Find Your Balance: 6 Ways KC Business Owners Can Achieve Personal, Team Growth during COVID-19
When trauma hits, we often overlook one of the most important areas that can help our businesses: caring for our own health.
“Normally, when you experience trauma, there’s a visceral flight and freeze response, and then you start coping with it,” says Amber Reed, owner and therapist at Resolve Counseling and Wellness. “[The coronavirus pandemic] was different for our clients. Every day you wake up, and it’s still there.”
Since the beginning of April, Amber and her team of psychotherapists at Resolve have been offering free counseling sessions to frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic. We zoomed with her to talk about her pivot into telehealth, her outreach to frontline workers and her advice on how we can all be more proactive about our mental health during this time of high stress and anxiety.
Here are her tips for self- and community care, especially for fellow business owners, during this challenging and uncertain time.
1. We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat. Aging parents, kids at home, health concerns, money concerns—we’re all dealing with our own issues during this time. Going through the same trauma is a powerful connection and educational opportunity, but know that we’re all not dealing with the same issues.
“Everyone,” Amber says, “is struggling with not having the life they thought they were going to have over these next couple of months.”
2. Check in with your people. Amber and her team schedule virtual lunch bunches, a time when they can take a break from the work in front of them and just check in with each other.
“It’s important,” she adds, “to honor everyone’s comfort level and know there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Realize that you can’t support everyone in the same way.”
3. Check in with yourself. Amber and her team at Resolve have seen previous clients come back for a refresher. She sees this as a healthy and proactive move for mental health.
“You don’t have to be broken to see a therapist,” she adds. “You can be just as proactive with your mental health as you are with your physical health.”
Talking to a professional therapist: Think of it like going on a run, lifting weights, eating a healthy lunch. It’s a step toward strengthening your coping skills, reducing your stress and fortifying your mental health.
4. Find your media balance. Amber strongly advocates for what she calls “intentional news consumption.” Social media affords us with the opportunity, she says, to curate what we see and when we see it.
“Curate your feeds and follow people that show messages that bring you joy and news outlets that make you feel less stressed,” she says.
She also recommends being intentional with the amount of time you spend consuming news stories. Setting a timer is one way to moderate your media consumption.
“During this time, we are giving ourselves more permission to check in and get knowledge,” she says, “but there’s a lot of hyped information out there that can cause stress.”
5. Get outside. “Go to the places and spaces that are safe,” Amber says. “A trail, your backyard—just try to de-connect.”
6. Keep your routines. It’s difficult to maintain routines when they don’t have to be maintained, she says. But creating a regimen is central to keeping your stress in check, she adds. Schedule your day and find routines to help you manage your stress.
And one final tip for business owners:
Amber was struck by this piece of insight from her own business coach: “Remember that everyone who is coming back to the office is not coming back as the same person who left.”
It’s important, she adds, to capture that change:
- What did we learn about ourselves, about who we are now?
- What was clarified?
- What values have shifted?
As a business owner, you can capture that learning and use it as a point of growth for your team—and use it to strengthen your business as a whole.
“It’s a true opportunity,” she adds, “for connection and discovery.”
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