If you're in self isolation by choice or necessity, what do you have planned to bide the time? For some the idea of being trapped indoors might make them feel stir crazy. For others, the prospect of not being able to go out and earn and work in their business can be terrifying and daunting.
I get for some people, this time is extremely isolating, tumultuous and routine-shattering. For those who have lost their jobs or have massive financial instability right now (which is pretty much most of us!) this time is unfortunately necessary, but fraught with a LOT of anxiety and a big daily dose of WTF do I do now? There hasn't been a whole lot of CLEAR direction or leadership as yet, and the feeling of uncertainty for some is understandably unsettling.
Here's some ideas to help you ride out the storm if you're looking to stay productive or want to just chill the fuck out during this time.
And please know: it's OK NOT to have a clear plan. It's ok not to be busy if you're finding everything overwhelming. It's ok to slow down and unwind and not get caught in a trap of being busy or productive because you feel you MUST make the most of this time. This guide is simply a couple of suggestions on what you could do, depending on your circumstances and your ability to cope and function right now.
1. Look at clever and new ways of doing business
Assess your income channels and review your service offerings- are there ways to make them more accessible
and affordable for people during this time?
If you're in a face to face service business, how can you harness and utilise more technology to your advantage?
Are there workshops, conferences, meetings you can offer online instead of in person?
Consider introducing alternative payment options to assist your clients who may want your services, but are afraid to spend and pay up front right now- can they buy vouchers or pre-pay for sevrices now and then cash them in in the future?
Reach out to other businesses to see if there's any collaboration opportunities online- perhaps you could collab on a topic via podcast or a zoom conference to your combined audiences. While getting more moeny in is really top of mind right now - as most of us have lost the ability to get paid- what's also important is staying top of mind to your target market and remaining visible.
2. Try to find a new revenue stream
Can you diversify your offering? Is there a product, freebie or service that you can quickly develop and market online that will add value for your customers may bring a bit of revenue in?
Think merchandise, a guide, a book, or a podcast. What are your strengths and talents? Are you able to teach these to others online?
3. See this time as a chance to catch up and take stock
Some forced isolation is a a rare opportunity to finally work on your business rather than in your business!
Is this a chance for you to take stock and revisit your goals/ purpose/ marketing strategies? Is there anything you can revamp or make better in this time that you never usually get time to do? You may wish to do an online course or some training / personal development.
4. Take some well needed rest time and factor in some self care
You need and deserve a break- you may like to think of this time as a time for a retreat and reflection
You may wish to do not a lot at all and take some time out with your immediate family to watch netflix and chill - it's a totally legit way to spend some quiet time.
Take some time out to slow down, do some yoga, meditation, get through some books you've always wanted to read, sleep in, cook, take a bath in the morning- whatever floats your boat and gets you zen. Spend some quiet time with the kids and make sure you're not the only one doing so- partners are in this too.
5. Reach out to others
Kindness, empathy and love can go a long way in times like this. Check in on your neighbours, especially if they're elderly or disadvantaged, and see if they're doing ok or need anything (make sure you social distance!)
Make sure if you have elderly neighbours they know how to contact you in an emergency- watch for signs of them being ok (lights on, sounds of being active)
If you're feeling lonely, keep connected to others online, via chat groups, dms, emails, skype or zoom, anything to try and give you a sense of connection and community which is the first thing to disappear when we have to isolate.
And please, if you are feeling your mental health is declining, which is a very real and understandable occurence, have a list of contacts you can get in touch with by phone or skype- particularly if you feel vulnerable and alone. You aren't alone in this and we want you to know that your mental health is VITAL right now. Know the signs of when you are struggling and have a partner or trusted person keeping an eye on you for these signs. It's really important to know when you aren't doing great and take action- make it your priority right now.