How are you doing...really? A bit frayed at the edges? Struggling for control of, well, anything? Our new normal for the weeks...and months...to come looks very different than it did not long ago. And we've got to learn to work with what we've got!
Here's how I'm coping. I'd love to hear what you are doing!
Helping Others During the Pandemic
When anxiety gets the best of me, I try to think of what I can do to improve the situation. How can I help someone else?
As the owner of a soap business, that means stocking local food pantries with hand soap. As a daughter of parents over seventy, it means making sure Mom and Dad have what they need without having to go out in public. As a citizen of the world, it means listening to the experts on how we get a handle on this thing...and following that to the letter.
The worry is still there. But I know I've done what i can.
Can I do anything for you during the Covid 19 lockdown?
- Are you new to cooking at home (with limited supplies) and need some help? I love to cook!
- Thinking of home gardening for the first time and not sure where to start? I'm a pro with vegetables and herbs.
- Want to talk books? I'm a new adapter to ebooks. (Yeah, I know, what was I waiting for? But I do still love the *real* thing.) And, I'd love to hear what you are reading!
- Struggling to keep the kiddos occupied?
- GoNoodle on YouTube has some great dance party inspiration and other get moving games.
- When you need something a bit more chill, try Cosmic Kids Yoga.
- We are living through something that is going to be our next generation's history books. Encourage your kids to journal about their experience.
- And yes, I am still selling and shipping soap! I follow the FDA's guidelines for Good Manufacturing Processes (all the time) to keep the workshop clean and safe. I'm on week three of physically isolating from the public and my last raw material shipment was back in January.
Welcoming Distractions from the Cornavirus.
When I go into crisis mode, I'm laser-focused. I plan, I research, and I consume every bit of news. But sustaining that for weeks on end becomes unhealthy. (And exhausting.)
So, I give myself time to read or watch the news each day, but I also:
- Maintain a semi-regular routine
- Indulge in books and off-peak-hours Netflix
- Call/text/video chat
- Take time for long, hot bath
- And give myself a break when I don't feel up to doing much at all
This is going to look different for everyone. Some of you work from home now. Some of you did before the pandemic. Others are unable to work. Or are so essential to the rest of us that they have to. Some of your kids are being holy terrors. And some have health issues that make navigating life right now a minefield. It's going to take some time to define your new normal.
Even if you find yourself with free time, you don't have to be productive 24-7. Y'all hear me? Because I see you thinking you should lose weight, learn Japanese, or Spring clean. Let it go! Sometimes you just need to idle in survival mode for a minute.
Planning for a Future When We Have Flattened the Curve
When everything seems so uncertain, it can be hard to focus on planning. But, a huge lesson I've learned in this business is, there is value in planning, even if you have to adjust (or scrap) the plan.
The future of my micro-business is uncertain, but, honestly, it always is. The cash I planned to spend on rebranding this year has been eaten up by attorney fees to fight trademark infringement. And, I bet you've saved up for a new couch only to find a leak in the roof...or something along those lines.
Nothing is ever certain, but we still set goals and work toward the big picture. So, fill out college applications, pour over house plans, and plan your dream vacation. Those things may not come to fruition this year, but you will have something to be excited about when the world opens up again.
Me? I've got a consulting team all lined up to bring Southern Girl Soapery out of the bunker stronger than ever! And I'm revising those house plans, even though I've hit pause on the building.
Supporting Small Business While Physically Distancing
So many folks are reaching out with a desire to support small businesses, even though many don't have discretionary cash or a safe way to buy products. That's the thing about great customers, they are all in. They want the businesses they love to survive.
I get it, y'all! I shop small too!
You know one thing every small business you've shopped with in the past would love right now? A great review! It's going to be a while before most of us have a marking budget again. But a satisfied customer who is willing to talk about their experience is like money in the bank when it comes to advertising.
I dished on how to leave a review at Southern Girl Soapery in a previous post. But, the process is similar for companies across the board. Share some love.
Virtual hugs, belles! I love y'all for coming together by staying apart. Chat it up in the comments if you need some social time. And, as always, contact me with any questions.