(Originally published on March 31, 2020 on my LinkedIn page, re-posting as it is still very relevant!)
I’ve been observing and having conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends from different walks of life about how the last two weeks have been for them.
Many in the hospitality business, unfortunately, have either lost their jobs or had the difficult experience of letting go of their staff.
People from other industries were sent home without the right tools or skills to be successful at working remotely. They’re frustrated and overwhelmed with trying to do their job in a completely unusual working setting and hoping they won’t be next on the list to be laid off.
People working in biotech, pharma, tech, security, and with plenty experience working from home, are busier and under more pressure than ever. They’re trying to keep the same levels of productivity and creativity, while juggling home-schooling, co-working spaces with spouses, kids’ entertainment, cooking, and cleaning.
Entrepreneurs, such as myself, are working hard to find where our skills and services are needed the most and pivoting to make sure we stay relevant in the future.
Nobody is having it easy. This “new normal” is not only about logistical and financial adjustments or staying in good physical health. Now, more than ever, we need to take care of our emotional and mental health.
In HBR’s article “That Discomfort You Are Feeling Is Grief,” subject matter expert and author David Kessler asserts that we all are experiencing more than one kind of grief. He suggests that the first step to manage grief is to call it by its name. Denial. Anger. Depression. Bargaining.
Beyond grief, let’s recognize and accept other feelings like fear, overwhelm and powerlessness. Let’s be compassionate with ourselves and others. We had never dealt with something like this in our lives!
What if we took these unusual times as the opportunity to open up and share what we are experiencing, not only with family and friends, but also with colleagues at work? What if we took this as our chance to learn how to connect with ourselves and with others in a more compassionate and empathetic way?
I encourage those of you who lost your job to allow yourself to go through the grief, without getting stuck in suffering or resenting. Take time to look inside yourself, strengthen your skills and/or develop new ones, reevaluate your life purpose, and recalibrate your values. Let the best version of yourself shine and make a difference in these difficult times. There are opportunities out there!
If you had to lay off employees, practice letting go any feelings of guilt or regret. Yes, it is extremely unfortunate that you had to do that but blaming yourself or others won’t change things. See how you can support the people who left. Connect at a new level with those who stayed, they are also grieving the loss of their coworkers. Create a new team culture.
To all hard-working over-achievers: it is okay to be less productive during this time. Redefine priorities with your teams, negotiate new time arrangements, create new ways to collaborate. Take care of yourself by incorporating selfcare practices such as exercise and meditation (5 minutes is enough). Slow down and ask for help.
For entrepreneurs, there’s opportunity out there. Look actively. Reframe, adjust, move forward. Don’t give up!
We all need to take care of our physical and our mental health. Stay home. Wash your hands. Meditate. Journal. CLEAR your mind. Stay SANE.
If you need support, connect with me!