How to not overreact in a pandemic or economic downturn

How to not overreact in a pandemic or economic downturn

How do you deal with something that’s never happened before? In the midst of COVID-19 and the subsequent crisis that ensued, we are all finding ourselves in a position that we’ve never been in before. This isn’t the normal lost pitch, lost client, or billing issue that we have a protocol for. This isn’t something we could have prepared for. During this time, I’ve noticed that people do one of two things: overreact and scramble, or stay calm and innovate. Understanding how to handle a situation like COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily come naturally to anyone, but the reflex to panic can surely be managed. In addition to keeping your business on track and moving forward, not overreacting during a pandemic or economic downturn can also positively impact your staff. So, how do you keep calm, maintain your creativity and optimism, and think rationally when nothing around you seems real or rational?

Five ways to not overreact in a pandemic or economic downturn

With no blueprint, no historical data, no experience, and no idea of whether to pivot or stay the course, things can get pretty hairy in a tough situation. Keeping things organized and relaxed in your business will not only impact your day-to-day operations, but it will also impact your staff. As the leader of a company, even if you’re not the owner, you have an opportunity to be a beacon of light in the dark. If you’re uncertain, unsure, or even completely clueless, remember that the morale of a company is incredibly fragile and can tip at any moment. Working through this uncertainty privately and approaching your staff with a calm mind (even if you don’t have a plan right away) will make a huge difference in how the company moves forward. With news, updates, and regulations changing nearly daily, navigating these waters are extremely difficult. These tips can help you keep your business moving forward and your staff feeling safe and motivated.

Don’t panic

When we panic, we don’t think rationally and can make decisions that aren’t in our best interest. Keeping calm may sound impossible when you, your business and your staff are suffering, but it’s essential. Worrying never made anything better. Freak out in private if you need to, and then present your company and your staff with a calm and rational attitude.

Get creative

A calm mind will fuel creativity, and that’s exactly what your business needs during a pandemic or an economic downturn. “Pivot” is a word we’ve heard everywhere during this time, but it has some clout. Pivoting is essentially just being creative and taking advantage of an opportunity to do things differently and adapt.

Adapt and accept

Let’s face it: No one wants to be in this position right now, but here we are. Accepting the reality of the situation will help you move forward, motivate your team, stay positive, and roll with the punches. This will also help you adapt rather than resist.


Consumers have been inundated with communication from companies about what they’re doing during COVID-19 and how they are handling their operations. It’s been overwhelming, but it’s also important to communicate with your staff, audience, vendors, contractors, etc. Even if this doesn’t mean sending emails about what you’re doing, having clear communication with everyone will help to keep things flowing in the right direction.


This may not be what you want to hear when your company is bringing in a fraction of the revenue you’re used to. However, rest is so important in challenging times. Take a break from racking your brain, and get outside, do something creative, watch something funny or learn something new. Giving your brain a break allows for more creativity and more inner peace. Rest is absolutely vital in stressful times. You’re not alone in this, and chances are your staff needs a leader — not a hot mess. None of us know what to do, but we do know how to adapt to changing and challenging times. We just have to believe that it’s possible. Founder and CEO of Pico Digital Marketing in Denver, Samantha Bedford is a Google AdWords professional and an award-winning media strategist.  This article is reposted from The Denver Business Journal.

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