Are you feeling uncertain about what your future will be? I certainly have. Even more so, over the past few weeks, before and while being under lockdown in South Africa, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This may be quite a stressful time for you. If you are not careful, you could find yourself slipping into downward spiral of anxiety or depression. Adopting positive coping strategies, may thus be key during this time of uncertainty and going forward. Here are seven (7) strategies that may assist you:
Take time to Reflect
You may be feeling overwhelmed about the current situation. Whether it is because of the constant news shared about the Covid-19 pandemic or the direct impact the lockdown has had on you, stop to take stock and be present in the moment.
Whatever your reason is for feeling overwhelmed, be sure to take time to reflect on what is making you feel this way and what is actually within your control to change. Think about what current opportunities exist. Jot down these opportunities, be proactive to explore these opportunities further and then take systematic action.
Take time to unplug from the media and social networks, to limit your exposure to negative news.
Connect with your Clients
Show that you genuinely care about your clients’ needs during this difficult time. Connect with your clients, to understand their challenges faced during this time. Listen and assess whether you are able to support any of their evolving needs. Support businesses in need. Share free resources that could assist them during this time. Adapt your offering to your clients and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Re-Strategise, Re-focus and Re-Purpose
The impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on your business calls for action. Revisit your business strategy, incorporate the current needs of your clients into your strategic plan and update your budget accordingly. Apply for financial relief, if necessary to assist with your business sustainability. Shift your business focus, to your newly defined business priorities and adapt your business offering, to the market needs that emerge.
Connect with your Team regularly
Connect with your team on a regular basis, especially if you they are working remotely. This is an opportunity for you to communicate with your team, both on a personal and business level to maintain employee engagement. Ask how their day went and how they are feeling, as your meeting ice breaker. Then focus on the goals to be achieved for the day or week. Take time, to get to know your team and where practical, offer support when they are experiencing difficulties to promote their employee wellness and productivity within your business.
Promoting a continuous improvement business culture, is vital in the current global economy. If your business is not able to adapt, then your business, could face the risk of becoming redundant. Regularly reflect on your customer feedback. Ask your team what the business should stop, start and continue within your business. Use this information to take regular action to implement their feedback.
6. Manage your Time effectively
Managing time is of such importance in business, but may not be working as well as you would have hoped. Digital tools are available online, to assist individuals and businesses in managing their time effectively. Plan your day ahead of schedule and block out time for each of your activities. Limit distractions, such as emails. You may be experiencing an influx of emails right now. Set specific times in your day, to respond to your emails.
Manage your Stress
Stress can be triggered by different things. Become self-aware about what your stress triggers are and also about what makes you feel relaxed and at peace. Jot down your stress trigger and also the activities that help you to relax. Take appropriate action to limit your stress triggers and spend more time on activities that help you to relax. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise to also assist you in coping with your stress levels.
In closing, I would like to encourage you to remain hopeful, during this time of uncertainty. It is a new season and new possibilities exist. It is your time to find these opportunities and unleash your potential. Be resilient and bounce back.
Be Safe, Take Care and Good Luck.
Terine Lott-Cupido is the Managing Director at EmpowerLink Services, a Human Resources consulting company, focused on providing HR solutions to small business. For more information visit www.empowerlinkservices.co.za.