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The pandemic has completely shifted how we run our businesses. For many, it has meant having to deal with losses and the financial fragility of small businesses. Many business owners have had to deal with the stress of adapting to the “new normal” and, despite government aid and community efforts, have faced much dislocation.

During these times, it’s easy to fall into the trap of stress and despondency. However, if there’s one thing we have total control over, it’s how we survive. Many may think that mindfulness should be the last thing to focus on in a workplace, but it can be at the forefront of one’s battle plan to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic. With the right perspective and action, we can overcome fears we thought would never come to light.

Leading with Mindfulness

If you are leading your people, much of their own productivity and motivation will stem from how you react to this pandemic. When you start with an optimistic, forward-thinking approach, it will be easier for your workers to follow suit and feel hopeful. This can be especially crucial since 88% of employees admitted that they experienced a greater amount of stress during the pandemic. Additionally, 62% of them lost at least an hour of daily productivity, and 32% lost at least two due to the stress. Though there’s not much you can do to ease the pandemic, you can ease their anxiety by providing them with more certainty.

More than ever, it’s crucial for you to remain present and aware of what’s going on. That will let you respond to difficult times with more purpose, which can spill over to your employees’ approach in dealing with an uncertain situation. Hold regular meetings, if need be, to outline specific plans you have for business recovery. This will also give you a chance to clarify the exact roles of your employees, which is necessary for them to execute their jobs with mindfulness. When you are able to stay mindful yourself, you can tackle your problems with a clear headspace and you will be more equipped to answer the concerns of your employees.

Building Resiliency

Of course, you don’t have to steer the ship on your own. Creating mindfulness programs, practices, and guidelines that are actionable can help you to build more organization and self-efficacy in your company. When it comes down to execution, this is where you can rely on the skills of your human resources department. Proper delegation eases some of the load, and can help you focus on other aspects of running your operations.

You should lean on your HR department when implementing mindfulness training at work. HR management is one of the most important careers in business administration, as they oversee employees from the highest levels of a company’s structure to the people putting in the day-to-day work, and are able to put into practice, methods that will help everyone perform at their best. One way to do this is to incorporate meditation practices. A Forbes Human Resources Council article spoke to several HR experts and they suggested incentivizing mindfulness to truly encourage all employees to try and create a balanced workplace. You can offer discounts or bonuses and other rewards that don’t need to be monetary. Simply by explaining how meditation and other mindful practices can boost one’s wellbeing can encourage it. Otherwise, you can add a sense of community to it, maybe by having a mediation expert lead virtual classes or breathing exercises.

The Sense in Self

Once you free yourself of the thinking that self-care and your mental wellbeing are not crucial in running a business, you can actively make use of learning materials and guide programs to face the future. After all, stress and anxiety can cloud judgment, and only serve to hinder innovation. Part of practicing mindfulness is improving your focus and increasing communications. These are both useful tools in navigating difficult times, and can be achieved by simple meditation practices.

When you are able to incorporate mindfulness in your daily life, you’ll even find that you have more energy and can better allocate it into the right priorities. Studies have shown how tiredness can significantly impact the way an executive performs. They’re less efficient and effective at leading, with some even showing tendencies of abusive behavior towards employees when they’re tired and distracted. A lot of supporting data even states how heavy mental and physical fatigue makes you perform tasks like someone who is legally drunk. Obviously, this is far from ideal and it can lead to the downfall of your business in an already challenging time.

Even though major setbacks have affected business owners and their workers throughout the past year, there is still much value to be found in cultivating gratitude despite it all. With the right support and training, personal growth can translate into business growth.

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