It is important to recognize what works and what hurts during COVID-19. I’ve been watching myself and thousands of other business owners over the last month as we became enveloped by COVID-19. And if I’m being honest, and you know I always am, it wasn’t always pretty, especially when I examined the way I’ve been handling things.
My intention is to help you start moving forward more successfully, more happily, more healthily through this challenge. Use my learnings to make the next month a much better month. We are all in this together, so let’s all learn from each other, and help each other through this.
The one thing I really want you to keep in mind as you go through this: there’s no one here judging you. This is all for you, a conversation with you, and to benefit you, so be TOTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF.
Yes, I know your gym is closed; mine is too. But most of them are offering online at-home workouts so don’t even try to give me that excuse (I gave myself that excuse for weeks)! It’s also really nice outside lately, so get out there! When you exercise, your energy, mood, focus, self-esteem, productivity, and relationships improve! When you don’t…. well, they don’t.
2. Eat And Drink Healthfully
I can’t tell you how many people have shared my regret at drinking a little bit too much wine, or overindulging in food that is just plain bad for us over the past five weeks. It seems we have all given ourselves a free pass to eat garbage and drink alcohol to feel better—because COVID-19. The problem with this, and I can personally share that I have experienced this viscerally myself, is that even though you might feel good or happy for the short term, you will feel worse in the long term.
Your health, self-esteem and level of success will definitely suffer long term if you continue to make bad choices when it comes to what you put in your mouth, and I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself there will be other things that suffer too. That said, I am not in any position to judge anyone for their food or drink choices—you need to check in with yourself here. For me, I realized I had pretty much replaced exercise with wine, so yeah, that was bad!
3. Keep In Touch With Your Mentor/Coach: This Is What Your Coach Or Mentor Is For!
This hard time! This challenge! It’s easy to be a great leader when everything is perfect. Now is the time you need to reach out and ask for advice, support, and ideas. Every single time I talk with one of mine, I am re-energized, motivated, and full of new creative solutions. Every time. I can’t even tell you how many people have reached out to us lately, and ALL of them have reported feeling better and having great ideas afterward. Do it!
The second reason I want you to reach out is for accountability. I quickly turned my act around once I shared with my coach and mentors, knowing they would be holding me accountable. The day before my call I exercised at home, and made amazingly good choices for my food and beverages that day. Those good choices continue as I know I am getting “checked” by someone.
Also, sending this email is another form of accountability for me. Tell someone, anyone, how you’re feeling, and what your new goals are. Ask them to check in with you. It will make a big difference, I promise.
4. Remember That You Are A Role Model
People are looking up to you! They are looking to you for the example. They are watching how you handle this. People NEED YOU RIGHT NOW. It is normal and okay for you to have a few breakdowns, but afterward, get yourself back on your feet, call your coach, and get back to moving towards that beautiful vision you have. Get back to being the person that lifts other people up. Get back to being the role model they all admire and love. This will all be over one day; how do you want those people to remember you acting during this?
5. Surround Yourself With Positivity And People Who Lift You Up
There are people who make you feel good and hopeful and optimistic, and there are people who make you feel hopeless, negative, and small-minded (i.e. with gossiping and criticism). Hang out (virtually if they don’t live with you) with people who make you feel good. Simple. You got this. No more Negative Nellies.
6. Tell Yourself That It’s Okay Not To Be Perfect, And That Your Best Is Good Enough
Be kind to yourself. This was a real tough one for me. I have always struggled to be kinder to myself, while still driving hard towards my goals. This pandemic has created new business challenges that I have never seen in my lifetime, and not knowing exactly how to handle every single one of them perfectly and stay super successful in every way through them was making me feel like I was less than enough. So then I would have some wine. And then I would criticize myself for having wine. It’s kind of funny now that I type it out…. but it doesn’t feel funny or good when you’re going through it.
I am telling you right now, like the people I look up to tell me, IT IS OKAY. You are OKAY, you are ENOUGH, you are GOING TO MAKE IT. We all are. One of my favourite mentors actually also said, “STOP IT. THIS IS ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH. And you’re never going to achieve the next level of success you want by beating yourself up.” That was a really great kick in the pants and has completely helped me turn things around.
7. Express Gratitude And Appreciation For What You Do Have
There is nothing quite as effective at improving your mood as gratitude and appreciation. Even if you have to start very small, with the fact that you have eyes and the brain to read this right now, you absolutely have things to be grateful for—we always do. The best part about gratitude and appreciation is that it makes you feel good, which makes you a creative problem solver, a leader, and a much better person to be around. Do it now, list 10 things for which you are grateful. And this is like a shower—you need to do it daily.
8. Find Healthy Ways To Feel Good
Literally smelling the flowers, soaking up sunshine, petting your pets, cuddling your loved ones, watching funny TV shows, having a bubble bath, or learning how to keep up your previously-held standards of primping can make a huge difference for you. I’m serious… if you used to get a hot shave and beard trim every two weeks, and can’t do that right now, YouTube it, my friend!
If you are used to lash extensions, hair color, gel nails and pedicures, go on YouTube and learn to do what you can for yourself! If you’re working from home and have been wearing your pajamas and feeling down, try getting gussied up like you would for a normal workday from now on. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s not bad for you. Make yourself feel happy and good by indulging in those activities daily. Again, like the shower, it’s not a one-and-done sort of thing.
9. Remind Yourself Of Your Why
If I didn’t feel like my entire life’s purpose was being fulfilled by helping business owners feel happier and be more successful, I would have quit five weeks ago. That’s right, I wanted to quit! For the first time in my career, I wanted to give up. Do you know why I didn’t? Because I got so many messages from amazing people like you telling me that the live Zoom trainings I was doing were making a difference for them. They told me I was helping them to feel happier, and helping them to be more successful. IT WAS MY VERY REASON FOR BEING in business!
Remind yourself of your WHY by reading kind emails or notes, reviewing or recreating your mission statement, or by doing the Seven Levels Deep Why exercise. Here’s Dean Graziosi telling you about his experience with it:
10. Consume Positive Media
What positive media, you ask? Well, you’re consuming some right now, my friend! Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are TONS of motivational, educational, positive, helpful videos and articles online now. You can watch the news and feel terrified and sad and hopeless, or you can watch and read things that help you feel better, help you brainstorm, help you live better. Choose wisely.
Now, to address the people who I know are thinking, “But I need to stay informed, I need to watch the news!” You can stay informed, but don’t let yourself be inundated. You probably want to check for those government updates once a day (or have someone who works for you check the credible news sources and send you daily updates like I do). *As leaders we do have a responsibility to follow the orders and know what’s going on in our communities. Still, that can be a very small part of your day!
11. Stay In Touch With Your Loved Ones
There are people out there you used to see every day at the gym, or school, or work, or some other wonderful place we will all return to one day, with whom you are not keeping in touch. Send them a message, or better yet, chat on video! Seeing my nieces and nephew on Facetime has got to be one of my all-time favourite ways to cheer up.
Talking to friends and family I miss is a really close second. Plus, you might have one of these amazing humans in your actual home with you… like a spouse, perhaps? Connect with them! Don’t close yourself off just because we have to physically distance for the most part. Stay connected with your loved ones, in whatever ways you can safely enjoy.
Remember, reading something never changed anyone’s life, but taking action on what they learned did! Execute! Execute! Execute!
If you need more help on figuring out what works and what hurts, contact TMH Business Coaching and Consulting today for a confidential, free, no-obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!