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Staying Sane in the Age of Covid-19

In a few short weeks, our lives went from relatively normal to mostly upside down, and I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to those personally affected in any way.

By now, you’ve received three dozen emails from companies describing what they are doing to keep their employees and customers safe. I’m not going to do that because you already know what we should all be doing: work from home if you can, practice “social distancing,” cough into your elbow, wash hands well, and don’t touch your face.

Flatten the Curve

Instead, I wanted to share some ideas for how entrepreneurs can stay sane and productive while spending most of our time isolated at home.

  • Limit news consumption. While it’s important to stay informed, obsessively watching the news and refreshing your Twitter and Facebook feeds will send your stress and anxiety levels through the ceiling. Block out a bit of time, say 20 minutes each morning and evening, and only consume news and social media during those times (and stop consuming these at least an hour before bedtime). Stick to reputable sources like this.
  • Work out. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. There are lots of exercise routines you can do at home with little or no equipment, so try to do a 20-30 minute workout 3-5 times a week (but at home, not at the gym!).
  • Get out in nature. Spending time in nature is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Go for a walk in the nearest park (but keep your distance from other people!).
  • Meditate. Or at least take some deep breathing breaks. This is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Learn some new skills. I bet you own dozens of books you’ve been meaning to read. Or you can take online classes from sites like Udemy and Coursera. As an entrepreneur, you need to know a little bit about a lot of things like sales, marketing, accounting, operations, business law, and so much more. Think about areas where you are weak and spend an hour a day expanding your knowledge.
  • Think deeply about your business. Since your meetings have all been canceled, you have more time to really think about new strategies and tactics you need to adopt to weather this crisis.
  • Stay connected. Don’t let yourself get lonely. Do video chats with your friends, co-workers, and customers. We’re all in this together.
  • Treat yourself. That Netflix show you’ve been meaning to binge-watch?
  • Donate blood. The Red Cross is anticipating a shortage of blood and platelets so if you are healthy, go make a donation.
  • Sing with your neighbors. It’s a thing.
  • Learn to cook. Sign up for a meal kit delivery service like Blue Apron or Trifecta and cook some of your own meals instead of ordering Uber Eats all the time.
  • Develop a side-hustle. What are you good at? Go to a freelancer site like Upwork to sell your services.
  • Don’t obsess over the stock market. It may take a while, but your portfolio will eventually recover.
  • Be kind to each other. Did you hoard more toilet paper than you really need? Share with your neighbors. Do you have a vulnerable (elderly or with a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.) friend who can’t safely go to the pharmacy or grocery store? Help them out. Tip people well for take-out and delivery orders.

To be clear, we are in uncharted territory. Quite literally. The scale of the crisis is still unknown, but the level of human suffering is going to be tragic. And the global economic impact will be massive and long-lasting. A global recession seems likely. We need to summon our strength and address the situation calmly and rationally in the face of uncertainty.

Please keep yourself and your families safe. We look forward to supporting your efforts as we navigate through these uncertain and difficult times.

Do you have any Covid-19 stories or tips you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments section below.

Akira is the Founder & CEO of Cayenne Consulting. He has over 30 years of experience both as an entrepreneur and helping other entrepreneurs succeed. Akira earned his BA in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University. View details.

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