To say it’s been a year like no other is an understatement. Without a shadow of a doubt, each and every one of us deserves an ‘I Survived!’ t-shirt once we turn the bend on the pandemic. While we are definitely not the same people as we were back in early March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, we can at least confidently say the pandemic has led to us be stronger, more resilient, and ready to adapt to challenges then ever before.
Despite this, we know and appreciate that business owners have been hit hard, and pandemic fatigue is real. You have had to continually pivot, think outside the box, and work harder than ever over the past year and yes – it’s exhausting.
If you’re feeling the effects of pandemic fatigue, read on to learn some small steps that may offer some relief.
Automate What You Can
If your head is spinning with all the pivoting that is necessary in a COVID world, try automating what you can to relieve some workload. Consider scheduling your social media marketing so it’s one less thing you need to think about. Using a scheduling app like Hootsuite will help you stay on top of marketing but without having to think about it daily.
Connect with Peers
If you are a business owner, managing through a pandemic, adapting to the rapidly changing restrictions, and living in a virtual world makes it difficult to connect with someone to talk about the experiences and challenges you are facing. Take the time to connect or participate in virtual tourism discussions or workshops at the local or regional level. Connect with other business owners like yourself or attend a virtual workshop led by an industry expert. Learning from the experiences of others may be exactly what’s needed to get those creative juices flowing!
It may feel like you need to do it all and be your own accountant, bookkeeper, website designer, marketing manager, or social media coordinator – but you don’t. This is the time to ask for help. Reach out to friends, family, or even colleagues to see if anyone can help by taking a second look at whatever is adding to your stress. They may be able to offer tips or advice that could help alleviate the pressure you are under. And who knows? Someone may even be willing to take something off your plate in the short or long term.
Find the Good
It’s there – the good. A little positivity can go a long way and sometimes, all it takes to find it is to take a moment, step back, and find all the ‘little goods’ that are out there. What are some positive things that the pandemic has given you more appreciation for?
Has it led to a new way you serve your customers, or the look of appreciation and thanks from a local who has discovered your business? Or maybe it’s the small joy of loving a new local coffee you discovered and knowing you’re supporting another local business. Or simply put, maybe is just looking around and being thankful for all the fresh air and natural spaces that are our luxury in Ontario’s Highlands. To help deal with stressful times, it’s important to try and find the happiness and the things that bring joy.
Take Time for Yourself
Remember how your mom used to tell you to “Go outside and play!” Turns out she knew what she was talking about. Just being outside can improve our physical and mental health, even if you aren’t being active. Being a business owner takes a lot of creativity at the best of times, and COVID has increased the need to think outside the box. Even a few minutes spent outdoors in a park or natural setting can improve our well being, make us more creative, and improve our mood. So the next time you’re stuck about what to do next, take a long walk.
Take care and stay safe.