Small businesses are on a roller coaster. The pandemic is forcing many to shut their doors temporarily and even those that can remain open are experiencing dips in sales as would-be customers stay at home. Not only do entrepreneurs need to consider new COVID-19 developments making news each day, they must also support their employees as best they can while keeping their books balanced.
This is a monumental task, and to face it as best they can, entrepreneurs need to prioritize their mental health. In honor of national small business week, the Be team has compiled our top mental health tips for entrepreneurs amid the pandemic. As a small business, Be Meditation is uniquely positioned to discuss this topic. Read on for our take.
- Surrender: So much about the pandemic is beyond our control and it’s easy for small businesses owners to fall into extreme anxiety about the future. Try to surrender to the things you can’t control. You can’t change stay-at-home orders or snap your fingers and make the virus go away, and spending time railing against these realities is a waste of energy. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t think about contingency plans or efforts to pivot your business—those are positive ways to deal with uncertainty. But when you find yourself agonizing over what you can’t control, gently acknowledge this line of thinking isn’t helpful, take a breath, and redirect to something you can impact—whether it’s helping your business by fulfilling online orders or improving your mood by going for a walk.
- Set boundaries: Given the current landscape, you may be spending all your time trying to save your business. While this may seem like the right thing to do, it’s critical to make time for yourself. You can’t show up as a leader and help your business navigate this crisis if you’re exhausted and caught up in negative thoughts. Set boundaries between your personal life and work. Carve out time for yourself each day to disconnect from your business and go for a walk or cook a meal. Find time to be present with your friends and family. By creating boundaries, you’ll come back to work refreshed and in a better position to lead and make critical decisions.
- Communicate: Don’t be afraid to talk about your fear and anxiety with your family, mentors, and employees. Everyone is experiencing strong emotions right now, and one of the best ways to get through this uncertain time is speaking truth to your experience. If you have employees, it’s also important to be open with them and give them space to talk about their feelings as well.
- Lean on the community: Reach out to other small business owners to talk. This will help you feel less alone in your challenges and you may be able to learn from other entrepreneurs’ experiences.
- Meditate: If you are having trouble quieting your mind and relieving your anxiety, you can use meditation to pause, reflect, and find a path forward. Meditating may seem like a waste of time when your business hangs in the balance, but if you approach challenges with a calm mind, it will be easier to see potential solutions. If you need help getting started, read our blog post here.
If you are a small business owner, let us know how you are doing in the comments below. We are here for you in this time of crisis and hope national small business week shines a light on the challenges you’re facing during the pandemic.