WHETHER A PERSONAL, NATIONAL OR GLOBAL CHALLENGE, THESE TIPS AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT CAN SEE YOU SUCCESSFULLY THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES:
| Work on what you can control. Whether it’s our emotions, actions or by giving to, and helping others. When we feel like we have some element of control, rather than being controlled, we’re in a better way. We feel less like victims and gain inner strength. By actively doing something in any area where we feel strong, helps not only others, but also ourselves, rather than feeling down and helpless.
| Set limited goals, one at a time. During challenging times, for many, the goal is sadly simply survival… As fear, the unknown, and needing (or feeling the need) to stay close to home can paralyze us and lead us to a situation of total apathy, even a small goal like getting dressed instead of hanging around in pj’s can positively affect our mood. Cooking your favorite meal. Doing a Whatsapp video with the family. Listening to a podcast. Sending a message or email. Working on something which may not require too much energy. Catching up on a project you saved for after the Holidays. Yes, focus & concentration may be difficult. Try setting a small goal for something you can measure that you did & feel good about. We function at different levels, & many of my friends, family, colleagues & clients are go-getters, used to setting and achieving a lot in a day. During a challenging time, try not be too hard on yourself, on the one hand, yet on the other, try to do “something”, with each of us deciding what that something is, to suit your present personal and family situation. At the end of each day, reflect on & write down your achievements for the day, no matter how trivial they may seem.
| Do good for others. It’s a win-win for all & positively affects our mood. We’ve seen it around us! It’s well known that when we do for others, we, ourselves, gain immensely from the good deed. Whether it’s giving a donation, physically volunteering or assisting in some other way. Everything counts!
| Family-care. It’ll uplift you, just as much as them. Play games, sing songs, watch positive clips, read an online book, and simply connect. Spending time with the family, away from digital influencers, truly communicating and listening to each other is a win-win for all.
| Self-care. If we’re in a good way, we’ll be able to positively influence others. If it means spending a few hours watching Netflix or listening to something inspirational, it’s not only ok, but is a must. Force yourself not to feel guilty that you are was “wasting time”. One of the time management questions I always mention in my time management seminars is “What’s the most important and best use of my time right now?” If it is to relax on the couch right now and watch Netflix, instead of working or being glued to the news, so be it. Even though I chose to add this point after doing for others and for our families, this could & should have been written first (we can only be there for others and provide them with oxygen if we ourselves have oxygen, and take care of ourselves).
| Limit TV and Social media time. If it’s not having a positive effect on you, cut it out or limit it. It affects our sleep, our mood and our self-conscious state, without us even realizing it.
| Know & use your strengths so you can help others. If you’re good at something, have access to particular resources or to a community – use it and reach out to help others as much as possible. If you’re a good organizer, initiate an offering or offer your services to an existing project. If you’re good in technology, likewise.
| What activities to do or not to do if you’re running a business during this time? During a challenging period, you’ll likely find you have more “down time” than what you are used to. You may also be very divided between what you feel you must do, should do, or don’t feel like doing. Things are slower, your clients may not be focused or able to work with you right now, or perhaps you’re not able to attend to the project you were working on. In addition to applying self-care & attending to your family and surroundings first (as mentioned above) below are some business steps and ideas you may want to consider doing, circumstances permitting:
- If you’re not in a position to even think about these elements right now, it’s totally OK. Self-care and Family first!
- Catch up on admin, filing, accounting
- Update your mailing list, your website, and your systems
- Pay outstanding bills. Issue outstanding invoices
- Reach out to your clients & colleagues, letting them know you’re thinking of them, without trying to sell them anything. Let them know re your availability
- If you’re in the middle of a project or order, check in with your client (don’t assume they don’t want to hear from you), see how they are, update them on your situation and together ascertain when or how they’d like to proceed – patiently
- Be cautious what you share online – put on hold current ad campaigns which are less relevant & which may lack sensitivity right now
- Use this time to write articles and record videos. Post what’s relevant. Where less relevant – save them for the future
- Plan a new strategy, idea, product or project (remember the COVID-19 days…)
- Try to use this time as “constructively” as possible. Yes, this time will pass. When you get back into your daily routine, you may not have as much time for some of the above tasks
| Exercise and try to eat healthy foods. Yes, when we lack energy, we often look for that candy or chocolate. For me at least, eating a treat food is part of self-care and gives me a pick-me-up. However, I know that if I don’t do any exercise during this time or eat junk food non-stop, I’ll regret it. Allow yourself to have the self-care (pinuk) which works for you, but try to keep it under control.
| Smile and try to be positive. Yes, force yourself to smile, even if you don’t really feel like it. It’s been proven to make a difference. Fake it until you make it, and until your mind and body feel the positive effect. The effect will rub off on others too. Where possible, try hanging out with positive people who won’t pull you down – this is in general, but is especially relevant during a challenging period.
Lesley Kaplan is passionate about life and enhancing people & processes. As a Business Strategy, Branding & Goal-Achieving Coach, Consultant & Trainer, she enhances & empowers businesses, organizations & individuals in identifying, setting and achieving their goals, & in improving their results. She creates & facilitates networking & business development groups and workshops, & is the Founder & CEO of L.A.K. Creations & Consulting – “Build & Brand your Biz”. She is presently writing two books which will be published this year (pre-orders on Amazon).