How business owners, leaders and managers can manage their mental health during the coronavirus
Small business owners, senior leaders and managers have been left reeling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether your business has closed or is still operating, here are some strategies to help you through the toughest of times.
Business in Australia have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Your business may be facing the immediate financial stress of closing down or a reduced turnover. You may be applying for government assistance (often for the first time) and dealing with the emotional impact of what’s happening to a business you’re invested in. You’re also no doubt concerned about your employees who may be dealing with losing their jobs or a reduction in hours.
The general uncertainty about how the coronavirus situation might affect you and your business in the weeks and months ahead can have a huge impact mentally, emotionally and physically, which is why taking care of yourself now is so important.
Below, we detail some immediate coping strategies, and provide information about where to turn for additional support.
Support your staff
It’s natural to be concerned about the ongoing health and wellbeing of your staff, especially those who have been stood down, those whose roles have been made redundant and casual workers who you no longer have work for.
This article looks at ways in which you can support the wellbeing of your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking after yourself
Whether you’re a business owner, senior leader or a manager, to be best-equipped to support your employees, it's important that you prioritise your own wellbeing – both physical and mental.
Some practical tips
- Try to maintain perspective – there will be an end to the situation.
- Make sure you are getting accurate information from credible sources.
- Structure your days and establish a routine as best you can.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns and make sure to get enough rest.
- Look after your physical health, and find a way to stay active.
- Moderate the amount of news you consume.
- Try something each day that makes you feel good.
- Participate in exercises that you find relaxing, and perhaps try therapeutic activities such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga.
Access emotional support
- Seek out support, both practical and emotional. Talking to other people is one way to help make sense of your situation.
- In addition to speaking to colleagues and others you are close to, consider reaching out to fellow business owners and managers who can relate to your specific circumstances.
- Don’t be afraid to speak with your GP or a health professional if you find it hard to stop worrying.
Prepare for life after COVID-19
Whether your business has closed, temporarily shut down or you’re just working reduced hours, it’s important to remember that there will be opportunities to get back to work.
In the meantime, there are several ways you can use the time to focus on the future.
- Consider completing any outstanding administrative activities you’ve simply been too busy for, such as tax reporting, updating your business or department plan, so you are ready for the next chapter in your professional life.
- Enrol in an online training course or conduct online research or background reading into your sector so you can return to work with new knowledge and expertise.
- Share ideas with loyal and trusted staff members who may be able to assist you when it’s time to start working again.
- If your business is still operating or could be revived in the future, small business owners especially might use this time to beef up your online presence, including your website and social media profile. If you’ve always wanted to take your small business online but haven’t had the time, now is an ideal opportunity to get organised.
- Maintain contact with your customers via direct email, social media or signage (if applicable).
- Try to share your business journey with your community in order to retain customer loyalty.