10 thoughts to help ride through the economic fallout from COVID – 19 (or is this a note to self?)

Remembering to breathe is important. By Shaun McCarthy.  

  1. Remember that when you wake up tomorrow morning the sun will still be shining, and the world has not come to an end.
  2. Be careful not to get caught up in ‘absolute’ style thinking like “there’s nothing I can do about this”. You always have choices, it’s just sometimes they might not be obvious.
  3. Keep in mind that many of the most amazing innovations have occurred during times of global disruption. Take time to look at your business model and think about how you might redefine this in a new world. Think about what value you add through your services.
  4. Look after yourself. As a leader, you know everyone relies on you, but don’t get caught up in false optimism, nor for that matter overwhelming pessimism. Don’t carry it all on your shoulders – find a friend, your partner or a close colleague to just have someone to ‘talk to’.
  5. Be careful of worst-case scenario planning. Whilst we all need to plan ahead and I recognise the need for this, don’t dwell on it. Dwelling on worst-case thinking is just downright depressing.
  6. Look after yourself (yes again). Find something that takes your mind off it all for a few minutes or even longer. Practice breathing exercises to make sure you mind is functioning at its peak. Breathe in to a slow count of 4 and out to a slow count for 8 – a great way to slow the brain down and ‘clear your mind’. During the day get some fresh air.
  7. Remember that your value as a human being lies in being you, not what you do. What you do does not define you. This is a great time for self-reflection and reassessment of what you want to give to, and get out of, this wonderful life of yours.
  8.  Dr Hans Selye – the original researcher into human stress (the eustress/distress guy) once said: “Show me a person who feels they have no control over a situation, and I will show you someone who is under stress. Show me a person who is under stress, and I will show you a person who feels they are in a situation they feel they can’t control”. A sense of feeling in control is important to anyone, but it’s often illusionary.
  9. We can’t control everything, and sometimes stuff sneaks up behind us and bites us in the ass. So, think about what you can control and what you can’t, know the difference between these and focus your efforts where they can achieve the most.
  10. At all times remember to breathe.

Shaun McCarthy is the chair of Human Synergistics Australia & NZ. www.hsnz.co.nz

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