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Coping with Sudden Change (and Covid-19)

Now more than ever, we are all very aware of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and the need to be resilient and calm in the face of adversity.

At a time when peoples’ lives have been thrown upside down, we need to find some structure and clarity so that we are equipped to deal with confusion and rapid shifts.

dealing with chaos

As facilitators of behaviour change toward better wellbeing, longevity and quality of life, Health and Wellness Coaching Industry is positioned to help you to maintain your physical and emotional wellbeing so that you can find calm and clarity in the face of chaos, create healthy daily structures and routines, and remain present and connected with your loved ones and colleagues.

In support of businesses owners across Australia, our Industry offers some ideas to help you cope better with sudden change and to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Melanie White, MelanieJWhite Coaching

Around 70% of Australian businesses are service based; many are well-positioned to turn to online service delivery with a little creative thinking. Working online can be inexpensive and easy with platforms like Zoom, Skype for business and the good old phone, or to set up an online store using Shopify or similar platforms.

There may be an opportunity to reduce unnecessary expenses, get a stay on a lease or hire purchase, or gain government assistance.

But at the core of it, for mental wellbeing reasons, most business owners probably need to take a step back and spend around 20% less time in their business and to use that time to connect with family and to invest in resilience building activities. They may need someone to talk to, a shoulder to lean on, or a fresh perspective on things.  I encourage you to reach out and get that support to help you remain calm, stable and present for your own wellbeing and your family, so that you can continue to show up and serve your customers.

Tracie McDougall, Savvy Belly

A good starting point is to recognise what we do have right now, instead of what we don’t, and to learn to be fully present in the moment.

This allows us to feel grateful and to focus on what is within our control and who we want to be during this crisis, so that we can be calmer and more present with those around us.

It’s also important to find a safe space to share your feelings, knowing there is no right way to be feeling, and that the feelings will pass. Sharing stories of resilience can help us to shift into a calmer headspace and to feel more connected.

Julie Davidson, Julie Davidson Coaching

Most of the people I speak to are struggling with having to adapt to working from home, having kids around them all the time and losing focus for themselves.

The easiest way to cope with change seems to be putting some basic routines in place such as a morning tea break, lunch break etc to give a sense of structure and normality. I love working with people to get organised because I see how uplifting it is, how it gets rid of overwhelm, and how light and free they feel.

Sharyn Cahill, Sharyn Cahill Coaching

If you’re overwhelmed with having your workplace in the home and trying to cope with separation from your team, overthinking things or struggling with worry, then we need to change our thinking patterns.

A lot of what we struggle with starts in our minds, so by changing the things we say to ourselves, we can feel more calm, resilient and peaceful.

Chantal Khoury, Healthy Happy Families

What works best is to keep things as simple as possible, starting with food. Meal planning becomes essential so that mindless eating does not become an issue, especially if the kids are at home.

It’s important to keep to a similar routine as you would during the week, i.e. ensure you have breakfast and dressed by a certain time before the day commences. Have the kids agree to this routine as they thrive on predictability. Don't sweat it if it all goes pear shaped either.

I like to build in 5 minutes of relaxation time into the day, such of 5 minutes of mindful breathing, journaling, reading, drawing or mindful stretching.

All of these create a sense of normality and calm in the household, for a healthy, happy family.

eat healthy nourishing food

Anna Block, Anna Block International

These are really uncertain times, which having been thrust out of your routine, can have you reaching for the wine or constantly snacking because you’re at home and stressed, anxious or bored.

Here are three things that are helping me and my clients to create calm while working from home.

Firstly, we’re resolving stress by reframing our negative thoughts that would otherwise create anxiety or stress, so we can start our working day in a really good headspace, able to focus, write, interact and flow with ease. This could involve verbally reframing the negative to the positive in a coaching session or writing it down. Resolving stress helps us to feel much more connected and grounded, more energised, productive and fulfilled.

Secondly, we’re creating a calm mindset. My clients report that a simple breathing practice helps us to stay calmer and more in control, by taming the fight/flight reflex. Gratitude journaling also helps – to write down three things you’re grateful for.

Thirdly, good nourishing food is essential. I notice a difference in my energy, mood and mindset when I eat fresh healthy meals, and I know I am strengthening my immune system at the same time.

Carly Moore, A Bespectacled Life

In this time of monumental change, it’s important that we can all find a way to connect and find encouragement. Whether by recognising we are not alone in our frustrations, laughing together about the creative strategies we have been using, or simply hearing each other’s stories, my clients are valuing the chance to put some perspective to their own situation. Everyone needs a meaningful way to connect. Right now, coaching is a brilliant point of meaningful connection that is giving people the ability to move forward amidst the challenges of change.

Juliana Nikolova, Unique Health Designs

It’s important to learn how to regulate your responses to stress physically, mentally and emotionally. Developing those self-regulation skills will enhance your resilience capacity, which is so important right now. If you have lost direction or feel scared, you may need someone to talk to, in order to calm down.

There are some simple healthy lifestyle habits which can help you to regulate your body, such as eating enough vegetables, having a calming wind-down routine before bed, good sleep hygiene, and eating in a way that supports healthy metabolic and adrenal function.

Irena Geller, Irena Geller Coaching

There’s no one thing in isolation that can help you tackle this situation. What works best is an inclusive, holistic approach to maintaining healthy relationships, physical fitness, healthy eating, schedules and sleep patterns so we have greater capacity to manage each day.
It can really help to understand your strengths and how to use those on a daily basis to handle sudden change and cope with new challenges.

exercise

Maria Frazer, Flourish Health and Wellness 

Social isolation seems to be the biggest struggle for people right now and they are unsure of how to cope, stay motivated and feel connected.

Learning how to stay connected in these trying times is so important.

Deborah Maddigan, Deborah Maddigan Consulting

Mental Health, anxiety and isolation are all challenges I am seeing right now, especially in people who have never experienced this before. Many people are too embarrassed to say they need support for various reasons.

I encourage you to reach out and connect with others, to get the support you need so you can remain calm and composed in your home and your business.

Deb Carnes, Debra Carnes Coaching

In my own experience, and I'm someone who is used to working from home, I've had to really work to set up a new routine that includes looking after myself.

Amidst all the turmoil be kind to yourself and do something nice for yourself every day. It doesn't have to be something that involves spending money. It's more about taking time to find and acknowledge something positive.

Nicole Gruel, Dr Nicole Gruel

As a small business owner, these times may be one of the biggest challenges you have ever faced. Know that you will get through this, even if the tunnel is dark at this time and you don't know what awaits at the other end. Because beyond being a business owner, you are so much more. You are resourceful, wise, caring, resilient, and strong. You are a brother, a sister, a father, a mother, a lover. Tap into that greater part of you now, that part that knows you will find a way -- the Olympian, the Hero, the Samurai, the Jedi Knight -- whatever form works for you and let it guide your next steps. We will all emerge out of this transformed in some way. It is up to each of us to decide if it will bring out the best in us, or not.

Kathrine Wilkes, Kat Wilkes Health and Wellness Coach 

Planning the day and trying to keep routines is helpful and finding ways to stay positive brings a sense of calm.

Here are some ideas for staying positive is important in these times. Pick an activity that you enjoy daily that is for you only, such as reading, exercising or listening to music that makes you happy.

Do a family activity that everyone enjoys and have fun - laughter is the best medicine

Trying to better yourself in this time through something like exercising and challenging yourself with a personal best e.g. 10 push-ups on toes or just getting through a 20 min workout can help you to feel a sense of achievement.

You can also experiment with creative cooking including trying new healthy meals that you’ve never gotten around to making.

Keep your family happy and healthy as we will get through this together!

relaxation

Megan Spyker, Megan Spyker Coaching

Right now, we are in a unique and uncertain situation and I would like to say that it’s ok and normal to feel anxious and fearful. We can use a variety of tools to find a sense of inner calm somewhere in each day. These could include recognizing the bright spots in each day, sticking to a routine as much as possible and finding time to meditate.

When you’re all working from home and have kids doing school work it can feel like a lot to handle. It may help to have someone to listen to you, show empathy and help you to see your strengths and the positives in is going on.

Annabella Bikesic, Sound Body and Soul Wellness

Motivation and stress are two challenges that people face. In addition to healthy habits around nutrition, exercise and mindfulness, it can be helpful to adopt a growth mindset while still being respectful of your current feelings and situation.

Kylie Stewart, Kylie Stewart Coaching

Most of us need to get stuff off our chest as we navigate the changes in daily routine such as work, kids, partners, exercise and finances.
Sitting down to discuss and plan these things simply and clearly at the start of each week can help calm the overwhelm and support us in healthy daily routines.

Terri Sparrow, Six Sparrows Health and Wellness

I have been really thankful to have more than one stream of income and it’s such an important thing for existing businesses. If there is only one stream of income in your business and you have to shut your doors, then you may not have the financial security you need.

Having an online product or service is a great way to develop additional revenue streams and add value to your business in both the hard times and the good times.

Michelle Hasani, Revive and Thrive Health and Wellness Coaching

In the current state of overwhelm and isolation, we need ways to be able to process the situation and navigate change.

I believe the solution is twofold: to prioritise our health and wellness so we can remain resilient and be there for our families, and to manage our energy rather than our time, so we can maintain a greater sense of control, calm and focus.

Here are some ways to remain productive in your business despite the obstacles: identifying your stressors and improving your coping strategies around them, using your personal strengths, support and knowledge to remain focused on tasks at hand; finding emotional support, empathy, encouragement and accountability to achieve work goals; using the time to improve a specific skill including communication, delegation, conflict management, team building etc.

These approaches will increase your internal accountability and resilience. You will have a greater sense of control and self-efficacy, and insights that will help you to remain calm and focussed.

Jason Nikakis, Vital Lifestyle Coaching

There are a few things that help to manage stress in challenging times. Keeping up exercise is a great approach because when you are in “fight and flight,” having a physical outlet for your adrenalin and cortisol helps to manage your mood, think more clearly and stay solution-focused. 

Maintaining “healthful” eating is important for maintaining energy, focus and sustenance.

Mindfulness practice is very beneficial for remaining calm, but it has been something that I have previously struggled with. What has helped me to develop a routine has been starting small and attaching the habit to an already existing routine - a 10 minute guided meditation while my morning coffee percolates. I also punctuate my day with a few deep belly breaths, and I link this to daily rituals, like brushing my teeth, washing my hands, or waiting for a traffic light. This helps me to create some space between racing thoughts or tumultuous emotional states. Consequently, I can choose actions that are more in alignment with my values and gives me a sense of calm when sailing in a metaphorical stormy sea.

Summary

As we get used to isolation, we are having to adapt almost every part of our daily lives. We need to find new ways to connect, we are having to restructure our days, and we need more self-care to help us lower stress, stay calm, build resilience and show up for ourselves, our families and our clients.

If you need any assistance, please reach out for support. There are so many skilled, trained people available to help you right now.



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