How to Out S.C.O.R.E Stress & build Resilience in the Wake of the COVID-19 Tsunami
The world has been hit by a metaphorical tsunami named COVID-19. This tsunami has wiped out businesses, devastated the economy, caused fear and panic, destroyed jobs, effected infrastructure, isolated towns, states and countries, and people have lost their lives. All of these things put a great strain on individuals and societies. So how do we cope? How do we overcome the current struggles and emerge stronger and more resilient?
Arjen Boin, a professor of Public Institution and Governance at the Department of Political Science at Leiden University explained resilience as, "the capacity to bounce back, develop workarounds to absorb losses and shortages, continuously adapt to evolving conditions and emerging feedback, and deal methodically with the sequence of problems that will inevitably arise along the way."
Below is an outline called the SCORE model. It is a systematic process to building resilience by identifying, strategizing and overcoming your current stress.
Identify the primary source of the stress. You need to ask yourself, "what's not working?" and "what do I (we) need to change?" For us the most obvious stressor was that our business was forced to close. This meant that we could no longer offer classes and that our source of income disappeared overnight. The first step of the process is identification. You cannot defeat an enemy if you don't know they exist. Clearly identifying the sources of stress and resistance is key.
In the case of COVID-19 identifying the cause was quite obvious. The disease was causing people to get sick. Gyms, restaurants and other businesses were forced be closed and eventually stay-at-home orders were put in place in many states. No matter what the circumstance, you should ask yourself a few key questions to understand the root cause of the stressor. Those questions should include. What is the underlying cause? What is stopping you from fixing it? Who is benefiting from it not being fixed at this time? If there is something that is within your power to fix but you're just not doing it then now is the time. If someone or something else is benefitting what steps can you take to influence or change this in some way?
This is where you identify what you want the outcome to be. If you could draw up your desired outcome, exactly how you want it, what does the outcome look like? This step starts to develop a strategy for yourself or your business. You may need to have a number of different phases. For us we first had to create a current state outcome for COVID-19. We needed to stay connected to our community and find new ways to offer our services from home. To do this we created a three pronged approach. First, we put together a weekly schedule of online live streaming classes. Second, we built a library of pre-recorded on demand classes that could be watched anytime. Third, we got to work to create online courses that taught our three core principles of resilient body, resilient mind and support.
After that, and still today, we work to put together a desired outcome for "post COVID." This outcome is balanced with equal amounts ambition and reality for greatest success.
We aren't always aware of the resources that we have at our disposal until we really need them. Now is a time to check-in and see what skills, capabilities, information, equipment, contacts etc. you currently have that will help you to solve the problem?
Also, take time to reflect on if you've ever had to face a problem like this before. Of course none of us have faced a pandemic like this before, but maybe you can think of another time that you or your business were faced with a large adversity or challenge. How did you solve it? Experience is a great teacher, and calling upon the fact that you have been there before gives you both confidence in your abilities and valuable insight into how to overcome the current stress.
This is a very important step in the process. When considering the effects, you need to become consciously aware of what you will learn from the current challenge. If you've learned nothing you've lost! The next time adversity, challenges and uncertainty strike you will be right back where you started. If however, you've learned from this current situation and you've adapted to make yourself or your business more resilient then you will be able to handle future stressors with greater ease and less disruption.
You should also consider how reaching your desired outcomes will change things. You may find that you have shifted your business into a new market or a new service has emerged that you didn't have before. Personally you may find that you feel stronger and more capable. You also may find that the desired outcomes require a larger shift in the way you interact with people or the way you do business.
Stress is a natural part of life. It is in fact, very important. One of my favorite quotes on resilience is by Steve Maraboli. He said, "life doesn't get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient." It is the challenges in life that make us grow. That simple shift in perspective will release new energy in your mind and body. Direct that energy into the SCORE model above for greater success in your life and in business.