In life, things would not always go as planned. There would always be times of uncertainty, worry or danger. And during such times, it is important that you maintain a healthy mind by staying positive and productive. 

When you are in the middle of a crisis, whether as a result of family issues, financial issues, health challenges, global or national crisis as a result of plagues, pandemic or war, you may find yourself feeling unmotivated, as though the problem has come to stay and will never be over. 

As humans, it is natural to have an episode of fear and negative thoughts in our heads when things are not going the way we planned. And with so much negativity and fear, it really becomes extremely difficult to concentrate on the things that are important like your job, family, health and even yourself. It would seem extremely hard to move forward with your normal schedule, going about the task set out to be achieved would seem unnecessarily hard and many would feel unproductive, lost and may even fall into depression. 

You must realize that a challenge, no matter how big it may seem is not the end of the world. 

It is important that you understand that bad things happen and soon enough, a way out of the situation would present itself. You shouldn’t let your life run into chaos because of one thing that went wrong. Think on all the good things that may have happened in the last few days. Focus on a way out of the situation instead of drowning in it. You should be able to create more value in your personal and professional life even during a crisis. 

Don’t forget, if you leave your source of income unattended to because you are sad and emotionally drained, soon enough you would go broke. Your boss wouldn’t continue paying someone who does nothing for the company and if you are your own boss, your clients or customers will no longer seek your services because you no longer deliver as expected. You would have no money to feed, pay tuition or afford other services. You need to make money. Therefore, you have to bounce back. 

These are a few ways you can stay positive and productive during a crisis.

  • Take it slow: you are not feeling 100% emotionally. It is normal that you would be feeling physically drained all the time. I’d advise that you take it slow. Don’t try to take on a week’s task in one day. Take it slow, breathe and take a day off if you have to. Organising your tasks in a hierarchy of importance is a great way to start. Do those tasks that are closest to their deadlines. Learn to say no to new tasks if you lack the mental strength to pull it off on time. Now is the time to stay extra focused on what matters the most. But remember to take it slow. 
  • Create new routines: Consider scheduling your time in blocks with frequent breaks to help manage your emotions. Time management is key to staying productive whether you are working from home or in an office. Take breaks to just breathe. If you try to neglect what you are going through by focusing too much on work, you would not heal properly and your work wouldn’t be as efficient as it would normally be. Factoring in new routines and rituals during a crisis can be very helpful. If you were used to staying home all day, you can opt to learn a new skill, language or hang out with friends. This would help you feel positive, motivated and more productive.
  • Practice self-care: it is definitely not the end of the world. So do not neglect your physical, mental or emotional well-being. It is normal that when you are in a crisis and under stress you would feel frustration, fatigue, anger, self-pity, depression, fear and other negative emotions. But in times like this, do not neglect self-care. More than ever, it is important that your well-being is a priority. I would advise you to eat healthily, avoid the use of alcohol and other substances and stay away from negative energies or people who talk in the negative. You should also exercise; exercising can make you feel energetic and happy. Remember to always take time out to rest. Engage in self-calming practices like yoga, intentional breathing and breathing exercises. You should also learn to meditate. There are also other practices that can help reduce stress levels by helping you relax and quiet the mind. 
  • Delegate: you might want to let your employees handle a few tasks on their own, without you micromanaging them. This is the time to get as much help as you can. Seek help from team members. Learn to accept assistance instead of trying to do things on your own. Let your spouse pick the kids up from school if he has the free time. Allow your relatives to help out with a few chores. You already have enough to worry about. You should leave a few things in the hands of people you can trust.
  • Do not neglect opportunities: you know the saying that there is sunshine at the end of a tunnel? A crisis can birth to new opportunities. It all depends on how you approach it. If you are stuck at home because you can’t go to work due to a national crisis, it is an opportunity for you to tick one or two things off your to-do list. Do something that you have been willing to do but have not found the time or opportunity to do. You can take up a language class, cut your hair or finally learn how to swim or play a new sport. Sort out that home bookshelf you always wanted to sort out. Learn how to cook, try out new recipes, reach out to that friend you haven’t heard from in a long time.

Finally, help someone else. I have found that when you help someone get through a tough patch while you are down, it motivates you to be happy and energetic once again. In times of crisis, remember that you are not alone. Everyone is experiencing the same thing at the same time. Reach out to family members, neighbours and colleagues at work. 

Remember, this too shall pass.