Pandemic Stress: Small Business Owners Need Self-care, Too

When there’s global uncertainty, local and worldwide economies take a hit. Small businesses are not spared from experiencing coronavirus pandemic’s effects, making the owners feel more stressed.

With the obligation to take care of your business and employees while also fulfilling responsibilities at home, you don’t have much time for yourself. But you shouldn’t neglect self-care. Looking after yourself can help you regain focus during a pandemic and serve as a better leader for your team and family.

Here are some self-care strategies you can take to gain a refreshed sense of purpose:

Get more sleep

Many people find it difficult to sleep because of the anxiety brought about by the pandemic. But lack of sleep can affect your concentration, alertness, and critical thinking. Get six to eight hours of sleep each day. If that isn’t possible, then take your rest days seriously. Stay away from work duties as much as you can and sleep in instead.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can alleviate stress, boost immunity, and help you get a good night’s sleep. Even if you are on the move all day, take the time to walk the dog, go on a jog, or hit your home gym for a few hours. Exercise also helps you switch out of work mode if you find it difficult to delineate work/business from home.

Identify a weekly big three

Trying to keep your business afloat during a pandemic seems a huge task. Make the situation easy to deal with by only identifying three big tasks a week. For instance, if you’re planning to reopen your shop, instead of creating a long to-do list, focus on securing safety equipment for your workers, getting new stock of your usual wholesale or retail store supplies, and collaborating with your team. Commit to completing only these three tasks, and you won’t feel too stressed or overwhelmed the entire week.

Pursue a hobby


Find an interest outside of your business. It’s better if it’s an activity you can share with friends and family, like gardening, watching your new favorite series on Netflix, or learning to bake sourdough bread. Shifting your thoughts to learning a new skill or long-forgotten hobbies can give you a sense of accomplishment.

Seek support

Seek support when you can—whether it’s financial support to help improve your business’ cash flow, emotional support to keep you relaxed and sane, or online guide to help you take on a new hobby. Talking to people may also help you work through your anxiety issues and ease your burdens. Mental health is just as important as physical health, especially in a health and economic crisis.

As a small business owner, many people rely on you to offer solutions and be at the top of your game. But external factors like the economic fallout from the pandemic can impact your decision-making and leadership. In times like these, focus on what you can control—on yourself. Practice self-care and you are likely to have a renewed sense of purpose and energy and give your best self to your business.

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