I often write about reducing stress, advocating for your clients and making self-care a priority. Now, more than ever, the anxiety people are under is written across their faces and weighing on their shoulders.
Here are five ways to help relieve some of the tension you might be feeling and to keep your business moving forward.
Create a work-from-home plan
If you have to work from home, do you have what you need?
National crisis aside, I’ve always encouraged independent contractors, managers, brokers and support staff to have a work-from-home plan. Why? Because there are certain events we can’t plan for — like snow days, a flood, a sick kid, a dog that accidentally eats a sock, an aging parent or a loved one who unexpectedly needs your immediate attention and many other things you won’t think of until they happen.
Having a plan in place (especially for admins and support staff who keep our offices running sharply) will help keep business moving forward.
If you don’t already know how to set up a video conference using your phone and computer, stop putting it off, and tackle that skill set. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. (My personal favorite tool? Zoom.)
Go on a digital diet
There’s a lot of extra “noise” right now on social media channels, at in-person gatherings and even at the breakfast table. Be conscious of what you are consuming on your phone. Endless notifications will drive up your anxiety. I challenge you to go back and review the last 10 notifications to your phone. See what can be dialed back, turned off or removed entirely.
Ready to take a quick test to see where you need to trim back? Use your screen time monitor features, and see where you are spending the most time. Then, ask yourself: Would I’ve rather spent that time doing something else? Prioritize being present and interacting with your surroundings.
Find some quiet time
When is the last time you had some uninterrupted peace and quiet? Take a longer shower, or go to bed early. Learn to appreciate the silence.
If you are unable to quiet your thoughts, try using a white-noise machine or a free meditation app on your phone to help you get some downtime. Silence is very beneficial to your brain, body and spirit. Even just five minutes can help relieve anxiety. Take a few minutes, and clear your head in the car before walking into the office or your next appointment.
Admit that you have anxiety, and it’s OK
Having anxiety is OK; treating anxiety is OK. Not doing anything about your symptoms and suffering in silence? That’s not OK. Compulsively checking your phone, chronic tension and headaches, illogical fears, perfectionism, excessive worrying and sleep deprivation are just a handful of signs that you might be suffering from anxiety.
Gather your resources and ask questions
Make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources, not just word of mouth. If you are feeling unsure about what to do next, ask for help.
Prepare for market ups and downs by sticking to a responsible budget and creating a rainy-day fund. Take inventory. What do you have? What do you need versus want? What do you think can reduce your personal stress? Being informed? Getting organized? Staying proactive? Taking better care of your personal health? Ask yourself these questions.
Remember that everyone will have a different comfort level for planning and prep. You will need to find your own personal rhythm. Practice self-awareness with your surroundings. Take a moment to think before you speak, and seek out ways to keep your day balanced.
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.