Stay focused on what’s really important | 3 ways to manage stress in the face of uncertainty

 In Leadership

“We don’t always get to choose whether or not we have storms. The only choice we get to have is how we respond to those storms.” -Rory Vaden

The surreal events involving the current coronavirus outbreak have radically changed our world. Business leaders, just like you, are no doubt losing sleep over how bills will get paid and how families will function. But, speaking from experience, excessive worry and fret will not make the situation better. Especially worry and fret about things you have little or no control over. Here are three methods I use to manage stress caused by the storms of life..

The best way to keep from being sucked into the negative vortex is first to stay focused on what is most important to you. What is important to me is my family. Like you, I am getting to spend a lot more time with them. We are playing Yahtzee, taking hikes in the woods, and sharing a lot more meals. I am enjoying my time with Marcy and the kids like never before.  Seize this day and make every moment count.

The second point is to work on something positive that you can control. How many times have you longed to learn a new skill or start a new project, “if only I had the time”? It may be an improvement around the house or starting to exercise regularly. Use this gift of time to achieve some goals that you just haven’t had time for in the past.

Lastly, maintain your perspective. While many things are uncertain and out of your control, countless others are facing the same obstacles. There are so many reasons to be thankful. Intentionally focus on the positive things in your life. One simple way to guard yourself from a slump is to institute a gratitude practice. Start each day by naming five things you are thankful for, then do the same before you go to bed. It works even better if you write them down in a journal. This way, you can periodically go back and review the ever-growing list.

One of the things I am most grateful for is the tribe of wise people who have chosen to include me in their lives. I count you among them. I am blessed by knowing you and I am sincerely thankful that we are journeying through life together.

At the end of the day, give yourself some grace. Stay focused on what really matters and continue to productively move forward. No one expects you to handle these extraordinary challenges perfectly. By all means, do what you can reasonably do, but don’t let the tail wag the dog.

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