In my last post, Leading Yourself And Your Business I talked about taking care of yourself because you are at the centre of your business. We’re going to go a little deeper into that because it is critical for your ability to sustain yourself and your business through this time.
We may be living with some form of isolation, social distancing, and other measures for some time while we gradually open things up and continue efforts to contain the virus. So while daily virtual happy hours with friends may have gotten you through the last month, it’s not a good long term plan for you or your business. Developing resilience is going to be key.
You might think that resilience is already your superpower, that you have been through shit before and came out of it successfully. Great! The thing is, no one has been through this particular shit before so many of your very excellent coping and striving skills may or may not serve you here. Your stress, emotions and energy are coming in waves and can change on a daily basis. One minute you feel almost “normal” again, perhaps even optimistic and the next you are completely overwhelmed. You will likely continue to have days where you feel hyper productive and on top of things and other days where all you want to do is heat up a frozen pizza and binge watch a new Netflix series in your PJ’s.
On top of the constant stream of news and social media updates and we now have to consciously think about doing things that we usually do unconsciously, like taking a walk, running errands, or going grocery shopping. This depletes our mental energy without even being aware of it so of course we feel tired and wired. So how can we ground ourselves and our businesses in the middle of this chaos?
There are many ways to find your footing but there is one thing that will definitely help you build and sustain resilience: Routine. Routine is your friend right now. Before this crisis I had regular meetings and deadlines for deliverables and generally more structure in my life, even if I occasionally rebelled against it. Now much of that has been removed and in the absence of that structure it’s easy for days and weeks to blend into each other and to loose track of time. While this is normal for what we are going through, it won’t serve you for sustaining and supporting your own mental and emotional health and your business for the long haul. A routine, some structure in your day will help you maintain your sanity and your focus.
So how can you establish a routine for yourself so that you won’t feel so restricted that you throw in the towel and stay up all night with your latest Netflix binge? I borrowed a few tips from Mark Manson about how to establish a very simple yet effective routine:
Schedule a regular wake up time – Whether you are an early bird or sleep till noon find a time that works best for you most of the time. A regular wake up time will help get your day going with some consistency.
Schedule time for health and self care –rest, exercise meditation, journaling…you need to carve out time every day – one hour minimum, for whatever helps you look after yourself and your energy.
Schedule Time to connect with others – socializing “fun” time with family and friends whether it’s a zoom cocktail hour or virtual bingo, you need to maintain a regular connection with people you care about and who care about you.
Schedule Time to go to bed – even if you aren’t tired. You will have sleepless nights but staying up with the TV or social medial won’t help you. Try a book or guided sleep app.
Schedule work hours – I know that business is not usual right now and you may not have a lot of your normal work to do but this can be a time to reflect and explore some interesting options for your business and invest in developing yourself. (more on that in my next post!) You will have days where you don’t feel like thinking about your business at all but if you commit to just one thing and see it through it will help you move forward.
If you need someone to talk to directly about how to navigate your business through this time, I invite you to please email me to set up a complementary session. Stay well everyone!
Catherine Meyer is CEO and Founder of Catalyst Leadership Solutions. She provides coaching and leadership solutions to a wide range of businesses and industries. Her focus is on helping business owners and entrepreneurs develop their strength in leading people so that they can build their capabilities, enhance growth, and maximize results for their business If you manage a team as part of your business or are in the process of creating a team, Catherine can help you develop your leadership strength to ensure the success of this phase of your growth.