Written by: Shraddha Gotad, Workforce Development Coordinator, DUKE Heights BIA
April 28, 2020
Businesses play a key role in determining our quality of life by providing jobs, goods, and services to society. One of the significant forces behind running a successful business is the business owner. It is the nature of a business owner to be prepared, and have the resilience to overcome roadblocks that affect the positive trajectory of the business. However, no matter how adaptable the mindset is, it does not make us invincible.
A few months back none of us would have ever imagined that today our community will be grappling with a pandemic that has forced society to isolate and our economy to largely close down. The COVID-19 outbreak has delivered an indiscriminate blow to businesses as everything from small restaurants to multi-national corporations have been forced to change how they do work.
We all find comfort in routine; a way of life that has been upturned in recent weeks. COVID-19 is here, and whether your business is deemed essential or non-essential it is okay to be stressed about your company's financial situation, anxious about the welfare of your employees, and worried about the future.
To our mind, uncertainty equals danger, inducing a level of panic and stress that cripples our desire to stay level-headed. In managing this situation, our emotions may come in waves and change over time and we may notice increased anxiety, increased stress, fear, or worry about our health and the health of our loved ones, changes in sleeping or eating patterns and, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, etc.
Once we understand uncertainty and how to cope with the stress of it, our survival instincts can shift to focus on adapting. Though none of us were prepared for the uncertainty brought with COVID-19, we must accept that COVID-19 will present challenges, but as with most challenges, we can rise to the occasion and create new courses of action. It all starts with finding ways to alleviate our stress.
It is very important to create a New Normal. Now that we have experienced the uncertainty that COVID-19 can bring to our business, as a business owner it is crucial to build a new plan around it. Building a plan of action for your business allows you to prepare rather than panic. When creating a new plan for your business, think about this plan as if you are creating an emergency backlink within your company's functionality. Create a list of obstacles you believe your business will face due to COVID-19, revisit your financial input and output and think about the unique solutions you have for your current customers and employees.
Try and find one new positive in each aspect of your business and personal life that has had to adjust. Decreasing stress means creating environments that are natural, normal, and allow us to recharge. Carve out time in your day to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Incorporating healthy habits during these turbulent times will allow you to resist the negative effects of stress and prevent it from becoming a problem.
Focus on an internal skill to be developed, a new target demographic of clients to reach out to, a new product idea, or even fine-tuning your website. Set a goal that you want your company to achieve that normally would not have been a priority.
None of us can predict when COVID-19 will end. Stay home, spend time with family – call friends and employees, remain updated and flexible, and stay optimistic.
The federal and provincial government has also extended support with relief measures that can help manage and overcome stress and anxiety during this difficult time. You can visit the following links for more information.
- For community information and chat line, please visit:mentalhealthhelpline.ca
- Crisis Services Canada: (Canada-wide) from 4 pm-12 am eastern. 1-833-456-4566 - 24/7, or text 45645 https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
- Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH): CAMH's Psychiatric Emergency Department – 24 hours and 7 days a week http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/care_program_and_services/Emergency_Department/P ages/guide_emergency_service.aspx
- Toronto Distress Centre - 24 hours and 7 days a week Phone: 416-408-HELP (4357) https://www.torontodistresscentre.com/
- ONTX Ontario Online & Text Crisis Services (2 pm to 2 am): It is very important that you register first for this service now before you are in a crisis. http://www.dcontario.org/PDF/ONTX_information.pdf
To use online: http://dcontario.org/ontx.html or Text at 258258.
“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.”
– Randy Armstrong