Ever since social distancing measures were put into place all over the world in March, many people have been dealing with anxiety, uncertainty, loss of income and many other challenges. Businesses, too, are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to keep their doors open.
In tough times, it's important for everyone to have methods of coping and ways to put problems into perspective. Entrepreneurs, especially, need to be able to stay focused and practice mindfulness to keep their businesses running during a global recession.
Not sure how to stay centered and mindful so you can continue to help your employees and your customers? Here are seven tips you can use to keep yourself on track.
Focus on the current task at hand.
Many business owners are feeling the need to pivot right now. It's understandable; there are so many things you could be doing right now, but it's important not to overwhelm yourself. Instead of trying to do everything at once, break your list of projects into individual tasks and focus on one of them at a time. Prioritize!
When you focus only on your current task, you're less likely to feel scattered. You'll be able to make real progress, which will move your business forward and help you feel that you accomplished something important. Anxiety often gets worse when you're unfocused and trying to do too many things; stay in the moment, and work on one thing at a time.
If you have trouble concentrating on just one thing, you may need to train yourself to focus. Your lifestyle and habits also have an impact on your ability to focus. Practice, and you'll find that it's easier to stay focused over time.
Take self-care seriously.
Staying mindful is harder when you have more time to yourself than ever before. With everyone practicing social distancing, we don't have physical connections with others to boost our mental health and well-being, so it's important to take self-care seriously. Many people struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, especially when they feel isolated.
Everyone is different when it comes to mental health. It's important to know yourself and to practice self-care so you can manage your mental health. Exercise, eating a healthy diet and connecting with people digitally are all important for keeping yourself mentally healthy.
You might also want to limit your news consumption to reduce anxiety and worry. It's hard to stay mindful when you're struggling with your mental health and constantly worrying about the state of the world. Stay informed, but don't let the news negatively impact your mental health.
Don't be afraid of letting your mind wander.
The very idea of mindfulness might make you think that a wandering mind is a bad thing. It's not! Our minds are designed to wander, and it's OK to let yours do its thing sometimes.
Mindfulness training isn't about keeping your mind from wandering. It's actually a good thing when you notice your mind going off on its own train of thought and bringing it back to your mindfulness practice. Your brain is full of ideas, and it's important to not feel like you've failed when your mind wanders!
Focus on quality, not quantity.
Don't feel like you have to meditate for an hour every morning before you start your workday. You probably won't get as much out of a longer session as you would from several short sessions. In the end, it's the quality of your mindfulness practice, not the quantity, which can help you the most.
You can also build up to longer sessions. If you have trouble with 20 minutes, start with 10 or five at the beginning. Change your routine as you become more comfortable with mindfulness and meditation. You'll be much more likely to enjoy the experience if you don't try to start with long sessions that tire you.
Keep it simple and fun.
Mindfulness practice doesn't require much prior knowledge, any equipment or an app. All you need is a quiet and comfortable place for your daily practice. Keep it simple!
Try meditating first thing in the morning, before all the feelings and distractions of the day start to pop up. Sit with your thoughts for a few minutes before you get breakfast and go about your day. There's no need to have an agenda, but a guided meditation can help if you're feeling stuck.
It's also important to note that you can practice mindfulness during quiet moments throughout the day. Try being more present and in the moment during everyday activities like taking a shower, eating a meal or taking a walk. Little moments of mindfulness throughout the day really add up.
Also, remember to make it fun! Mindfulness shouldn't be a chore. It should allow you to focus on the present. Enjoy the experiences you're having.
Keep multitasking to a minimum if you can.
Multitasking is the enemy of mindfulness. If you're trying to work while chatting with someone or you keep getting interrupted by notifications, you're not going to be focusing or thinking clearly. You need to disconnect and remove all distractions for mindfulness so you can be in the present and train your mind.
Don't get discouraged or be too hard on yourself!
Mindfulness can help you be more productive, calm and allow you to enjoy the present. It's not something you need to "master," and you don't need to be hard on yourself if you struggle with it. No one is grading you on your mindfulness, and you'll see more benefits the more you practice.
It's a lifelong journey, and there's no prize at the end. Mindfulness is a tool that you can use to live a better life. Don't get discouraged, and don't stop trying! Mindfulness can help you get through the tough times so you can succeed in business and in life.