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Welcome to Small Biz Mama. Episode 1. This is the first in three episodes where we're going to talk about things you can control in a time where it doesn't seem like there's much you can.

In this episode, we're going to talk about things you control in your life. Um, If you don't know me, I am a control freak. When all of this happened, II had a really, really hard time because I like controlling things around me, and I felt like I had lost an immense amount of control. I'm used to getting whatever I want from Amazon, and I can have my groceries delivered when I need too. I  can go to the store and get whatever I need. 

If you've never seen Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, we'll link it in the show notes for this episode, you can get at SmallBizMama.com. But I’m way down on base level, because I don't know where we're going to be able to get groceries from,  and that’s very unsettling, right? I think a lot of us are feeling it right now. So, I want to talk a little bit today – because this has really helped me – I wanted to have a little bit in these next three episodes about things that you CAN control when you feel like everything is spinning out of control. And so I want to start by talking about things you can control in your life. because I really believe that unless you can get this part kind of dialed in, then your business and parenting, those tips aren’t going to be helpful.  So let's focus on what we can control in our lives. I think the most basic thing that we need to remember that we can control – we can control how we wake up in the morning. That doesn't necessarily mean WHEN we wake up in the morning, but HOW we wake up. 

How you wake up in the morning

I have a toddler. I understand. It’s funny because his sleep schedule is kind of all over the place. He's two. Yesterday morning, he slept until almost 8:30 and then this morning he woke up at 6:30… so you can't really control most of the time when you wake up, necessarily, especially if you have young children. You can't control how you wake up. 

I'm reading (I'm a little bit late to the party, this book came out a little while ago) The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, which, if you haven't read it, I have a link in the show notes at SmalBizMama.com to the book. It's interesting because the thing I like about the book is that she talks about the 5 second rule and how it works, and it's really, really easy. 

Any time you feel like you're just completely out of control, like things are just spinning, or you're about to talk yourself out of doing something that you know you need to do, like getting up, or reaching out to a client, or reaching out to a person, or just behaving the way that you want to behave, but your brain is talking you out of it. You just count down from five. Five, four, three, two, one. And you act. 

It's funny… I'm doing this every morning to get out of bed, because there are some mornings I just want to curl back up and into bed until this is all over. But you know what? It's really, really helping.  My alarm goes off in the morning, I do my countdown, and I pop up out of bed, and it's been incredibly helpful to get me moving during the day. 

So, you can control how you wake up in the morning, You can control what you plan to do during the day. I have, in Evernote, a sample daily schedule. It is not perfect, but it reminds me of things – that I want to meditate when I wake up in the morning. I'm very fortunate that Jeff usually gets up with Erik if Erik wakes up before I'm moving. So I meditate for 10 minutes in the morning, first thing.  I fill out my planner, I'm stretching. I'm taking a shower, and sometimes my stretching is while the shower is heating up. But it's something that gets my body flexible. I'm being intentional about how I'm playing with Erik, and I'll talk about that in episode three. I'm trying to get workouts in. 

It's really funny because I think a lot of us talk about all the things that we wish we would do. If we have the time, what would we do? How would we take care of ourselves? Would we work out more? Would we go for walks? Would we spend more time with our children? 

We have this opportunity, and rather than embracing it, we're freaking out.

There's a lot you can freak out about, but there's also a lot that we can not freak out about as well. 

Let's talk about what happens after you wake up.

What you consume

The next thing that we forget that we have control over is what we consume. This (smartphone) is dangerous right now because it links us to all the emergencies. All the breaking news, whether or not it's really breaking. They're just constant updates, constant information and we're refreshing all the time, right? So I'm choosing… I made the choice to stay off my phone, much more than I did even a week ago, because it's just debilitating.

Every time you hit refresh it is consuming some of your energy… some of your mental energy, some of your emotional energy. And with everybody being home and children being cooped up and not being able to see their friends, you need your emotional energy for more productive things. 

Brendon Burchard gave a really good example. He's checking twice a day. Once at about noon and once in the late afternoon or early evening. I know that there's this fear that something could happen and we're not going to know about it.  But if something major happens, make sure that you're signed up for your state's text alerts. The federal government can push notification through to our phones as the emergency management system. If something happens, your family will call. I'm not super worried that something major is going to happen and I'm not going to know about it because the world will let you know. But this constant scrolling through, it's just not it's not good for us. So I'm controlling what I can see.

How you react

The third thing is, I'm controlling how I react. I think it's very easy for a lot of us to fall into depression, to be angry, and to want to lash out. That's a part of the reason I've had to control what I consume is because I see so many people out there not doing what’s recommended that we should be doing right now. It's a lot, and you can yell at people and even make comments, and you can post all over social media. Or you could say, “I'm not going to spend my energy on that right now. That's not a good use of my energy. I'm going to reserve my energy for my business, for my family, and for myself.” 

We need to be strong right now, and using up all of your energy to react to things like that is not going to help keep you healthy. It's not going to help keep you sane, so I am controlling how I react to things. 

What you put out into the world

And then the last thing is, you can control what you put out into the world. You can choose to put out things that are useful, things that are helpful for people.

We have a whole page at SmallBizMama.com that's resources for how to home school, how to work from home, how to order groceries, how to do all sorts of things…virtual field trips! We've been assembling stuff from all over. That's a SmallBizMama.com if you wanna check it out.

We're choosing to put helpful things out in the world, to put positive things out in the world, because there're so many people that are complaining, that are putting out false information, they're not fact-checking things before sharing, and again, that's another reason why you want to kind of control what you consume.

We can spend all our energy being negative, complaining, being down, or we can try to put something better out there. One thing that I've been doing every day on my personal Facebook wall is I'm putting things I'm grateful for. Sometimes they're silly, sometimes there are little things, and sometimes they're things that are pretty big. One thing I was grateful for, yesterday was just being able to help so many businesses having this platform to be able to help people. That is so cool. That is so awesome to be able to do that.

I know that there are a lot of things that I can't control right now, but… 

I can control how I wake up in the morning,

I can control what I consume. 

I can control how I react. 

And I can control what I put out in the world.

Having some concrete things that I know that I can control has really helped me mentally to be able to get through this.

I'm recording this on the last day of March, and we've been home for almost four weeks. (I tell ya, I was getting a little bit… batty, probably in the middle of last week.) I'm an extrovert, and this is really, really tough for me. But sitting down and re-centering on the things I CAN control has been incredibly helpful.

I hope that you'll take some time and generate a list of the things that you can control right now.

Listen to the next two episodes where I talk about business and parenting. And make a list for yourself of the things you can control.

I grew up Catholic, and there's a prayer that really helps me at times like this…

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can

 and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

That is so helpful at times like this.

I hope that you find something that centers you, that grounds you, and that you're able to take back just a little bit more control of your life.

Thank you so much for listening. And I hope that you will subscribe to this podcast as we put out more information for you to help you with your life, your business, and parenting 

Thanks so much. I'll see you next time.

Thank you for listening to Small Biz Mama with Kristin Ingram. 

If you like to learn how to create more margin in your life, please visit us at SmallBizMama.com. 

That's SmallBizMama.com

Links mentioned in this episode:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Episode 1 – Things You Can Control In Your Life

Episode 2 – Things You Can Control in Your Business

Episode 3 – Things You Can Control as a Parent

​Disclosure: We professionally create this podcast that receives compensation from companies that we talk about. So you must assume that any link you click is an affiliate link. Kristin and Ingram Digital Media only have affiliate relationships with companies that we believe in wholeheartedly. We are independently owned, and all of our opinions are​ our own.


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