself so I like sitting in our hot tub, taking a walk or working in the yard. This gives your brain time to rest and be quiet so that you can later be motivated and creative.
- Essential oils are my medicine. When the anxiety and depression cocktail is taking over, I put lavender and peppermint on the back of my neck 3-5 times a day. I also diffuse lavender to help create calmness in the house.
- Give back. Giving done in chunks creates the highest level of happiness. Send 10 employees thank you cards once a week. Doing so all in one day. Sending one each day doesn’t not create the same results of feeling good. Cook for an elderly once a week. Do something that is in the form of giving.
Once you are rested, positive and functioning at a high level. Now curb the out of control feeling you might still be experiencing and create a plan. Line out what it looks like once you get the green light to open your business back up. Write down all the details and then highlight ones that need to be revamped. These could be operating procedures, technology training, employee team building, etc. This will make you feel like you are in control and ready when the time comes.
With your extra time, find an area for self-improvement. Reading leadership books, listening to self-improvement podcasts, working on being a supportive partner or anything that sparks joy. Maybe even decluttering with Marie Kondo as your inspiration.
This time is opportunity for each of us to show our true selves or work on ourselves to be the best leaders we can be for our team members, family and community. How will you choose to rise during this time?