It can be easy to feel alone and isolated during this time. Maybe you have gone from being in the buzzing hub of a busy office full time or living the entrepreneur lifestyle where you are seeing clients and networking in person during your work week. Regardless of where you sit in this equation the sudden change to your way of life can be challenging to cope with.
Perhaps the first week or so was kind of refreshing, maybe you enjoyed the lessening of interactions and distractions. It’s possible you have even fallen comfortably into this for the long haul.
But if you haven’t and you are finding that the isolation and the uncertainty is getting you down I have some tips that may help you get through the next few weeks.
1. Ask for help! It can be easy to forget that we are all in this together especially if you are feeling quite cut off from the world right now but there is so much support out there and you don’t need to suffer in silence. Fortunately for us, this has all happened at a time when we are connected in so many other ways. Here are some ideas of how to stay connected to friends, family and co-workers:
- Arrange short video chats to check in with others
- Use longer ‘co-working’ video chats. You don’t need to be speaking the whole time, just like in an office sometimes it’s nice to work alongside someone else.
- Don’t forget there is this thing called a phone, if you don’t feel like having your face on camera how about a voice call.
- Still feeling like too much? How about a text or facebook message? Reach out to someone else and share how you are feeling. You never know, you may just brighten their day too.
- Lastly Beyond Blue has an initiative dedicated solely to COVID-19, you can find it here – https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/
2. Find out what you are entitled to. The government initiatives are rapidly changing in an attempt to cover everyone who has been affected both financially, practically and emotionally by the pandemic. Even if you have previously not been able to claim any support things may have changed so it’s a good idea to check back. Here are some good sources of reliable information:
- WA Small Business Development Corporation – https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus
- WA Government Coronavirus advice for businesses – https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-business-and-industry-advice
- Department of Commerce information on employment issues – https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations/employment-impacted-covid-19-coronavirus
- Business.gov.au information on restrictions to services – https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/restrictions-on-non-essential-services
- Centrelink information on individuals affected and claiming entitlements – https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19
3. Work out your contingency plan. If you haven’t already now is the time to put a plan down on paper and make sure everyone who needs to know about it does. None of us want to think about what will happen if we get sick but it’s a possibility at any time but especially now. Here are some things that are good to think through now:
- Who has access to your passwords and is able to access things you may need if you can’t? I have given my business bestie Emergency Access to my password saving platform. She will be able to get into anything I may need her to in case of emergency. I have also made sure she is an admin on my Facebook page which is good practice at all times anyway just in case I get locked out. This means I can have her put an autoreply on my emails, send out a newsletter letting clients know of my absence and posting to my social media.
- Create an Emergency Action Plan. Having access to everything is no help if I am out of contact and I haven’t left a plan for what needs to be done and who needs to be contacted. I have this all written out, it is stored online and I have also sent her a copy so she can action it and delegate where needed.
- Financial obligations. I also keep a list of what bills and payments I have coming out of my account regularly along with the info that may be needed to access these services in a secure online vault. This means if I am out of action my providers can be called and a delay put on any payments that are coming out of accounts that may not have funds rolling into them.
It may feel uncomfortable to be thinking about the things that would need to be done if you were suddenly absent from your life but this is a useful thing to have in place even when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. We do it for our personal lives by creating a will or getting life insurance. Right now, it NEEDS to be done for your business and even more so if you have employees who rely on you.
These strategies will not only keep you financially and emotionally well but they will mean if you are out of action things will keep ticking along until you are back on your feet.
We have a created a page dedicated to resources and support available to you during this time. It covers cybersecurity, domestic violence support, women’s health services, multicultural support in addition to come of the financial support mentioned above.