Simple steps to help you and your business during times of grief and loss.
My daughter was three months old when I found out the horrifying news that my beautiful mum
Victoria was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare, stage four cancer. The words of nightmares still haunt me today.
At the time I was learning to be a mum and all of a sudden I was now losing not just my mum but my best friend, confidant, shopping buddy and travel partner, all the things that make up a wonderful mother-daughter relationship and worst of all my daughter was losing her Nonna.
The days and months that followed were heartbreaking and traumatic, but there fleeting moments of pure joy, which we tried to capture the best we could; my daughter’s first birthday, our last Christmas together, the last birthday I would get to spend with my mum eating cake and lying in her hospital bed together holding each other, knowing we had such limited time.
All the while I had to run my business, working with a number of new clients. As a solopreneur, the ability to have others pick up my work was limited and so I still had to go on, while this nightmare swirled around me, including emergency hospital visits, ambulance rides and managing family stress and demands. It was relentless, but I wouldn’t change a thing knowing that I was by my mum’s side every step of her journey out of this world.
Running a business is a challenging and demanding undertaking, even during the best of times. However, when you are dealing with grief or traumatic events, managing your business can become an even greater challenge. Whether you have experienced a personal loss or are dealing with a national or global crisis, it can be difficult to balance your emotional needs with the demands of your business. In this blog, I explore some strategies that I used to manage my business when I was losing my mother.
Acknowledge Your Feelings: The first step to managing my business during this period of grief and trauma was to acknowledge my feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed during challenging times. When I tried to suppress or ignore these emotions it was counterproductive and made it more difficult to focus on work. So instead, I allowed myself the time to cry if I needed to, sometimes I just sat in the grief and immense sadness that I felt.
Give yourself permission to feel your emotions. Take some time to reflect on what you’re feeling and why. This will help you gain a better understanding of your emotions and allow you to begin to process them.
Create a Support System: Managing your business during a difficult time can be lonely and isolating. It’s important to create a support system that you can turn to when you need help or encouragement. This support system can include family members, friends, colleagues, or even a therapist or counsellor.
Make sure you communicate your needs to your support system. Let them know how they can help you and what you need from them. This might mean delegating some of your business responsibilities or simply having someone to talk to when you need to vent or process your emotions.
I had a great group of friends who were happy to take calls for me and to follow up on emails when I couldn’t this took some of the pressure off. Having a plan with my support network was invaluable for me and the business.
Take Time for Self-Care: I found taking time for self-care to be the hardest thing to maintain while I was going back and forth to the hospital, trying to care for my daughter and maintain healthy relationships with my partner, family and friends and run a business!
We know how important self-care is thought during times of grief and trauma, it’s essential to take care of yourself. This means prioritising your physical, emotional, and mental health. Make time for activities that help you feel grounded and calm, such as exercise, meditation, or journaling. These activities have all been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety and allow you to focus on your business with a clear mind. I found meditating, doing Pilates when I could or at least getting in a walk would help.
It’s also essential to take breaks when you need them. Don’t feel guilty about taking time off or slowing down when you need to. Your health and well-being should always come first, and taking care of yourself will ultimately help you better manage your business.
Create a Flexible Work Schedule: During times of grief and trauma, it can be challenging to maintain a regular work schedule. You might find that you need to take more breaks or work different hours than you normally would. It’s important to create a flexible work schedule that allows you to prioritise your emotional needs while still meeting your business obligations.
Consider working with your team or clients to create a schedule that works for everyone. This might mean adjusting your work hours, delegating responsibilities to other team members, or rescheduling meetings or deadlines. I was able to work with my clients who were wonderful in enabling to reschedule and move meetings and coaching sessions around when I needed to. Having open and transparent conversations was very important with my clients and ensured we had strong working relationships.
Seek Professional Help: Okay, if you have read my book or listened to my podcasts you know how I am all about building a strong support system of professionals including counselling, coaching, and mentoring!! So months before my mum passed away I started working with a grief counsellor to put a plan in place and to work through my rage, and the multitude of feelings that I was going through. Oh, the rage was at times all-consuming and then you have to go to work!
I also had a business mentor to help me work through my business support needs and a business mentor to help keep me on track with my vision for the business. My business supports had valuable insights and advice that helped me to navigate the unique challenges of running a business during a difficult time.
If you are struggling to manage your business during a difficult time, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. This might mean working with a therapist or counsellor who can help you process your emotions and develop coping strategies. You could access a coach like me this could be just the thing you need.
Managing a business through grief and traumatic events is never easy. It can be challenging to balance your emotional needs with the demands of your business. This can be compounded by our neurodivergent difficulties, which can be exacerbated when we are exhausted and under significant levels of stress, such as forgetting more than usual! However, by acknowledging your feelings, creating a support system, taking time for self-care, creating a flexible work schedule, and seeking professional help, you can better manage your business during difficult times. Remember, it’s essential to prioritise your emotional well-being and take care of yourself so that you can continue to run your business effectively.
If you are going through grief and trauma and need some business support, why not book a free exploration session and see how I can help you put strategies in place that enable you to manage your business while going through challenging times?
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