The Coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything I anticipated to see in my lifetime.
I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I would like to share the steps that I’ve taken to preserve my own mental state and focus during an incredibly difficult time for my family, my loved ones, and my business.
Put Your Oxygen Mask On First
You might be feeling the pressure of “productivity porn” to instantly shift to working remotely and continue to working in top gear.
It’s not realistic that you can carry on at the same rapid pace that you used to maintain without a period of adjustment.
Take a breath. Take stock of your emotions. Do everything you can to get your own personal and financial house in order.
The best way that you can navigate this challenging time is by first tending to your own needs and those of your family around you. Only then will you have the capability to go out and serve others.
Practice physical distancing – NOT social distancing
Humans share a need for connection. Some of us need it more than others, but all of us can get lonely.
Social distancing is a terrible phrase, and I worry for the mental health of so many of us out there feeling socially isolated.
You don’t need to be socially isolated from others, you just need to not be breathing on and touching each other.
I’ve been consciously scheduling time for a chat (and occasionally, a beer) over Zoom with my loved ones, and trying to connect with people I haven’t spoken with in a while to share a laugh and see if they are okay.
You’ll need a sense of community in your life now more than ever, so keep cultivating those social connections in new ways.
It’s time to be valuable, not profitable
This morning I’ve had 4 emails from different businesses outlining why I need to buy their “thing” during the current crisis. It’s not the right approach.
I completely understand that your business needs to survive this and needs to get more cash through the door. Mine certainly does. As a professional recruiter, my industry has been hit hard and fast, with only small pockets of hiring remaining for the moment.
But right now, with most of us operating from a frame of fear and uncertainty, it’s unlikely that people are making any significant purchasing decisions. Trying to push or coerce people into them right now is at best ineffective, and most likely damaging.
I’ll tell you what people will remember though – the manner in which you have treated them right now.
A crisis can cement lifelong relationships when people know with certainty that in a time of need you had their back.
I absolutely do believe business confidence will be back, but right now I’ll focus on being as valuable as I can to as many people as I can.
Practice Small Gratitudes
It’s hard to be grateful when we are being bombarded with fear and uncertainty across the various media platforms.
Instead, find small pleasures.
Be grateful to do storytime with your kids.
Break out some board games and laugh with your family.
Spend some time with your partner on the balcony over a nice glass of wine.
Be thankful that you, and those around you have your health, and that we are lucky enough to live in a country that has the resources to help us through such a huge challenge in a manner that many others cannot.
Accept I can’t control this
Being angry about this situation is like being angry at the tide. It’s going to rise – and fall – regardless of how much I push against it.
I cannot control the environment in which we are, only my response to it.
This too shall pass.
If you need someone to speak with, about anything at all, then I’m here. I know a thing or two about hiring, and careers, and how people communicate, and I’ll do my best to help you – even if you just need a friendly ear.