Five Simple Ways That Leaders Can Boost Their Mental Resilience During The Coronavirus Crisis – Forbes

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm


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Leaders need to focus on the things that are within their control.

For many leaders, the times we are currently experiencing will be the most difficult they have ever known. The general climate is one of uncertainty, fear and panic. Most of us are confined to our homes as our shops and businesses close down around us.

We are having to manage and motivate remote teams of staff who feel just asanxious, distracted and stressedas we do. Many are having to juggle jobs withhome schoolingin conditions that are far from ideal. Not everyone has a dedicated office space to work in or a sunny garden to relax in at lunchtime.

Some people are living with people they would rather not be living with which can be bearable in normal conditions, but unbearable right now. Others are living alone and wondering how they are going to survive weeks of near solitude. Everyone is wondering whether they will fall sick and if they do, whether they will come out the other side.

So, in these difficult circumstances when we are being denied much of what we have long taken for granted how can leaders keep their sanity in check?

1.Dont try to control the uncontrollables

Accept it. You have no control over most of the things that are probably worrying you right now. Aside from self-isolating, theres nothing you can do to control the spread of coronavirus. You have no control over the economic damage the virus will inflict and you cant stop it from impacting the lives of your family members and friends. Depending on the sector you work in, and whether you are employed or self-employed, it is probably very unclear at this stage how the virus will affect your livelihood in the long run, even if it is causing a huge amount of short-term uncertainty.

So, what can you control? You can do your best to control your own physical and mental health by eating healthily, taking exercise, limiting your screen time and practising activities such as yoga and mindfulness. You can control how you are with the people you live with and also how you interact with remote members of your team. How you behave in this situation will inevitably impact on the moods and reactions of others. You can also take control of your personal finances as far as possible by making use of support options such asmortgage holidaysand reviewing unnecessary expenditure. You will almost certainly spend far less than you normally would over the coming weeks and months. So, if you can, put aside some saved money for a treat at a later date.

2.Dont read slavishly about coronavirus

You need to know whats going on, but that doesnt mean you should spend every minute of every day glued the news feed on your smartphone. Reading an overload of coronavirus-related stories is likely to be harmful to your mental health. Instead, use this period as an opportunity to read about other things in the media and to broaden your knowledge of the world more widely. For every coronavirus story that you read, challenge yourself to find two other stories that dont even mention the pandemic. That will help to remind you that there is a world out there beyond coronavirus a world that we will eventually return to.

3.Do something youve always wanted to do or plan for it

This period could be an opportunity for you to do something youve always wanted to do write a novel, for example. Or learn French, using distance learning. If what youve always wanted to do is to climb Mount Everest or cycle across Europe, now is clearly not the time to do that. Similarly, the current climate might not seem the ideal environment in which to start your own business. But that doesnt mean you cant plan for it. Times like this are a frightening reminder of our mortality which is why we need to use them as an opportunity to evaluate what we want from life and to visualize a different future.

4.Come up with your Plan B

If you werent doing the job that you are doing today, what would you be doing instead? The answer to that question is your Plan B. As the current crisis highlights, we all need to have a Plan B in life (and possibly a Plan C and a Plan D) as well. Unfortunately, too many of us tend to be wedded to our Plan As which is easily done during booming economic times. We are often so busy with our day jobs that we dont have the headspace to think about what else we could be doing. Now is the time for us all to come up with our Plan Bs that, if nothing else, is what will give us hope for the future.

5.Be thankful

Coaches and personal development experts repeatedly emphasize the value of thankfulness. Reminding yourself of two or three things every day that you are genuinely thankful for will help you to get through this challenging period which will, one day, end. Thankfully.

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Five Simple Ways That Leaders Can Boost Their Mental Resilience During The Coronavirus Crisis - Forbes

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:45 pm