Whatever your situation might be, it’s not what you would have expected at the start of 2020. Covid-19, stay-at-home orders, shuttering and reopening your showroom and making tough decisions for your business have all been part of the new normal. Having to worry about family, whether or not schools will open in the fall, the threat of contracting COVID-19, the prospects of a long recovery from the recession and isolation from friends, family and regular routines can be stressful.
How can you better manage stress in a world of unknowns? One technique is to use your mind to conquer matter, claims psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais. Gervais specializes in counseling world-class athletes and Fortune 100 CEOs.
Gervais recommends starting each day with a mindfulness exercise. The moment you wake up, take a long deep breath. Inhale for at least 10 seconds, and then exhale for a longer period than you inhaled. Identify something that you are grateful for – good health, continued business success, family and friends, whatever it may be. “Try to really feel it. It’s an exercise in thinking, it’s an integration between thinking and feeling,” Gervais writes.
Determine what type of person you want to be this day. Are you going to be a mentor, friend, a source of calm for others who may be more stressed than yourself? The goal is to see yourself as the best you can be.
Get out of bed and put your feet on the ground. Decide the first thing you want to think about to start your day. Use similar techniques if you lose focus or feel stressed during the day.
Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthier and get enough sleep. The latter may be difficult if you are stressed or your mind is racing. Try going to bed at the same time each night. Matthew Walker, a sleep expert and professor at the University of California Berkeley, relates that your brain thrives on regularity. If you can’t fall asleep, Walker suggests you brush your teeth, read a book or write down your thoughts on a pad of paper or your laptop until you feel tired. Like going to bed at the same time each night, try to wake up at the same time each day.
Make the time to connect with those who are most important to you, even if you have to practice social distancing or meet virtually. This is the time to be compassionate. Everyone has been adversely affected by the global pandemic.
This is also a time of reflection and determining what is most meaningful to you and your family.