One of the greatest side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a lack of control. Almost overnight, millions around the world lost their jobs, while millions more faced major disruptions to their daily routine. The most stressful aspect of this is the continued uncertainty as we wait for the highly anticipated “new normal” to materialize. According to mental health professionals, uncertainty is a huge cause of stress, because the past experiences we usually rely on to make decisions are no longer applicable. In fact, we may even cling to anything familiar, even if it’s no longer working for us, just to feel grounded. Waiting for the silver lining in all this? Well here it is: many people are actually seizing upon these fluid times to create their own new normal. According to Business Insider, new business applications had reached a thirteen-year high by September of 2020. As of November, they were up twenty-seven percent from the year before – this according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Of course, the only certainty about starting your own business is that it’s inviting more uncertainty into your life. Whether you are just starting out or beginning your second or third act, lifestyle management tools are essential to achieving your goals while hanging onto your sanity.
Make the Most of Your Physical Space – Work/life balance, already challenging before COVID, has become even more so since shifting to WFH. If you haven’t done it already, use your transition into entrepreneurship to carve out a work area in your home. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an entire room or just a tiny corner. The goal is to create an emotional boundary between your professional and personal lives.
Take up a Mindfulness (or Mindlessness) Practice – There is no hard and fast rule here. For example, many wellness experts will recommend yoga, but if the mere thought of downward facing dog irritates you then obviously it’s counterproductive. The idea is to do something, for at least a few minutes every day, that eases stress and soothes the soul. If that means vegging on the couch with your favorite Netflix binge, so be it.
Make Technology Work for You – Whatever business you start, you will be relying on technology to create and/or deliver your product, and reach your customers through your website, social media and so on. We all know this can lead to the overwhelm known as “app fatigue.” Ironically, one quick trip to the App Store or Google play also can provide the cure. There are several all-in-one lifestyle management solutions that allow you to manage your calendar, communicate with clients and vendors, and even schedule rest and recreation in one place. No matter how diligent these new business owners are, there is a chance their ventures will not survive the five-year mark. Many will fold before then. What’s important is that despite all the pandemic has thrown at us, we still have the hope and optimism to give it a go. And if this upheaval has taught us anything, it’s that there is always something we can do to better manage our lives, and be a little more comfortable riding the waves of uncertainty.
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