It’s day 41 working from home due to the Coronavirus lock down. During that time businesses on survival mode, applying for PPP money, people laid off, applying for unemployment, portfolios taking a beating. The result – fear, anxiety, and stress! Especially for those of us in the higher risk categories, it appears we won’t be totally safe from COVID -19 until we have a vaccine, which isn’t likely to be available for a long time. Until then, how do we vaccinate for fear, anxiety, and stress?
Prayer! It starts with gaining perspective – PSALMS 46 says, “be still and know that I am god” over & over god says, “I will never leave you”. Ask for help – God wants to give you peace in the middle of the storm. You don’t need fancy prayers –just ask! Prayer is about acknowledging your need for help and being thankful god is with you no matter what you’re going through. PSALMS 23 – Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me. That’s hope!
Now it’s time to go! – after praying it’s time for action! Many years ago, a mentor of mine said, “pray as if everything depends on God and act as if it all depends on you”. How are you going to do that?
- Put your prayers into action by staying focused on the needs of people around you – your family – your employees – your customers – are you serving them, looking for ways to help them get through this? Or are you becoming overwhelmed by your own fear, anxiety, and stress, causing you to have a short fuse, not sleeping well, irritable, wanting to hide under a rock?
- Stress can wipe you out! Many years ago, I attended a seminar on stress management and I’ll never forget the illustration the speaker used. He put a rubber band between is two forefingers and began to stretch it out, back and forth and said while he was doing that, “The human body has an almost infinite ability to handle stress. What it can’t handle is this (he stretched the rubber band out and kept it stretched). – If you don’t release the stress on the rubber band, eventually it breaks! So do you!
- You need to find ways every day to release the stress in order to be able to function at your highest level as a leader. Your family needs you – your employees need you – your customers need you to be at your BEST.
- Find ways to have fun – One of my clients said their older kids cooked dinner and said it was a dress up dinner – 50’s style! Very creative and lots of fun!
- Turn your phone off periodically -It’s tempting to keep our phone on constantly so you can deal with everything all the time! At night, at least for an hour or two, turn it off and spend some time enjoying your family. Take a walk and leave your phone at home – for 30-60 minutes your business can run without you!
- Delegate – depend on your people! You better have qualified people around you or you are in worse trouble than you thought. Let them carry some of the load.
How do we vaccinate for fear, anxiety, and stress? Pray and go! Pray – PSALMS 16 “Keep me safe O God.” By doing so you are acknowledging the truth in this statement, “I don’t know what the future holds but I know the one who holds the future.”
Then go! Focus on caring for others– your family, employees, and customers. You can only do that most effectively if you use the vaccine – prayer – and give yourself some time off for fun and relaxation which will release your rubber band.