We are living in some unprecedented times right now for a whole number of different reasons which I don’t believe needs explaining. One thing for sure though is that for the vast majority of people, unprecedented times cause uncertainty, and uncertainty can lead to mental health issues.
Something that comes with the territory of entrepreneurship and running a business is a certain level of stress. Knowing that ultimately the buck stops with you and wrong decisions can have a lasting impact on your business is a pressure that most of us enjoy, but it also can have longer lasting effects.
Reacting to The Unexpected
Back in January of this year I wrote an article trying to prepare your business for the impact of Coronavirus. I spoke about ordering more products and communicating with suppliers as I didn’t want the supply chain impact to mean your business had a hugely affected cash flow. I had no idea back then how much coronavirus would impact the western world.
In business we often do our best to prepare for a degree of uncertainty or have a contingency plan in place. Whether that be cash flow issues or delays in goods arriving, more times than not you have a plan in place, or if not you can handle it quickly.
However when something forces a total shutdown not only can it be devastating to your business, it can be devastating to your mental health too.
All of a sudden, the element of control you once had as a business owner has been taken away, and for entrepreneurs that can be a huge mental challenge to comprehend and accept.
The Mental Health Epidemic
There has been a mental health epidemic happening for years across the USA, and the rise of Covid-19 has caused a huge spike in issues across the population.
Last week The Census Bureau released statistics which stated that over a third of all Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.
From a trauma informed approach to mental health depression and anxiety are both appropriate responses from your body’s nervous system trying to keep you safe.
The latest neuroscience including Polyvagal theory have looked into depression and anxiety being a response or a symptom rather than an illness.
Your Business Needs You At Your Best
The good news is that in unprecedented times, there is no rule book for how we are supposed to cope. So our nervous system does its best to protect us using what it has learned through our lives.
Which means that in order to deal with the trigger which has led to the depression or anxiety, we need to get to the root cause of that response, and reprogram our nervous system to respond in a way which is not detrimental to our business or livelihood.
In order to get through the coming uncertain months and likely economic downturn, your business is going to need you at your best and most regulated. It is not weakness to ask for help or guidance when faced with mental pressures, and it could be the difference between surviving and thriving in your business.
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