10 Tips to Help You Handle the COVID-19 Crisis | It is so amazing that our lives changed overnight with COVID-19. Many of us are in the middle of a self-imposed two-week sabbatical and quarantine in our homes, either for prevention or due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. For the first time in our lives, the world has almost stopped. This is an unprecedented time in history. We are now wondering if two weeks will actually be enough and are already feeling the effects economically. Now, not only self-imposed, for many it is now mandatory and we are waiting for the word to hear if this will end soon.
It doesn’t matter if you are working for a company and will not get a paycheck or a company whose business has slowed or come to a halt because of shutdowns or lack of business, we are all in this together. We will all suffer together, economically, and someone we know may even suffer the loss a family member due to this virus. It’s a scary time!
It’s very important to know that we are not alone. We may feel like it, because we are isolated in our homes rather than our normal routine of being out in public, enjoying our freedoms in being able to go to work, attend church, social events, enjoy time with friends and family and even shopping without fear.
While we can all enjoy a little solitude, but it lasts longer than we’re comfortable with, the fear of isolation may become more apparent. Isolation tends to make us feel alone and depressed. When we are isolated from people, we don’t get that face to face affirmation, that hug or smile that makes us feel good. For those that suffer with depression already, it can cause a deeper depression.
Also, if we have family at home and we’re stressed, we can all be a little more agitated with each other and our relationships can become more tense. As we begin to suffer economically, our relationships can spiral down with more arguments and disagreements than normal. We can become angry with our children and take it out on them as they tend to act out more, because they realize things are not right and they don’t know what to do about it.
Here are 10 tips to help you handle the COVID-19 crisis:
Protect yourself and your family medically.
Heed the warnings. Take precaution to reduce contamination and spread of the coronavirus. Practice social distancing when you have to be out in public. Use a paper towel when you have to fill up with gas or hold the buggy at the grocery store. Wash your hands regularly. Stay at home as much as possible. If you exhibit symptoms, call your doctor or utilize the drive-by testing sites available and self-quarantine to reduce the spread of germs.
It won’t do any good to panic and it might even affect our resistance medically. There’s no need to break a sweat. Take a deep breath. Just breathe. Practicing some breathing exercises can help with coping with stress. It wasn’t our fault. We didn’t create this. This is an international crisis that we had nothing to do with. It just happened. Remember the Serenity Prayer. It’s definitely easier said than done, but it’s true. We can’t always control what happens in our lives, but we can control how we react. How we react will make a huge difference on our overall well-being now as well as during our crisis recovery period.
Take a day off.
We’re in shutdown mode. You have permission to take a day off or longer, if you like. Have some fun. Do some fun activities with your family. Put your cell phones and electronic devices down for at least 24 hours and concentrate fully on your family and relationships. Enjoy time with your children. Get outside. Plant some flowers. Do something you never have time to do.
Take a step back.
Take a step back and evaluate your situation. If you are a business owner, evaluate your business model. Entrepreneurs are famous for being so caught up working in their business that they don’t always have time to work on their business so now’s the time! Work on your business! If you are in a crisis situation with no customers or incoming business, brainstorm on ideas for creating business now. Is there something you can do temporarily to meet a shortage need while helping you create enough business to stay in business during the crisis? Next, look at long term ideas to put some things in place when the crisis is over so you can run with them to catch up for lost time. Last, look at your marketing plan and how you are creating your customer base. Are there changes that need to be made? Brainstorm.
If you are an employee that has lost your job or is home temporarily until the crisis is over, evaluate. Do you need to spend some time in education or training so you will be better equipped when you return to work? Do you need to look at changing jobs or look for a job in another industry, because your industry might not need you as the crisis resolves? Evaluate your interests. Look for ways to work from home or odd jobs during your job loss or slow times. Also, look for ways to reign in your expenses. Are there items that you really don’t need that you are spending money on? If you can cut spending, at least temporarily, you can bounce back a little faster economically.
Develop a plan.
Now’s the time to create your plan for the future. The sky’s the limit. We are Americans. We can do it! Look at what has worked well in the past for you and what has not worked so well. Plan to “beef up” what works and scale down what hasn’t worked. Incorporate new ideas. If you’re in business, spending time and money on your sales and marketing efforts can pay big dividends, even if you feel that you cannot afford it right now. This may not be our idea to shut down, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if we take the time to evaluate and plan, no matter where you fall into the equation.
Work now to put your plan in action so you will be ahead of the game when the crises comes to an end. Then, work your plan. Put in the effort. Work like you’ve never worked before. We will all need to make up for lost time and if we are at the gate ready to launch the minute we have the green light, we can then act quickly and recover much faster than if we just sit on the sidelines and expect the world to take care of us.
Prepare for the future.
We can all learn something from this. Of all the things that I could think of that might have resulted in a shortage at the onset of a national emergency, it would not have been toilet paper. The doomsday preppers have preached for years to have at least two weeks of supplies on hand for an emergency. Guess what? It actually happened and we weren’t prepared. This crisis has taught us that anything can happen and we should always be prepared.
Laugh a lot.
Although, it’s not funny at all being in a crisis, a laugh will go along way to help us cope. We must grab hold to those things we can laugh about, even if it’s the little things. I’ve always heard that laughter is the best medicine and we need a lot of medicine right now!
At a time when we need to isolate, thank goodness, for the Internet, social media, video chats and all of the technologies that we have available to help us stay social during our quarantines. Think, not only about our family and friends, but about those who live alone. Make it a point to contact them, keep them in the loop and make them feel more connected. You might be saving someone’s life!
Be patient and kind.
This is definitely the time to be patient with others plus kindness will go a long way toward our recovery. While at home, let’s step up efforts with our spouses and kids. If we are lucky ones to still be able to report to work, show more kindness to co-workers and those come in contact with. We all need a little slack right now. With supply shortages, national panic, economic issues and more, patience and kindness to others will help everyone through these hard times.
10 Tips to Help You Handle the COVID-19 Crisis
Bottom line. We will get through this. Remember, it’s not all about us. Others are going through the very same thing you’re going through. Some will be more able to cope and bounce back better than others so we need to do this together. A rising tide raises all ships. We need to hold hands, pull each other up and support each other. How we react will determine our recovery even though recovery may be a long process medically and economically.
May we never forget this experience. I hope we will be able to look back at the year 2020 years from now and cherish the time we had with our families that we would have never had otherwise, and be proud of how we handled the crisis!
Learn more about COVID-19, please visit www.coronavirus.gov
About the author: Dona Bonnett is the owner of adr Business & Marketing Strategies and provides web design and other small business services to help companies. To learn more, contact Dona at 256.345.3993.
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