Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue – Five Recommendations

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Since the COVID-19 Pandemic is disproportionately affecting minority communities, as a diversity consultant I welcome this guest blog kindly provided by Cristy Canes.

Flattening the mental health curve is another challenge brought about by the coronavirus — this time, through a phenomenon called pandemic fatigue. This is the kind of fatigue that comes from the stress of social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand-washing. In addition, there’s pressure to make health-related behavior changes, such as increasing physical activity, eating healthy, and quitting smoking — all this on top of widespread job loss, social isolation, childcare challenges, and general uncertainty about the future. It’s all too taxing for the mental health of people everywhere, leading to bouts of loneliness, depression, fear, and anxiety.

The impact of the pandemic fatigue is even greater on racial and ethnic minorities, who are more likely to have low-wage jobs or be laid off due to the economic slump. These disenfranchised communities also have greater health risk as essential workers with more exposure to the virus, but are less likely to have health insurance or access to medical care.

Moreover, the Center for American Progress reported on higher unemployment rates for same-sex couples even before the pandemic. And while there’s no data yet on the impact of the current pandemic fatigue on LGBTQ+ minorities, history can show how they’ll be disproportionately affected and will take longer to recover, too.

All this is why it’s crucial for companies to step up and take the lead in making the necessary changes for their employees, and help them cope in the current crisis. Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer previously pointed out the importance of promoting effective diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. It can start with having mission, vision, and values statements, so they can formalize their goals and become empowered as one solid organization. This can lessen the impact of the pandemic fatigue, especially on minorities, and can be further supported if individual steps to overcome it will be encouraged among employees. Five of these steps include:

1) Accepting negative emotions. Be honest about bottled up emotions like anxiety and uncertainty. Don’t be afraid to talk about these things. It’ll be good to let all the negativity out of your system by consciously releasing them through constant communication with family, friends, and even colleagues.

2) Creating new goals. Set personal goals that are achievable, enjoyable, and will give a sense of accomplishment — whether it’s exercise or small weekly social gatherings. It’s good to have something to look forward to on a daily basis.

3) Conserving emotional resources. Employees should also take time out from work to prioritize self-care. If you’re pressed for time or energy, then even just a few seconds of deep breathing can do the trick. Sheena Bergado writes on Pain Free Working’s guide to breathing exercises that these have the power to reduce stress and improve your mood. Deep breathing by inhaling and exhaling slowly through the nose may seem simple, but it has great benefits in getting rid of headaches and calming your nerves.

4) Being kind to yourself. As an employee, you should recognize that it’s okay to have both good and bad days. Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements. This is a conscious effort that can be done through positive self-talk, which can make you mentally stronger and more resilient in any tough situation.

5) Asking for help. Although it’s good to be mentally tough on your own, it’s also good to ask for help. Employees don’t have to be afraid to seek support from mental health professionals in their organization or elsewhere, whenever needed. Alan Kohll of TotalWellness advocates for workplaces that support mental health, where there could be awareness, training, mental health policies, fair treatment, screening resources, or monitoring of employee engagement.

Always remember that we’re all in this together, and your success, whether in work output or mental wellness, is also the success of your team. Don’t hesitate to reach out and make the most of the practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization.

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This guest blog was authored by Cristy Canes, provided solely for totalengagementconsulting.com

Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training, Unconscious Bias and Employee Resource Groups. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]

COVID-19 Blog 5: Ingenious Ways to Upkeep and Elevate Your Business During the Pandemic

Added in 2024 – Minority-owned businesses were impacted much more by the COVID pandemic – one great way to support the Black community is to patronize Black-owned businesses.  Here is an article that lists over 150 Black-owned businesses. 


Minority-owned small businesses are being particularly hard hit by the COVID-19

From time to time, I post guest-written blogs, and my 5th Covid-19 pandemic blog is provided by previous 3-time blog contributor Marissa Perez. Marissa Perez, co-founder and head marketing writer at Business Pop, has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now is sharing her small business / entrepreneurial expertise through this third guest blog she is providing.

This blog is quite relevant to my consulting area of diversity in that (1) Covid-19 is disproportionately hitting minority communities health wise and (2) small businesses impacted by the accompanying economic crisis are disproportionately owned by minorities or have minority employees. This “double impact” is truly having the most adverse effect on minority-owned businesses.

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If you’ve recently started a new business, you’ve probably noticed that life looks and feels different since the March declaration of the coronavirus pandemic. But just because things have changed does not mean that you should give up on your dreams. Keep reading for a few ideas to help you build and grow your livelihood while the world adjusts to a new normal.

Adapt Your Business Plan

You have a plan, and your plan was to stick with it. Unfortunately, the global situation changes from day to day, and it’s almost impossible to predict how this will affect your business. You need a contingency. Think ahead to many different scenarios to predict how they might influence the way you operate. ZenBusiness has a list of resources to help you do just that and also provides info on how to run things virtually and manage income streams and expenses.

Give Yourself Extra Space

While you may already have a room in your home that works as an office, as you continue to grow, it might make more sense to add an extra building to your property. A separate building will not only house your home-based business, but it will also help you keep it separate from your personal life. If you’re on a tight budget, a prefabricated metal building is a smart choice and one that will allow you to expedite construction so that you will experience few, if any, interruptions. Ask your building supplier about different layout options and pay close attention to style and design so that you don’t clash with the appearance of your neighborhood.

Dip Into Dropshipping

Dropshipping has been called, “one of the easiest ways to make money online in 2020.” But it is much more than that. A dropshipping business model can help you grow a current business. There are many benefits, but pertinent to today is that dropshipping eliminates the middleman. In other words, it reduces the number of hands that physically touch your customers’ orders. This can help lessen the chances of contamination, which, fortunately, according to Hackensack Meridian Health, are already low. It is possible, as the virus can live on cardboard for 24 hours.

Hire Remotely

Remote work used to be a novelty. That’s not the case today, and work-at-home opportunities have been popping up out of both necessity and convenience in light of the coronavirus pandemic. As a business owner, taking your company to a virtual workspace means that you have an unlimited pool of talent. But, you have to make sure that your communication is on point. Unitonomy stresses the importance of effective collaboration (using tools like Slack) and notes that to be successful, the people in your business have to feel connected to one another. Give each team access to shared information that’s specific to each project. You can also keep your teams on the same page by providing regular updates via a newsletter or recurrent blog.

There is little doubt that the coronavirus will continue to have a negative effect on small businesses across America. If you want to get ahead and continue to enjoy success, you have to get creative. This might mean looking for new revenue streams or adding extra space where you can run your business effectively and without distraction. One positive aspect of the pandemic is that remote work has become more available, and you should have no problem finding people who are ready, willing, and more than able to help you grow.