By Teri A. Coutu
Everyday something changes. Every. Day.
And while it may seem like this is all a new experience, the reality is that life has changed daily since the beginning of time. Other than in the movie Groundhog Day, no two days are exactly alike. I point this out in hopes that it helps you recognize your inner resilience. You have been fielding daily change since the day you were born, and you’re still here. So, you CAN get through this! The question is, “What’s today’s normal,” and how can you navigate the changes in a way that is helpful for you and your co-workers/colleagues?
Stay calm and carry on.
It has been interesting to watch how the people around me have responded to the many “new normals.” Some are ready to get back to business as usual, others are set on maintaining social distancing. Most everyone is carrying a lot of stress which comes out as anger, sadness, and/or depression.
In order to move our careers and businesses forward, it’s important we learn how to manage stress. While I DO believe in mindfulness, yoga, and exercise as stress relievers, I have found it very beneficial to look internally first and find ways to reframe the situation. So, when business leaders and employees ask how to get through tough times, here is what I recommend:
- Be Self-aware. Identify what is stressing you and where that fear, anger, or depression comes from. Recognize that emotions are not wrong and that managing them in a healthy, productive, non-threatening manner is the key.
- Take Control. The only thing you can truly control is how you think, feel, and respond to life. Identify how you want to handle challenges and learn to compose your actions/reactions so that you don’t allow external situations to control your internal serenity.
- Change It, Accept It, or Leave It. It’s been said that any problem can be solved using one of these solutions. Look at your current challenges and identify which of these will work best for each.
- Engage Your Purpose. People thrive when they feel they have a purpose. So, find your purpose, even if it’s a temporary one, and help other people engage theirs. If you manage a team, helping employees recognize their purpose can help them see beyond the “stress du jour” and bring everyone together to work towards a unified goal.
- Exercise Empathy and Compassion. Everyone is going through something, and when a person feels cared about, understood, and accepted, they are more resilient and productive. Start with exercising empathy and compassion for yourself, and then share that with colleagues, clients, customers, and the rest of society.
Most of all, stay focused on your primary goals. Set your professional and personal goals and continue working towards them regardless of the chaos you see on TV and the Internet. Change will always be part of life, so practicing healthy ways of dealing with “today’s normal,” and the stress it brings will help you live a more peaceful and rewarding life.
Teri Cortu is CEO of Teric Enterprise Solutions.