Self-care: finding peace in a time of crisisStuart Taverner
We are over 100 days into the Coronavirus pandemic, and I don’t know about you but I’m just exhausted. Constant media updates, stock prices tanking and no loo roll – just flushable wet wipes, mmm lavender. It can’t be overstated, the way we lead our lives is changing.
As small business owners, it’s a truly difficult time. Tourism, hospitality and retail have been severely affected. In fact, all industries have been affected. With customer behaviour changing rapidly – stockpiling, streaming, no sport on tv – and the government promoting social distancing to manage the spread, it’s easy to feel a sense of unease. However, we need to remember self-care.
This is an extraordinary and stressful time.
We asked ourselves, how can we, in some small way provide value? We didn’t want to write a post on increasing revenue for small business in times of crisis or the best ways to weather a pandemic – how can we when the situation is changing every day? We’ve never seen anything like this. What we can do is provide a bit of advice on how to maintain an element of calm within the storm which is exactly what we’re trying to do here at Cashflow Manager.
Self-compassion before self-care
The problem we face now, aside from the pandemic, is the switched on, fast-paced lives we lead. Access to work emails 24-7, mobile phones serving notifications screaming for attention and constant news updates from around the world. Add this to the demands of looking after family and keeping your business running, life is hard graft.
Being self-compassionate is essential to maintain the type of lives we lead.
You might feel that self-compassion is akin to self-pity, being self-centred, or even narcissistic and you don’t want to indulge in any of those activities, however, we need to recognise that as humans, we are not perfect.
Research has shown being self-compassionate alongside practicing self-care, makes it easier to deal with stressful scenarios and ultimately, helps you to achieve your goals. This is something we really need right now.
What is self-care? It is something we do deliberately to look after our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. A simple concept in theory but in practice, often overlooked. It is key to improving your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. In a few words, it is trying to lead a balanced lifestyle.
How to practice self-care
Most people probably won’t be having the best night’s sleep right now, but 8 hours a day is crucial to dealing with stress and coping with everyday life.
- Avoid caffeine 4 hours before bed.
- Don’t lie in bed awake – if you find yourself restless, then get up have a warm drink, keep a note pad at the side of your bed to write down anything that is troubling you.
- Do put your electronic devices away an hour before bed.
- Create a regular bedtime routine with the family and find ways to relax the kids – maybe a warm bath and bedtime story (if your kids are young – not sure your teenagers would appreciate this!)
I think we’re due a good laugh, don’t you? Watch your favourite stand-up, comedy movie, crack a few jokes with friends over text or video chat and take time to forget about all that is going on in the world.
Relaxation exercises / mindfulness.
Breath focus, mindfulness meditation and yoga are all techniques to manage stress and anxiety. If you find yourself working from your home office, we have a guide on chair yoga. Taking time out for you, focusing on the current moment in time, is a great way to check-in and minimise worrying about things outside of your control.
Small life changes.
Our lives are already changing, so you might think that this is a little silly, but honestly, changing small routines in your life can make a huge difference. Drinking less coffee or only having one beer in the evening will make you feel less groggy and improve your heart health. Or asking a friend to take the kids one night, so you can have a bit of me or us time (social distancing might make this more difficult, so maybe make a deal with your partner to give each other a timeout away from the constraints of family life).
Here at Cashflow Manager, we are now working from home. We are doing what we can to support our staff, and customers as we all come to terms with a different reality for the foreseeable future. Genuine self-care starts with taking time to be self-aware. Develop compassion for yourself and in times like this, focus on caring for your emotional and physical wellbeing.
The blogs you should be reading:
- Chair yoga: how to help your physical health at work
- Top tips for keeping healthy in the workplace
- Leadership mastery: knowing your weaknesses