To say we live in anxious times is an understatement. With unemployment levels at their highest since the Great Depression, people dependent on food banks for the first time in their lives, and an unseen enemy stalking the most vulnerable among us, emotional wellbeing sounds like an oxymoron. Even for those still employed and as yet healthy, the awareness that any fragile stability could change in a moment creates underlying anxiety and fear.
How can we tend to our emotional wellbeing in such fraught times? For those who are employed and working to keep our economy functioning, how can companies address the mental health needs of workers? How can small business owners facing uncertain futures keep a positive outlook and plan ahead? Talk of resilience abounds, but what does that mean when almost every aspect of life is uncertain?
While there are no definitive answers, there are tools and strategies to put in place during times of crisis that can help business owners and workers take steps towards productivity and success.
Two entrepreneurs with long histories facing crisis recently created a program aimed directly at helping both businesses and individuals survive and thrive through challenges and beyond, fostering positive mindsets with actionable steps. Brilliantly Resilient launched on March 7th, just before the full force of the pandemic hit. Created by Pennsylvania natives Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo, Brilliantly Resilient teaches methods to come through crisis Brilliant, not broken.
Having dealt with major personal “sucker punches and train wrecks” (Kristin is raising two blind sons and Mary Fran’s son is in recovery from a decade-long heroin addiction), the partners uncovered common threads in their journeys that became a program teaching others how to Reset, Rise and Reveal their Brilliance. They have created a webinar available to businesses and chambers of commerce outlining action steps to implement now, uncovering inherent resilience and utilizing transferable skills to sustain productivity and positivity. Plus, they believe in fun, even in these challenging times.
With simple questions, the Brilliantly Resilient program teaches others to:
- Examine Perception: What are the facts? Action based on facts instead of perception, allows workers to be more productive and to put aside imagined fears.
- Control the “Control-ables”: What can I control right now? Energy expended on things out of our control is wasted. Encourage employees to focus on what is “controllable.”
- Create a single action step: What one thing can I do to move forward? Instead of trying to solve every problem in its entirety, what is one action step employees can take to address an issue?
- Build relationships: Who do I know who can help? Creating a “tribe” helps workers know they are not alone, easing anxiety and building a sense of community.
Amanda Soler, COO of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, shared the webinar with Chamber members. Ms. Soler said, “Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley, the Brilliantly Resilient dynamic duo, brought their program to Chamber members offering practical tips and techniques to propel them toward business success, even during one of the most challenging business environments in history. Their insights—informed by hard-won experience—and encouragement provided Webinar participants with motivation to find their mission amidst their messes, along with a healthy dose of humor.”
The Brilliantly Resilient programs foster mental wellbeing by focusing on actionable strategies that rely on inherent resilience and the unique talents and skills of individuals. By encouraging workers to build a “tribe” of others with complimentary skill sets, individuals feel less isolated and can rely on the strength of community to remain positive and engaged.