McKinsey & Company Healthcare systems states “almost 41 percent of Americans struggle with mental-health issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but many companies remain ill equipped to address the problem.” Things are settling in but it is up to you to lead the way with positive leadership. Leaders need to actively encourage positivity because it will help your team weather the stormy seas. You need to take care of yourself, foremost, but you also have a responsibility for your employees as well.
I read an article recently that said our brains are hard wired to be negative. This mind-set dates back to our ancestors. Those who expected the worst were more likely to survive! However, with a little work, we can train our brains to think differently. It is a lot of work but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Start with GRATITUDE. There are many things to be grateful for. When you start your day, think good thoughts. You will have obstacles because no day is perfect. It is important to focus on the good, not the bad so no matter how small the “good” is. Smell the coffee. Focus on today. If you focus on the past, living in your past glory will get you nowhere. You have learned the lessons, move on. Focusing on the future, you could spend too much time thinking on how great things could be. Live in today. Increase your recognition of your employees and praise them for what they have done. Start some new programs with small prizes to award extra effort. Certainly, don’t forget your customers either. Find ways to let your customers know you are grateful for them as well.
Open yourself up to HUMOR. I love to laugh and if you know me, you know it is true. Laughter lowers stress, anxiety and depression. According to Healthline.com, It also improves coping skills, mood and self-esteem. In difficult situations, give yourself permission to laugh. It lightens the mood and makes things see a little less difficult. If you are not feeling it, pretend. When an employee makes a mistake, a laugh can diffuse the situation. By diffusing the situation, you can also turn it into a lesson. And remember to SMILE. A smile will tell those around you that you are easy to talk to and you may find people will be more open with you. A smile is simple but it goes a long way.
Know the signs of DISTRESS. This is very important. As the business owner, you have your worries and concerns. Remember, your employees do too. They are worried about being laid off, worried about child care and school for their children, etc., just to name a few. Spend time to talk to your employees every day. You need to monitor their moods. If you see someone is having a difficult time, offer some time off, paid, to give them some relief. If you can foster some positive effects, happier employees make for happier customers
Spend time with POSITIVE people. Positivity and negativity can be contagious. Picture yourself coming to work where the atmosphere is all gloom and doom. Studies have shown that negativity reduces work flow. Even with the lingering affects of the COVID-19, put on your happy face and enter any room with your bright smile. If you find your friends are becoming too negative, time to find new friends. If you have employees continue to be negative, it’s time to find replacements. COVID-19 has taught us things change at a rapid pace so we need to be ready to face the challenges ahead.
EXERCISE your mind and body. We know that exercise is good for our bodies. A walk around the block can do wonders to clear your mind. Exercise has physical as well as mental and emotional benefits. Getting active will keep your body in better shape and boost your self-esteem. Yoga and meditation are extremely affective. If you never tried it, give it a shot. In addition, make sure your employees take their breaks and lunch time. A short walk can give them more energy to finish their day.
LASTLY, READ A BOOK. There are so many books out there. I read a lot and enjoy it so much. Great Performers Academy has put together a list of books covering a wide range of subjects. Go on www.greatperformersacademy.com/books/30-life-changing=books-you-need-to-read-this-year. There will be something of interest for you.
It will take some time to train yourself to turn into a positive person. Just keep working at it. The Holidays are here. Let’s bring joy and happiness into our hearts and homes. A New Year is coming and well, there is nowhere to go but up. Happy Holidays to all of you and lots of air hugs!