Notice yourself feeling waves of uncertainty and doubt with all of the unknowns related to the pandemic? Atlanta therapist providing online counseling during COVID efforts, I keep telling my clients that if I’m feeling it (and I’ve got lots of training in building resilience in trauma, managing anxiety, etc.), then I know many of my clients are feeling it too.
Many of us high achievers are used to having some sense of control. We pride ourselves in being rational, strategic, and good at doing what we do. But, most of us could not have predicted and didn’t prepare for a pandemic. Businesses, finances, health, wealth, loss….many areas of our lives have been hit hard by a very unpredictable catastrophe.
And now, we’re just coming out of the worst of it (from what we know) and we’re starting to take a look at how we begin building what life will look like. But, it’s so uncertain! We don’t know what the economy will do. We don’t know what our businesses will do. We don’t know how fast we will be able to get back into things or the perfect formula for minimizing loss and moving out of this pandemic.
And some of us aren’t as equipped for this as we’d like to be. We are used to formulas. We are used to being in control. We are used to knowing. Many of my entrepereneurs, leaders, and CEO’s are really struggling with this. Not only do you have to make decisions for your families and cope with the challenges of how the pandemic impacted you, but you are facing making decisions for your employees, businesses, charities, etc.
As an Atlanta therapist providing online counseling during COVID efforts related to distancing, I can say that I don’t have all the answers. But, I have some encouragement for you.
Some Helpful Information for the Entrepreneur, Leader, or CEO:
- Acknowledge your feelings and find somewhere safe to express them: You may not feel comfortable sharing all of your feelings with your team. You may have the sense that they need you to be strong and steady. And, if that’s the case, try and find someone who is emotionally safe to talk to. Maybe that’s a therapist, a best friend, a family member. Remember, you are human and you benefit from expressing your feelings. You are making many tough decisions right now, and not everyone can empathize and validate what this must be like for you since many look to you to lead. So, find someone that can validate you and is a safe place to discuss the difficulty of the decisions.
- Vulnerability can be helpful: As a leader, you may be tempted to act like everything is fine. I challenge you to consider validating the uncertainty though. Lean in to verbalizing that some things are unclear, and that we’re doing the best we can. Take the pressure off of yourself to be perfect and have all of the solutions for life. Many of us do not. We try our best, we seek wisdom and guidance, we put effort in, and we may still struggle with this one.
- Manage anxiety and mood: Recognize that your brain and body are human and they need care during this time. Even though you are a leader, you still have needs because you are human. So, take some steps to care for your body. Get good sleep. Eat life giving food. Rest, meditate, connect with loved ones, and exercise. These are all helpful ways to manage anxiousness.
- Give yourself and others boundaries: Remember that you will have many demands placed on you right now, and you may put too many demands on yourself. Some of the demands, we simply cannot avoid because of the current crisis, but some we can. So, place some boundaries where needed. Maybe you only watch the news in the morning in preparation for your work day, or maybe you only watch it in the evening. Setting this boundary helps you limit the amount of time you expose your brain to the stressful information on the news. Or maybe you set boundaries about how often you allow yourself to discuss the pandemic outside of work. Or maybe you force yourself to turn the laptop off at 8pm and stop taking calls at 9pm so you have a couple of hours of calm after work prior to going to bed.
- Practice gratitude: There are many stressors, many difficulties, and many pains that are occurring. Acknowledge those, and don’t forget to also acknowledge the things you are grateful for Acknowledge positives, even if they’re small (like being grateful you had breakfast this morning, or being grateful for the sunshine, or being grateful for your daughter’s beautiful smile.)
- Remember to acknowledge the important things: As an Atlanta therapist providing online counseling during COVID efforts related to distancing, I’ve worked with many entrepreneurs, leaders, and CEO’s. Sometimes, we can tend to focus on the growth, accomplishment, competitiveness, etc of our businesses and endeavors. But in a time like this, when things are uncertain business is declining and layoffs are being made, it can be disheartening. Remember the values in life that matter and lean into those things. Maybe it’s kindness or family. Maybe it’s your health or your spirituality. Think about what’s most important to you and lean into finding ways to give to yourself and others in those areas.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation: When we are mindful, we are purposeful about focusing on something whether it be family, or working, or eating, or praying. So, allow yourself to mindfully eat dinner with your family while releasing the focus on work, or business, or the pandemic. Focus on fully experiencing that dinner. Same goes for exercise, or work, or whatever else it is you choose to do. And, allow your brain some recovery by engaging in meditation. It has powerful impact on the brain.
These are just some of the ideas we have on helping you get through the pandemic. Of course, remember that we are here and available and providing online counseling in Atlanta during COVID efforts related to distancing.