Wowsers! What an unprecedented time we are currently living through!
Just over a week ago I picked my son up from school knowing that we weren't going back for the foreseeable future. Like many parents the idea of home schooling filled me with dread, but I thought to myself that at least as I work from home... I could struggle through.
Then as public events were cancelled until it covered ALL events it dawned upon me that work was not only going to drop off, but incoming orders would cease altogether and that I was going to have zero income for the next undetermined period of time.
Well, this was quite a scary thing to contemplate! And it got me thinking...
How am I going to get through this ?
A lot of people are going through the exact same problems. Most of my friends are self employed and we are all facing the same issues. The business's that are group and 1-2-1 led have responded by taking their business online through streaming and conferencing...what a marvel technology is!
Unfortunately this is not a technique I can copy as most of my product is based on specialist costumes for competition...and all the competitions are closed for business until further notice....And I am a self confessed total workaholic, keeping busy keeps me mentally well and gives me an enormous feeling of wellbeing.
So here is my gameplan….
routine and structure
Keep it real...we are not on holiday! No sinking to the bottom of a bottle feeling sorry for myself hiding under a duvet on the sofa watching everything on Netflix. Stay disciplined and work active...do the jobs you have been putting off for an age (might as well get your yearly accounts done). Here are some things I will be tackling, make your own list!
- audit social media
- update website
- learn new skills
Doom and gloom is not part of my thought process, problem solving is my go-to. So finding ways of keeping depression at bay and spirits high is paramount. So self-care, eating well and daily exercise are a must. Accomplishment is important to my feeling of wellbeing. I make lists and ticking things off gives me joy....it's the little victories!
expand the horizon
Time to re-think my business! My client base is obscenely niche....but my product range could be expanded to reach new clients. Lots of business's have found ways to serve their clients online...so maybe tutorials, teaching and mentoring could be possibilities. Finding ways to reach out to new people and offer new products, or using a new medium could be solutions.
make home a sanctuary
I am not a tidy person, especially as I work from home, but while I am isolated at home with my son tidying and cleaning have become significantly more important to maintain mental health. Early this week I pulled out all the projects (both work and personal) that I wanted to work on. Some of them have been kicking around my head for a while, some have been started and then put down, some of them are costumes that for some reason didn't get chosen by my clients...but which I think are awesome. So I got them all out, and made a huge mess, and spun myself out...it was overwhelming. What a mistake! I put them all away again and tidied up.
Putting your house in order is like cleaning a slate and starting fresh. I looked again at my surroundings to see how I could make my home a nicer place to be in. Aside from the physical presence of stuff I also have a little person to think about.
Being stuck indoors with someone else requires a certain amount of strong feeling management....especially if you are a single parent and have no garden and no escape. If you normally work from home on your own, like I do, it can really feel like your space is being invaded. Well, there is no better time to learn how to manage my feelings than now!
No income means that saving money is akin to making it! Time to get on the internet and get better deals on those domestic supplies! It's also a really good time to consciously consume. If this pandemic has done anything it has shined a bright light on what a privileged and entitled society we live in. It has re-defined my shopping habits, my exercise habits, learning to make do and mend instead of buying new things all the time and generally be a better companion and parent.
don't be a social tourist
Scrolling all day without interacting is an empty pursuit. It's time filling...it's slow death. Lots of community and interest groups have sprung up on facebook to get us all through this, so go join in and stay sane. Conference calls and virtual pubs keep you in touch with people in your life almost as good as face to face and grease those social connections. I am a huge introvert in many ways, but I still need to feel cared for and wanted by my friends and community.
So these are my coping strategies, I am sure you have your own. They are not my innate skills, so anyone can learn and practice them.
Good luck and stay well