Question :
Feeling overwhelmed Since the lockdown I have enjoyed the time at home but the return to work under level 2 is difficult as sales and customers visiting the store are way down, this is increased my anxiety level, not sleeping very well and having trouble focusing on tasks, and have some hard decisions to make regarding staff if sales continue this way. Where can I find help personally?

Question submitted 24/05/20 @ 06:17am
Industry: Wellbeing
  • Hi Steve…it is tough right now for sure. Overwhelm is totally natural at this time so that’s the first thing. Anxiety about the uncertainty re how things will be going forward is natural too. It is not comfortable for we humans to feel out of control/powerless to change things. Lack of sleep won’t be helping so I encourage you to check out your local health food shop or see your Dr for support. Decision making when exhausted and stressed out is tricky so get onto that sleep support soon.
    For perspective, it is early days yet and the country is still getting used to Level Two – this will pass. If you want to talk it through you are welcome to give me a call or reach out to a good mate/partner. Sometimes just talking it out can help with clarity re going forward. There are no magic answers to this unprecedented situation. You WILL get through this though – belief in yourself is important. Your team will get through this too. In crisis we can only do what we can do. If you can’t focus on the big stuff right now, just take the step in front of you for a few days and be really good to yourself – no beat ups! Can you take today off? If changes need to be made, they will be made in time. I would also recommend meditation for stress management – that can help with perspective enormously. I really acknowledge you reaching out here – that is a BIG step so talk it through with a trusted person and/or start writing things out in a structured way – what ever else, back yourself. Somehow you got your business to where you are now and I bet it wasn’t all smooth sailing. You will get through this too but pep talks are less helpful than taking small steps in the direction you want to go. I reiterate you are welcome to call me today if I can lend an ear. Keep reminding yourself you are doing the best you can in these circumstances. All the best

    Hi Steve, it’s a difficult transition for sure & it certainly not one size fits all. A couple of places to consider looking: https://instep.nz/ or https://www.loffty.com/nz/
    Hope one of these resonates with you or at least helps to start looking at options. Take care. Jamie

    Hi, like others have said above, what you’re feeling is felt by many right now, and I say this only for you not to feel like you are not coping. But, you are right in that it’s incredibly uncomfortable and will be massively impacting your ability to see and think clearly.

    With overwhelm it’s always helpful to talk to someone to find out what’s triggered it (if this is a new experience to you) as sometimes there’s something left field that you can take action around that you may not have realised was feeding it, it’s easy to think it’s the unknowns of business right now And there may be something else going on (relations stress, kids, health…).

    I’m happy to chat to you if you’d like and see if we can find some actions you might take but it’s important you get medical support if that’s also direction you feel.

    Tips that have helped me with business and covid related anxiety (as my businesses are also affected) are:
    – Reclarifying big picture goals And priorities
    – Reflecting each day on any areas that bothered me and what action I could take around them (conversations to have etc).
    – Re employees we told them there was no certainty right now and would get covid subsidy for them as long as we could but contracting hours was all that we could offer after that until things changed. So we are giving them the options to find security elsewhere if they chose.
    – And we are not doing long term planning as there are simply to many unknowns and just planning actions day by day for now
    – regarding getting help, you need to chose what help you need. Coaching is great if you are healthy but need help seeing the wood for the trees and moving forward, counselling, drs, nutritionists etc….there are so many forms of support depending on exactly where you are at and what you need. And you are the best one to decide this. I’m a coach and available if that feels like the step and there are certain mental tools that can be learned that help remove the stress dog and bring your own clarity back.

    Kind regards,

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for writing in and expressing what you are feeling right now. Yes the feeling of being overwhelmed is a difficult space to be in. It can be quite challenging, and is totally understandable during these days of Covid. So much has changed and we are all navigating new environments and business structures. Poor sleep will certainly compound things and heighten our emotions, and abilities to make sound decisions. If you can find a way to meditate daily , (great App called Waking Up available) which basically brings us back to the breath and the sensations of the moment. Its like Mindfulness. I use this daily, some times more than once a day.There is actually a meditation “In emergency” session based around the stress of Covid and the fall outs from it. Sleep hygiene is vitally important so meditation and quiet time an hour before bedtime is recommended. As a natural supplement sleep support Melatonin can be useful for some. Perhaps have a chat with your Dr and see what sleep support they can offer you. The usual recommendations of no coffee after 12 o clock, regular exercise and a physical exercise plan all are beneficial. These suggestions also help with anxiety.
    If I am finding I’m suffering stress through mainly external pressure and decisions I make a list of the situations I have control over or can influence and those I cannot. Sometimes even this small activity helps lessens the feeling of being overwhelmed. There is only so much influence I can have and sometimes I realise I need to just let somethings go and allow them to play out. Its not easy. Navigating what’s needed with staff will be a tough one…. that sense of commitment to others. I don’t now the dynamics so all I can says Be kind, Considerate and caring. Allow the staff, who may need to be restructured, or let go their dignity. Thats nurtured with honesty, integrity and appreciation for them. But remember _ unless you do it quickly the rest of your business will be impacted, so do it quickly and this will also reduce your stress.
    I wish you all the best

    Hi Steve
    I don’t want to inundate you with a long response as there is a lot of great advice above. I’m responding to offer a breathing exercise you can do RIGHT NOW to alleviate anxiety, and offer my time to take you through some other emotional resilience tools.
    As an advanced yoga & meditation teacher and Gallup strengths coach (psychological strengths not muscular!), I work with business owners to coach them through feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, stress, and aim their attention toward presence and their own personal power. This is a time for calm and hope, and that comes from a steady mind and a body that’s in equilibrium (as opposed to operating consistently in fight-or-flight in which prolonged exposure to cortisol can have undesirable effects).
    There is a video in my resource centre here with a short breathing practice that is specifically designed to reduce anxiety: http://www.tuifleming.com/covid
    I’m also happy to have a chat to offer additional support. Feel free to email me at hello@tuifleming.com and we can arrange a time.
    We’re in this stormy sea together. Kudos for reaching out. Help is here.
    – Tui

    Hi Steve,
    Your personal wellbeing is the most important thing. Anxiety about your business situation is perfectly understandable, and you are not alone.
    – Get to your doctor ASAP for short term assistance with sleeping. It’s hard to function if you’re not sleeping.
    – Get support, your doctor will be able to recommend options and there are resources available like John Kirwan’s Mentemia app (www.mentemia.com)
    – Ongoing stress can trigger depression, so make time for yourself each day.
    This is a challenging time for business owners, and you absolutely need to look after yourself first.
    Take care,

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