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Wellbeing

Yes, it kinda sucks right now, but here’s 4 ways to stay positive…

woman sitting alone in a desert in beautiful light

Ugh… there’s no denying the world is in a pretty bad place at the moment. War, inflation, the looming threat of a recession—it’s hard not to feel a little drab about the immediate future. All this uncertainty and instability is especially unpleasant for a business owner—never mind your own welfare, you’ve got responsibilities towards your employees and a company that you’ve set up with great passion and commitment, and you want to keep that healthy and alive.

And while it’s important to understand what is going on and, if you haven’t already, put worst case scenario measures in place, it’s just as vital that, in times like these, that you recognise the value in looking after your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s very easy to doom scroll and plunge into dark places, but periods like this require stoicism and a positive mindset. It’s when times are challenging that your true leadership abilities are tested, and so you should view this as an opportunity to realise those abilities and be the calm, rational, informed figure at the helm.

Here are four ways to maintain a positive mindset and keep pushing forward…

1. Make a ‘good’ list

pencil and notepad open on desk
Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Unfortunately, us humans are programmed to generally see the negatives first—it’s part of our survival instinct. Because of this, it’s far to easy (and annoyingly natural) to think only about the bad while forgetting all the good.

To overcome or at least temper this urge, make a list of all the good things in your life, from both a personal and professional aspect. From blessings like good health and family to activities you enjoy and an upcoming holiday, remind yourself of what you do have and what continues to make you happy. You can also write down those times when the business was doing well, as well as occasions you went beyond yourself and overcome crazy obstacles (Covid!).

Keep this list handy; when you find yourself spiralling into a black hole of worry and despair, read through it to lighten the burden.

2. Talk to your team

three women eating pizza and enjoying company
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

If the Covid crisis taught us anything as business owners, it’s that honesty is everything. And while you should be wise in what you tell your staff (and how you say it), there is nothing wrong with sharing your concerns and, more importantly, your plan of action.

Remember that if you’re feeling down about the current climate, it’s likely your team will be too. Don’t increase their fears by withholding important information from them; don’t pretend everything is fine when everyone knows it isn’t!

It’s during periods like this that those regular get-togethers have the most impact. Go for bi-weekly or monthly afterwork drinks and/or pizza with your staff, but try to stay away from work matters as much as possible. Steer the conversation towards the personal—find out how everyone is doing, discuss, share, laugh and just generally reassure each other that things will get better.

3. Don’t be reluctant to take time out

behind shot of two men on road bikes on quiet road
Photo by David Dvořáček on Unsplash

This is a hard one for any entrepreneur—we are control freaks after all! But neglecting your own mental health and physical wellbeing is only going to lead to one thing—burnout.

More than ever, you need to be alert, centered and in control of your emotions. So, do not start neglecting all those good habits of yours and denying yourself the pleasure and release of your downtime. Whether it’s maintaining your hobbies (or finding a new one as a healthy distraction), being with your friends and family and even taking a holiday, make sure you keep doing the things that make you happy, reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling refreshed.

4. Embrace self-talk

profile of woman with eyes closed looking thoughtful
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

A while back, we made a video on the benefits and power of positive self-talk. Countless studies have shown the real-world impact it has. It’s an especially favourite method of motivation for elite athletes.

Next time you feel yourself sliding down the negative pipe—thinking the worst, blaming yourself, blaming others, projecting your thoughts into things that haven’t even happened yet and probably won’t—recognise that you’re having these thoughts and make the decision to reframe them the next time they arise.

The more you do this, the more you’ll train your brain to start thinking about the positives before jumping to the negatives.

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