On March 19, 2020, I hosted an open community call to discuss the COVID-19 crisis, and share ideas about how to best take care of ourselves and our businesses during this unprecedented time. Below are highlights from the conversation; it wasn’t recorded, as that didn’t feel quite right, yet there were some nice takeaways.
Read on for ideas and the wisdom of others; I’m grateful for how thoughtful and heartfelt everyone on the call was, and am buoyed by the contributions each person regularly makes to those around them. Thank you for your caring and good work; you’re amazing, and please continue to let your amazingness shine!
We started with stating the obvious.
Big Truth: This is one of the most extreme times you’ll likely ever live through and is not business as usual.
Which lead to the question: How to you shelter in place, maintain social distance, and take care of yourself and your business, when the world has gone topsy turvy?
Which lead to the most fundamental of answers, which is to ask this question: Who do you want to be in this situation? Here are some of what was shared:
- A contributor to others
- A beacon of hope
- A bearer of light
- An aggregator of facts
- A connector
- A person who can lighten the mood
- A listener
- A resource
Feeling the Feels: Techniques to help lower your anxiety and stay present for yourself and others.
- Name the feeling: anxiety, fear, dread, etc.
- Admit how you feel and allow yourself feel the feeling without pushing it away.
- Realize what part of what you’re feeling is yours, and what part you’ve absorbed from your surroundings. Let the feelings that aren’t yours go. This is especially important if you tend to have a lot of empathy, as you’ll disproportionately pick up the feelings of others.
- Practice good self-care: eating chocolate was one way mentioned. 😉
- Practice the releasing technique called The Sedona Method.
- Set aside time to get still and meditate; Headspace and Insight Timer are two apps that are popular.
- Move your body; exercise has been proven to be a great anxiety releaser.
- Get out into nature with walks around the neighborhood, spending time in the forest, and other outdoor spaces that feel inspiring and calming.
- Ask yourself if this feels like an introspective time, and if so, give yourself permission to lean into it and slow down.
- Remember this is an example of what the airlines mean by put your own oxygen mask on first: take care of yourself, then look at how you can take care of others. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t make an effective contribution to anyone else.
Doing Your Best: Discover and use your Super Powers.
- Whatever you know you’re naturally good at, now’s the time to do it even more. We need every Super Power in full effect! Some examples are making music, drawing art, bringing together disparate pieces of information, sitting with clients, supporting doctors to be with their patients.
- Using your Super Powers can be a bonus for yourself, your loved ones, and your clients.
- There are many ways to discover your Super Powers; three of my favorite ways are the CliftonStrengths Assessment (aka StrengthsFinder), the Enneagram, and the Myers-Briggs.
- Use your Love Languages (gift giving, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time) to show others you care.
- Caring for your introvert / extrovert: if you’re in introvert, revel in the extra time and space working from home may provide and use it to conjure up your big thing. If you’re an extrovert, organize online gatherings and facilitate ways to stay connected.
Taking Care of Business. In order to determine what’s appropriate for you in your business right now, ask yourself one question:
> Will this action or decision help more people or fewer people? <
Using this filter will keep you on the path to making business decisions that are good for you, your business, and your clients, and keep you out of sharky marketing territory.
Look for the Silver Lining: Notice what unexpected good things are happening right now. Here are some fun things people are experiencing:
- Creating new music and releasing it to the world and it’s getting great response!
- Technology turns out to be a pretty cool thing I don’t have to be afraid of.
- Increased connection to friends, colleagues and loved ones via calls, texts, and video chats.
- People coming together and being kind; a spirit of camaraderie is in the air.
Stay Safe. Please continue to take care of you and yours, practice social distancing and hand washing, and stay current with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local government websites for updates on best practices; by being conscientious now, we can help prevent needless hardship down the road.