We’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now, which is especially challenging for business owners. Undoubtedly, many of you are looking at ways to continue some aspect of your business during a mandatory shut down. As an example, now is a good time to bolster online sales of at-home products or promote gift cards for use when you reopen. You also are laying the groundwork for reopening when you can reopen by considering new services or treatments.
Many of you, too, are in the process of applying for loans available under the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. That process can take considerable time.
All of this adds up to a lot of anxiety, making it doubly hard on decision making. There are several things you can do right now to keep your anxiety under control as you deal with the impact of the Corona Virus on your spa or massage practice, as well as friends and family. Besides maintaining good eating habits and exercising regularly – lots of exercise videos on YouTube – try the following:
Stay informed but don’t obsess: The amount of news coverage on the situation can be overwhelming. And, as you change channels or check various online news and other medical sources, you’ll find contradictions. This can add to your anxiety. For starters, curtail how much time you spend watching and listening to the news. You may want to limit your news consumption to a specific time and channel. Also, stick to trustworthy sources, national and local public health officials.
Focus on things under your control: There are many things that you can’t control right now, which can be distracting as you are trying to make decisions about business. Focus on what’s under your control relative rather than situations beyond your control. If it helps, write down the specific worries you have and list all the possible solutions.
Keep a schedule: If you weren’t a schedule maker before, now is a good time to start. Your schedule may include everyday things like when you are going to exercise, clean the house, cook, and spend time online or on the phone, reaching out to friends and family.
Check-in with yourself: Take a minute or two several times throughout the day to ask yourself, “how am I doing.” Are you feeling anxious, frustrated, sad, or overwhelmed? Acknowledging your feelings helps you cope with them and move on.
Argue with yourself: When negative thoughts emerge, such as “how will I get through this,” argue with yourself. Tell yourself that you will emerge stronger than you were before. It may be hard to see how things will get back to normal while you are in the middle of this struggle, but by being strong and refusing to succumb to negativity, you will get through it.
Set aside time to worry: You’re going to worry, but don’t let it cloud your day. Set aside time to worry and include it in your daily schedule. If you start to worry before your allocated time, remind yourself it’s not time. It may take some practice, but it will become an effective way to contain your concern over the things that are troubling you if you can stick to this.
Finally, remember that we’re all in this together. Reach out to friends and family to check in on how they are doing and get input from them if that helps. And don’t focus on the negative all the time. Try to bolster each other with uplifting messages and humor.