Click here to print page

Well-being in hard times


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Many of us who have been through the 2008 financial crisis are looking back at our coping strategies diuring that difficult time and are thinking of how we can apply them again today.

And for those who have joined the profession since that other black swan event, here are some tips from experience that might help.



With a fast-changing business and regulatory landscape, it's more important than ever to communicate with clients. We might feel that this is hard when we're not necessarily confident about what advice to give, given how quickly things are changing, but simply being in touch to let clients know you're there is vital.

Most people accept we don't have the answer; they are just looking for the next step.



If your team is working from home, arrange a regular time for you all to have a call. Start the call with a WIFLE (What I feel like expressing).

In this practical empathy exercise, each team member is given a minute to share their thoughts. By having it as a standing agenda item, it gives 'permission' for participants to share feelings that they might otherwise feel awkward expressing.

You can encourage positive WIFLEs as well — good books they have read, nice things that have happened. It is an exercise in listening and being heard and also gives you an opportunity to thank them for all their hard work.


You may not be able to change events around you, but you can control how you respond to them. Prioritise one thing every day that is just for you. This might be half an hour playing the guitar, going for a walk (if that option is available to you) or playing with the dog. This will give your logical brain a well-earned rest.

Ensuring you're getting plenty of sleep is also vital and should be a priority. You might want to think about that one habit you can start today that your future self will thank you for.


I highly recommend using a mantra that you find encouraging to keep you going when the going gets tough.

A mantra is a phrase that you repeat in order to motivate yourself or to keep yourself focused. You can say it either out loud or to yourself, and/or write it down so you can see it often. It will help to calm your brain.

One of my favourites is 'I am safe, I am well, I trust myself'.

Remember, while at times you may feel lonely — you are not alone.


Sharon Critchlow is an ACCA council member.