Dealing with stress is no easy task. Whether you’re facing an important deadline, having trouble getting your kids to do their homework or struggling with a to-do list that seems to grow longer each minute, stress is an inevitable part of the lives of most Americans. Add a global pandemic to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for feeling overwhelmed! Even though it’s difficult to avoid stress, there are smart ways to manage it. Here’s how to make stress, well, less stressful.

Take one thing at a time. Oftentimes we get stressed out when we have a lot on our to-do list. So we try doing multiple things at one time. Here’s the problem: Research shows that multitasking makes most people more stressed, not less! Studies also suggest that multitasking doesn’t help most people increase their productivity. Focusing on one important task at a time can help you get more accomplished, which in turn can help relieve stress.

Establish boundaries. In today’s world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day, especially when you’re managing a team of people. But all that connectivity can cause a great deal of stress. Establish some work-life boundaries so that you get a rest from work. You could, for example, have a no-phone policy while you’re having meals with your family or block off time each evening to not answer texts or e-mails. Take vacations. And make sure you commit to unplugging from work and technology at regular intervals. Take some time off from all of that coronavirus news sometimes.

Keep your to-do list as small as possible. It’s been shown that people who make to-do lists tend to get more done. However, if your to-do list is too long, it can be counterproductive. Try to keep your to-do list realistic and manageable.

Eat healthy and get enough sleep. Getting too little sleep and snacking all day on processed foods with little nutritional value and/or relying on caffeine to get through the afternoon can make you feel more stressed. New research shows that simple things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy and taking short walks throughout the day can be powerful de-stressors. Try to make small changes each week, such as bringing a healthy snack to the office or going to sleep a half hour earlier. Remember that it takes about a month for most people to form a new healthy habit.

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It’s been months of uncertainty and upheaval. Across the nation, businesses are trying to get back on track even though the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak is not yet over.

What’s the new normal going to look like? Here are a few ways that the global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way U.S. companies do business:

Businesses will have a renewed emphasis on continuity. In good times, it’s easy to let the process of identifying and effectively managing potential risks slide. And we had good times as a nation until early this year! The U.S. was experiencing the longest economic good times on record — starting in 2009 — until it was abruptly and wholly stopped short by COVID-19. The outbreak has once again put the spotlight on being prepared for the unexpected and making organizations more resilient. As companies get back on track, they will undoubtedly be beefing up contingency plans, developing risk management programs, re-evaluating insurance coverages, diversifying supply chains, and making plans for a host of unexpected events. The global pandemic was a hard lesson in being prepared for the unexpected.

Telecommuting has taken hold. How many of your company’s employees are working at home? The percentage of people working remotely increased dramatically with the advent of social distancing. There’s traditionally been a lot of skepticism among business leaders about telecommuting and many have been reluctant to invest in initiatives that support remote work. But during the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies found that remote work was a success — employees not only are happier working at home at least part of the time (as countless studies have shown), they are as productive, or even more productive. It’s something research has supported, but experiencing it first hand makes all the difference.

Many companies are now examining how remote work can fit into their business models going forward. Companies aren’t likely to go to a 100 percent telecommuting model and many industries can’t have people working at home, of course, but those that can are more likely to continue with telecommuting by allowing some employees to work at least part of the time at home. If your business has telecommuting workers, you need to make sure your insurance program adapts to the changing risks of having some employees working off-site.

Companies will make innovation a priority. There are so many examples in recent months of companies trying innovative new strategies to stay afloat — and succeeding. There are the local distilleries that shifted to making hand sanitizer, the fitness studios that developed online classes, the grocery stores that expanded into grocery and hot meal pickup/delivery, and scores of other businesses that found new revenue streams and customers by getting creative. Companies had to learn — or revisit — how to be adaptable, nimble and innovative. And many succeeded in ways they never would have imagined. Those that have had success with innovation in recent months are likely to continue to focus on innovation long after the coronavirus threat is over.

Video meetings and conferences will become more popular. A necessity during the COVID-19 outbreak, virtual gatherings, like remote work, will likely outlive the global pandemic. That’s not to say that old-school trade shows and conferences are a thing of the past. It’s just that companies have realized the virtual meetings and conferences are oftentimes a viable alternative to meeting in person, can save time and money and have a definite place in business today.

Businesses will re-focus on customer needs. Whether a company is B2B or B2C, their customers have been affected by COVID-19 to at least some degree. In many cases, what’s important to a company’s customers has changed. Now, more than ever, a human touch, and qualities like empathy, authenticity and emotional intelligence are vital. The customer experience — and customer service — has never been more important. People are stressed and worried — and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Customers, now, more than ever, want to talk to real live humans who can help them. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make strategically right decisions to serve your customer base. How you treat your customers now will be remembered for years to come.

At Accurate Protection, risk management and preparing for the unexpected is our specialty. We work hard to provide your company with peace of mind through a customized risk management and insurance plan designed to protect your assets and financial future. Change happens but our service remains constant. We’re here when you need us! Visit our website: https://accurateprotection.com/