Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty. A lot of chaos. Right now, no one knows what the future holds, and the best laid plans are unravelling. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and let that affect us, both in terms of our work and productivity, and in terms of our mental health. Even our physical health can take a battering.
A question that has been asked many times in the past but that seems so much more urgent now is: “How can I stay healthy and reasonably happy and optimistic with so much chaos and uncertainty all around?” There are answers to this. It is not impossible. Even if you can see exactly how precarious your business is right now, even if you are the one responsible for pushing forward and for helping your employees be more optimistic, it can be done. You need to step back and take stock, give yourself time to assess the situation objectively, and then start to move forward.
So just what are the issues that business owners face that will make them wonder how to stay sane in a crazy world (whether that craziness stems from a global pandemic or from something else)? Apart from the ones just mentioned, business owners may also be feeling overwhelmed (perhaps overburdened although they probably wouldn’t want to admit it) because their employees are constantly bringing their own problems into work. Those who are in charge of others at work are exposed to much more negativity than most other people who only have their own issues to think about. So, it becomes even harder to navigate to a positive space through these murky, negative waters.
This becomes even more of a problem when that business owner and employer genuinely cares for their staff. And, to be fair, that does tend to be the majority. So again, not only are bosses listening to other people’s problems, they find themselves trying to think of ways to help those employees in need. This can sometimes come at the detriment of their own needs and wants. Their own problems can be pushed to one side and not dealt with at all – that’s not a good way to stay sane in a crazy world, is it?
And we’ve all heard the phrase ‘it’s lonely at the top’. It may be a cliché, but that does not stop it from being true. CEOs and other bosses are extremely vulnerable. They don’t have anyone to talk through their problems with, but they are the sounding board for everyone else’s. Does that sound familiar?
How To Be More Positive
With all this negative energy flying around, with all these unsettling thoughts, and particularly now with these peculiarly uncertain times, it might seem like a struggle, if not an impossibility, to be positive. However, a positive outlook really can change everything. It is certainly the first step to staying sane and being able to work out what to do next that will benefit you, your employees, and your business as a whole. Here are some ways to get that positivity into your life, even in the most trying of times.
It’s All About Perspective
If you can keep things in perspective, you will be much more likely to have a positive outlook. Yes, things are bad now, there is no doubt about it, and no amount of wishing and hoping is going to change that, but if you look to the future, perhaps six months from now, a year, whatever timeframe works for you, things will have changed. Nothing lasts for ever, good or bad. So, if the economy is struggling, it will get better. Keep these thoughts in mind and keep working towards them, never losing sight of your goals.
It’s Not All About Work
Yes, your business is important, of course it is, but is it everything? If it is, you need to think again. Life as a whole needs to be a balance between work and play, between business and family and friends. If the only thing you ever do is work, no wonder you feel negative whenever anything threatens your business, even if it is completely out of your control.
Developing other interests means you can have time when you’re not thinking about work, and it is in these times that you’ll often come up with the best ideas. Let your mind relax and give yourself a break.
You Are Not Your Job
No matter how proud you might be of your career and what you have done for yourself, you must always keep in mind that you are not your job, and you never should be. Don’t define yourself in this way; it’s far too narrow for something and someone as complex as a human being. Your work may well occupy much of your time but try not to let it be everything. If something goes wrong, you will feel it much more strongly if you have nothing else in your life, and this is bad not just for your sanity, but for the business too – you’re more likely to jump into making desperate decisions just to keep things going.
Take Some Alone Time
It is easy to get distracted by other people, the internet, the news… but all these distractions are doing is making you less productive and causing you to worry more – and be more negative. So, ensure you take some alone time periodically with no distractions at all. Switch off your cell phone, don’t check your emails, stay off the internet… just be by yourself.
Use this time for some reflective thoughts about your current situation and how you can change it. You might have the power and information to be able to do this, or you might not. At least by thinking about it you’ll know, and if you can, you may figure out what to do about it.
Many people find their best ideas come to them when they aren’t searching for specific answers, but when they are in this reflective, contemplative state. If you’ve ever come up with a wonderful idea in the shower, now you know why!
Take A Vacation
Yes, travel is restricted right now, but a vacation doesn’t have to be something that happens away from home. You can take a week off and not travel anywhere and try not to think about your business at all. You’ll need to delegate some of your work because the last thing you want when you are trying to get away from it all are intrusions into your life. If you don’t think you can delegate, then there are two issues to consider: you have either not got the right employees in your business, or you’re too wrapped up in the business to let anyone else do anything. Which is it? How can this be fixed?
The more you learn, the more ammunition you’ll have against this crazy world of ours. Read anything and everything that will expand you mind – not just business books (although of course they can be extremely useful) but anything that will give you a different idea, a new perspective, a fresh opinion. Expand your worldview and you’ll be able to be much more successful because you’ll be able to see more angles and overcome more challenge.
Enjoy Family and Friends
Spending all your time alone isn’t good for you. Spending all your time with your employees isn’t good for you either. You need to spend time with friends and family too. These people are there to help you through life – think of them as a gift, and not one you’ll want to waste.
Ideas can come from anywhere and anything, including playing with your kids, so never discount anything.
Have Someone To Talk To
Lastly, it’s important to have a trusted advisor to talk to. Just as every employee can feel better after unburdening themselves to their employer, so that employer in turn needs to offload the negative. To do this, having a mentor or someone you know you can relate your worries, troubles, and thoughts to is crucial. It will help to clear your mind, help you to reassess the situation, and even give you new ideas on how to move forward.