3 Apr 2020

5 steps for managing change

Stress is a word that gets used a lot, but what is it? Change often requires a response or an adjustment to your lifestyle, and stress is a bodily reaction to this. Change causes emotional, physical and mental responses. Stress has the potential to cause heightened levels of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, trouble sleeping or even depression. It is also physical, from stomach and chest pain to headaches.

We will all be experiencing heightened levels of stress right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the protective measures that have been taken to reduce its impact on the population.

There is a chance that you may not feel stressed, but much of the response is out of our control, and to help manage the impact on us, the following 5 steps may help:

  1. Take time to do the things you ordinarily wouldn’t get around to
    This might be a temporary situation, but now is the time for preparation. Go and learn something whether this is developing your digital knowledge or learning new skills, streamline your desktop for optimised working or even get in touch with an old colleague and build on those connections. Start stepping up your social media plan, research and prepare on how you can monetise your pages. Get tips on how to do so here.

  2. Recognise your stress for what it is
    Stress not only causes feelings of anxiety, but it increases blood-pressure and tightens muscles. Take the opportunity to slow down, even if it’s just for a day, and think about what you want and what you need. For an immediate plan: eat healthy, be kind to yourself and sleep.

    Don’t be afraid to reach out, there are so many organisations out there to help; if you’re worried about money or relationship struggles, someone is there to offer support.

  3. Have a project and set targets for yourself
    Having a project and something to focus on is critical in managing change during times of uncertainty. Get that online training course completed within 8 weeks and make a deal with yourself to re-decorate the living room by the end of the month.

    Goals give you purpose, both professionally and personally. The realistic targets that you set yourself and others provide motivation, focusses attention and grants a basis of evaluation. Conquer these skills now, ready for when you’re back to the new working normality and find you are ready to apply for that promotion or willing to change your career path. It’s time to start planning for your future.

  4. Reduce the impact of your immediate stressors
    Upon reflection you may realise the cause of some of your stress, allowing you to put into action what you can do immediately to reduce the impact of those stressors.

    Studies have shown that keeping your working space tidy and exposure to natural light boosts our moods and productivity. Turn off the news, reduce your social media intake and only look at it at certain times, exposure to negativity might affect your well-being more than you think.

    Another tip would be to reduce your caffeine intake, this may be a time of crisis but that hourly cup of tea won’t be helping your anxiety levels. Use these short-term steps to tackle the big problems and prioritise from there.

  5. Remember why you started
    It is very easy to get caught up in what your immediate targets and priorities are and lose sight of the bigger picture. We are adapting to daily challenges and doing our very best. This is the opportune time to reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Remember why you chose this career path over another one, you may even find that it leads you to new prospects. Now is the time to challenge these ideas and yourself.

There is a range of support available to businesses at the moment including a number of free webinars. 
For digital-related support, take a look at our event listing for the next webinar. For non-digital webinars and general information visit the East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) website.

The Digital Growth Programme is managed by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire). It is a programme part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Chamber and Leicestershire County Council designed to help SMEs located in Leicester and Leicestershire embrace new digital technology to improve productivity to aid growth.

For the latest information and recommendations from East Midlands Chamber in relation to coronavirus – please click here