How can retailers cope with anxiety about the future?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s blog.
Completely rearranging daily routines and continually adapting amid significant uncertainty can take a huge toll on the spirits of store owners and managers.
I asked my Facebook fans how they were dealing with stress and what advice they have for anxious retailers about managing anxiety. Their suggestions helped me compile this list.
- Be extra gentle with yourself, emotionally and mentally. It is easy to fall into the trap that tells you you’re not doing enough, causing you to feel even more anxious. Shutting down helps no one.
- Find the opportunity, not the fear. Keep your goal in front of you to get through this and be a better business.
- Stop comparisons. Your four walls are all that really can be controlled.
- Look at your weak spots. Even with coronavirus anxiety there are lots of opportunities to grab onto.
- Make a new to-do list at closing. By making it the last thing you do at work, it allows your mind to prepare for the next day. You are training your brain to look forward to possibility.
- Call your customers. A simple “How are you?” personal phone call connects you and can make someone else’s day. It can lift both of you up and deepen your bond. If you’re stressed, imagine how your customers feel.
- Start a daily gratitude list. Each day will bring something new to add to it, and when you feel stressed you can balance your fears with things that you found meaningful.
- Do something positive for your community. Every time you do something to help others, it comes back to help you too and leaves you feeling more positive.
- Find or inject humor whenever possible. Making someone laugh can help ease stress for both of you, as long as it isn’t at someone else’s expense.
- They’ll be back. To quote Hamilton’s King George, “You’ll be back.” You know your customers will. You may have to remind yourself of that fact when traffic is down and shoppers are still cautious.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What suggestions would you have for chain executives on down to store owners on how to manage anxiety amid the pandemic? What’s unique about the stresses caused by the COVID-19 crisis?