Small business owners are one of the populations that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 social distancing rule. I can only imagine the immense frustration, hopelessness, anger and fear you are feeling. As a small business owner, you carry a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You not only feel responsible for the livelihood and safety of your family, but that of your employees and their families as well. However, trying to take responsibility for things bigger than us and that are outside of our control is not going to help. Focus on the things that are on your power and you will be more successful at helping others and yourself. We can only do what is in our control.
1. Make a plan
· Assess if your business can/should remain open.
· Brainstorm creative ways to make an income/keep your employees employed
· Add remote, online, delivery services.
· Finding longer term solutions. We are not in a sprint, this pandemic has become a marathon. This is going to continue for awhile
2. Take care of yourself:
· Eat well
· Move your body
· Limit news, limit screen time, focus on the right source
· Don’t over watch
· Adopt healthy coping mechanisms. (Crisis can push us to adapt problematic coping mechanisms.)
3. Create new normal and grieve the loss of normal
· That awkward feeling you are feeling is grief.
· The loss of connection
· The loss of normal
· Realizing that at the end things are going to be different
· Five stages of grief apply to this event we are living.
4. Don’t Compare your suffering to other’s suffering.
Deep fear and uncertainty triggers comparison. Don’t minimize and compare your suffering to others. Don’t deny yourself permission to feel. Feelings are not going to go away even if we denied them. They double if we push them, and they invite shame. Shame is an egocentric feeling and it makes us wonder what others are thinking about us. It distracts us from what is important. Therefore, making us incapable of offering empathy. Practice self-compassion and show up for yourself, so that you can be your best self for others. Having empathy is a beautiful thing, and as a collective now more than ever is the time for us to give love, compassion and care for each other.
5. Honor your Struggles
· Feel your emotions, complaining is ok!
6. Perspective is Healthy and Helpful
· Be grateful for what you have today!
· Think about ways you can be of help and support to others even in smalls things such as calling or sending a text to check on someone.
· As small business owners think about ways you can provide resources to your employees. Such as how they can reach out to file for government assistance or where to look for temporary jobs.
· Depending on the business you own think about ways you can utilize your business resources to help the community.
About The Author
Valerie Nuila is the Practice Coordinator and Content Marketing Coordinator at Aspen Psychology and Counseling. She is currently attending Rollins College in order to obtain her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.