Craziness of COVID, fears and meltdowns.

SUP-PADDLE

written by Sarah Colgate

Business Tips for 2024 | Self Awareness

May 3, 2020

The COVID19 pandemic has been a life changing journey for all of us. Everyone has responded in a different way and has a different experience. Actually we are still responding and still having different experiences.

It’s eleven weeks after we closed our business due to COVID 19 and I am feeling a more intense sadness and sense of loss than I did at the beginning of all this. But why?

We closed our business on 21st March 2020. At the time there were endless amounts of tears, uncontrollable sobbing and a significant amount of wine drinking. When I look back on why I had so many tears, it was because I was scared, scared for our business, scared for our future, scared that everything I had worked for would disappear. 

When the tears run dry, I go on with it. I applied for all the loans, shut everything down, cut every cost, cancelled every subscription and did whatever I could to keep busy. My busy-ness has replaced my business. I signed up for a multitude of free business courses, joined in on every webinar and accepted an invite to every zoom call I could. My schedule was packed to the rafters. 

Each morning I walked while listening to business podcasts. The ideas come flooding in. I got started on all sorts of plans. I created a Trello board for every plan and added every idea to a board. Within weeks I had created plans to acquire new businesses, partner on existing micro businesses, set up new tours and experiences from scratch. I worked night and day to get through all my work. It was frantic. I felt like I was really achieving things. I had to achieve things while everything had stopped.

This was an opportunity of a lifetime. I could reassess my entire business, change whatever I wanted and put it back together. I felt strong, happy, in control and on track. Life was awesome and I was on fire. 

My friends joked that they were on holidays or long service leave and I was still on task every minute of every day.

Somewhere in the midst of all of it a friend took me stand up paddle boarding. Something I had never done before and I fell in love with it. That time on the water gave my brain more fuel to achieve more things.  It re-energised me!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand Up Paddle Boarding

As you can see now I live to be busy, I love business and I love creating new things. I really wanted to come out the other side of this with something to show for it. As if we were all going to sit around and compare notes once life got back to “normal”. In my head it would go something like “ I started two new businesses and lost 15 kilos! What did you do in isolation?” “Well I painted my house, built a new deck, cleaned every cupboard out and put on 5 kilos!”  Well in my head it sounded a bit better and I was the rockstar that achieved the most! 

I worked really hard to pull new deals together, create new opportunities. I had zoom calls and google meet up with business owners, business mentors and anyone that I identified had an opportunity. I came really close a few times and something I was so passionate about nearly came off. 

The problem with the magical world in my mind was the pace wasn’t sustainable and what I wanted to do wasn’t achievable. Does anyone else have this issue? When you have a clear picture on what you are doing but the universe does not comply? 

So here we are eleven weeks in. It looks like we have another 5 to 6 weeks of this shit, before we can even open our business, let alone have customers which will probably be another frigging 12 weeks away. I am in pieces on the floor. I have given up on everything. I cant talk anymore about opportunities or possibilities or business strategies. Right now I couldnt give a fuck if I never saw a business plan or spreadsheet again. 

I need to get away. I need to escape the fact that the 70 hours a week I spend building my business and all the family time I have given up, all the financial commitments are not for nothing. 

So I decided to take a week off. I made my staff take a week as well so I didn’t have to answer calls or have conversations. My plans consisted of sitting on the couch, to watch all the Netflix and Stan shows everyone has been talking about for months now. I managed to get the kids to school, go home wrapped myself up in a blanket and cried most days, ate too much chocolate and drank too much coffee. 

On the second last day of my week off, some life saving component of my brain kicked in and I called a friend. We went for a walk by the water. We walked and walked and walked. We both needed a massive pick me up and a breather. We shared stories of the tears, the couch sitting, netflix watching, wine drinking and the unbelievable amount of fear we have sitting in the pits of our stomachs that tell us our businesses may never recover, our dreams may never come true, our finances are fucked and our futures have changed forever. 

As this crazy COVID shit is still such a long way from being resolved, gone, eradicated, under control or whatever it needs to be for our lives to resume this is me for now. Not happy, not sad, not achieving, not feeling awesome. I am just getting by and not letting the fear over run my head and my heart, just letting it live deep down in the pit of my stomach. 

I want you to know it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to be uncomfortable and scared. You don’t need to numb these feelings, look at them, embrace them, understand where they come from and why you are feeling the way you do. If these feelings are happening over and over look at why and where they are coming from. Find the source, see what you can do to change how you feel about it or move away from it. 

I believe a valuable life and a successful life comes with so many ups and downs. Handling those ups and downs is the essence of our life. Having a happy life is impossible as happiness is not a state of being. It’s an emotion reflective of the state you feel. For me I might have 100 emotions in a day, that doesn’t mean I am not happy.  Take some time to consider your feelings and the thoughts associated with those feelings. See where they come from, notice what might they be telling you. 

In regards to COVID there isn’t anything i can do to change the situation. Therefore I have to change the way I respond to the situation. Some of the things I have done to help improve my mood and the feeling of helplessness over this period. 

  1. Writing and Journaling – I find by writing down my worries in a book I can process them better. I also write down the worst thing that can happen in order to get some perspective. Then I finish off with writing 5 things I am grateful for and 5 positive affirmations. This helps reset and reflect your mind onto something more positive. 
  1. Meditation – I have a guided meditation series by Lauren Ostrowski Fenton that I have been using for years. She is Australian and has a lot of positive reinforcement meditations. 
  1. Affirmations – I have an abundance of affirmations I read through on a regular basis to help reinforce the positive things in my life. Check out my resources page for affirmations. 
  1. Get professional help  – I know if my slump goes on too long I need some outside help. I have a number of professional healers I go to at different times. PSYCH K, Acupuncture, Massage, counselling and so on. Without these people I would not have been able to refocus my thoughts and feelings. 

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