December 15, 2020
Jacki HartMany, many businesses across our profession have had an awesome year for sales, but it has been a marathon roller coaster ride for the leaders of these businesses. So, I want to end 2020 by talking to the leadership teams on a different level — about how well you take care of yourself when the pressure is high.

Seriously. Self-care, it’s a ‘thing.’

Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many entrepreneurs to find time for self care at the best of times, let alone in such an unprecedented year such as this.

In a profession where the annual peak business season seems like an impossibly-hard, uphill marathon, most of us manage to toss self-care to the sidelines and run on adrenalin for a couple of months, knowing that things will eventually settle down and we’ll make it through. Drive-thru diets, caffeine top-ups, and dirty truck consoles are all sure signs of a life in overdrive without any self-care.

In so many ways, this year has been a pressure cooker for stress and self-neglect. And based on the fact that Covid-19 case numbers surging across the country, I think we’re in for a longer Covid marathon than any of us hoped would actually happen.

Stress manifests in many ways, often taking a toll on our health silently until rearing its ugly head. It’s human nature to experience stress when we’re shoved unceremoniously and unwillingly from the familiar into the unfamiliar. And here we all are — without a playbook on managing the intricacies of stress induced by the pandemic on all levels. We have the playbook on managing the risks and exposure to Covid itself, but not it’s ripple effects.

My concern lies in the cracks in the armour of bold and brave entrepreneurs. I could have been the poster child for how to not manage stress 20 years ago. I have the scars to prove it. And now, in my late 50s, I know as with most other things, with managing stress, hindsight is 20/20.

Self-care for some is a daily routine. For others, it’s a foreign concept. Many waft somewhere in between a cherished, solid, self-care routine and running on empty.

So why am I blabbing on about stress and self-care? It’s because I want you to take a few minutes to ‘check in’ with yourself as we close in on the end of a stressful year. Take a few quiet minutes for self-reflection, and think hard about how you’re doing, how you’re feeling, and how well you’re ready to cope for the weeks and months ahead. Even the fast approaching holiday season brings with it another level of stress and extra activities.

Please take a few minutes to answer these questions, and think about what you should/will act on to either improve or change:
  • Do I take at least 15 minutes of quiet time for myself every day — without my phone, other people, devices, a task at hand, or noise?
  • Am I conscious of the stress I may be feeling that comes from change, fear or uncertainty?
  • Am I eating properly and managing my nutrition for a healthy outcome?
  • What routine could I change or begin in order to improve my mental health?
  • When I’m stressed about things I can’t control, who supports me?
  • Are others around me leaning on me for support and reassurance? Can I keep it up?
  • What is happening daily/weekly that fills my cup? (makes me happy/feel rejuvenated)
  • When was the last time I had a ‘physical’ exam, or over-all health consultation with my health care provider? Is it time to talk to him/her about how I’m feeling?
  • What one thing should I stop doing that’s unhelpful to managing stress?
  • What steps do I need to take to align myself and my family (without stress) to health ministry recommendations?
We are all in this pandemic management journey together. It’s still new. It’s unsettling. It’s enduring longer than we’d hoped. It brings unique and new challenges to our lives and routines. Please take some time alone, and with your family, to assess where you are, how you’re feeling, and what steps you need to take to be and to do your best this winter.


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Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager