Business owners and corporate warriors struggle to keep their companies afloat. Many were already working sixteen hour days and it now seems like an endless working day. Most of us try our best to row the rough waters till the crisis subsides. Most executives and entrepreneurs who were already stretched are now finding strength within to produce at their maximum capacity. At the same time, their families are not immune to the stress. Even children know of their friends’ parents losing their job or struggling to keep their teenager in college.

How can you handle your own business needs as well as your stress and your family’s?

These are some tips to manage your business and your family stress during rough financial times:

1) Assess the situation: Although everyone would love to believe that the financial rescue interventions will miraculously take place immediately and that everything will be resolved, in our hearts, we know this situation will not resolve over the next weeks or months. Our presidential candidates go mute when asked about this. You should know that neither candidate will resolve this crisis overnight and that you need a plan to stay afloat, survive and thrive. You must keep both a positive outlook into the future (“The tough times will pass”) and you want to be realistic and communicate the need to work hard together so as to rebuild your current situation and anticipate opportunities.

2) Gather your family: Even if you are busy at work, you should consider meeting with your family regularly and discuss your work and family situation calmly. Where do you stand? The younger generation has been raised in a more independent and affluent environment as compared to their parents’. What can you do and how can each family member contribute to cutting down on unnecessary expenses, join forces (i.e.: drive together in one car instead of two cars), or seek for a temporary job? If your teenager wants some pocket money as is doing well in school, you may want to suggest they get a part-time job. Everyone can contribute in some way.

3) Prepare a plan of the things you can do: If you want to cut down your expenses at the gym, this does not mean you cannot exercise by power walking in your neighborhood or in your dusty treadmill. You may not attend Yoga classes, but you can practice Yoga at home. You may cut-down on individual coaching or therapy sessions but can join group sessions or purchase self-help books and recordings or practice the ones you bought and never used (those that are collecting spider webs in your closet). Review what you already have at home and make sure you use alternatives that can be helpful.

4) Spouses, young and older children are very sensitive to your mood: Realize children are like sponges and have antennae perceiving your mood. You may speak the words that everything is fine, but they will realize your words do not match your behavior. They will sense you are tense and that your expression is one of worry. Although you want to protect them from your deep concerns, you may summarize that these are rough times and that you are working hard to help the family. Tell them a couple of things that you are doing as you address your plan and ask them if there is anything that they could do to help out. It will surprise you but even a little one may say they will cut down on a favorite drink. Let them contribute with what they can control. This will give them a good sense of responsibility and collaboration. Avoid emotional arguments and concentrate on what you can do and contribute with one another.

5) Prepare a short and a long term plan: You have hopefully prepared a plan for your business, make sure to prepare one for your family. Organize a household plan for the next three months, for the next six months and for the next year. Check your plan monthly or weekly in a pre-set family meeting.

Author's Bio: 

Gabriela Cora, MD, MBA

Dr. Gaby Cora is author of The Power of Wellbeing Series: Leading under Pressure, Managing Work in Life and Quantum Wellbeing. Dr. Cora is a wellness coach, corporate wellness expert, licensed medical doctor with a master’s in business administration, board-certified psychiatrist, and trained mediator. She’s president of The Executive Health & Wealth Institute, based in Miami, Florida.

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