• Debra Chantry

13 Tips to survive & thrive through ongoing lockdowns - Part 1 of 4

Updated: Aug 18

It’s been a funny old time, hasn’t it? I think we all knew that there would be more lockdowns but I’m not sure it made it any easier to accept the news on Wednesday morning that in Auckland we were going back into Lockdown Level 3.

Fortunately, I had slept through the original announcement as I am usually in bed by 8.30 pm & asleep by 9.30 pm at the latest.

So, I was lucky to get a great night’s sleep on Tuesday & then woke to a barrage of texts, missed call, email, messages etc.

The reason for all this concern?

Well because this Friday (21st August) I was due to celebrate my 50th birthday with friends in Hawkes Bay & Steve & I were due to get married! All the messages, texts etc were around how terrible everything was & how would we cope?

You can imagine my initial response – once of huge disappointment, anger & upset!

This month was meant to be ‘my month’.


My month of reaching a milestone, marrying the man I am deeply in love with & just generally celebrating life.

For a few hours, I soaked it all up. I went through the full range of emotions & allowed myself to (with the help of some friends).

My initial thoughts were, "this changes everything!".

But did it really?

A good friend, John Maybury, texted me & said we need to get some tips & advice for businesses, & was I up for filming?

It was a no brainer - I jumped at the chance as I remembered that this is why I am here on this planet - to help Business Owners have a better life & what better time to be of service than now? That, and I love working with John!

As I prepared to share my tips for getting through this, I realised that this was just a wee set back.


I’d still turn 50, even if it will be in lockdown & I’ll still get married one day – it just won’t be this week.

And let’s face it there are way bigger problems in the world. People are dying, losing their loved ones, losing their businesses & feeling like they have no reason to live.

Interestingly, I know that my business will survive through this, so all my thoughts were really only about myself.

And that’s when I realised that spending time ‘being the victim’ or being upset by what had happened wasn’t going to do me any good – I couldn’t change it, so why not choose to work with it instead? Instead of feeling sorry for myself & wallowing in self-pity, I could choose to use the time allocated for celebrations & myself, to changing the plans for going forward & focusing on helping others.

And so, rather than sharing our previously recorded business & life tips from my 50 years on this planet, we are instead delivering on a series of videos that will hopefully help you to get through this lockdown & the others that will come over the next couple of years.

To supplement these videos, I thought I’d share my 13 tips to survive & thrive. Yes that’s 13 – unlucky for some but somehow it feels appropriate.

I won’t do them all at once otherwise you’ll never get through my ramblings, so I’ll start with 4 today & then release 3 new ones each day for the next 3 days. I hope you find them helpful.

First of all, I’d like to say that I know it’s a tough time for us all. There is a natural, human element that takes over & creates a mini grief cycle for us, so it’s important that as Business Leaders we look after ourselves first & foremost.

Some of this stuff is easier said than done but please do sing out if you need help.

And most importantly, to quote one of my favourite authors,



We got through this before & we will get through it again. Sometimes it might feel like the world is ending, but as far as I know, the Vogon Constructor Fleet has not yet decided on a route for their SuperHighway 😁

So, you may well ask, what are these 13 tips?

Let’s start with the first 4 as promised:

1. Do the right thing

The first thing I think we need to do is take personal responsibility. We can’t change what is going on or how the government & others choose to handle it. What we can do, is choose how we handle it. There is solid advice from far cleverer people than me that say that wearing a mask can be helpful, that washing hands properly is essential, that social distancing is necessary & that hand sanitiser & personal hygiene is key.

So please, do what you can personally. Don’t worry about others – if we all just look after ourselves & not worry about others then we’ll be in a better place.

It’s natural to be angry or upset with people who don’t seem to be doing what we consider is the right thing, but you can’t change them – just do what you can to do the right thing x




2. Reflect on what you have learnt

We’ve been here before & we will be here again. It’s my belief that we will move in & out of various levels of lockdown over the next 2 years, so we need to be prepared for that.

The best way to prepare, in my opinion, is to reflect on what we learned from the first time around. It was much more severe & have us a huge opportunity to learn about the changing world & way of doing business.

For me, this meant revisiting the way I do business & planning for a new way of doing business. Here are some of the questions I used the first time around:

  • Was there a better way?

  • How could I offer value without being face to face with people?

  • Was there an opportunity to serve more people through different ways?

  • Was there a new opportunity given the changes?

With these questions, I was able to change the way I did things, develop new ways to do things & plan for a different future.

Now I can reflect back on those & see what has worked & what could still do with some tweaking.

It takes time to reflect & so it’s important that you schedule uninterrupted time to undertake this important process.

And it leads nicely onto tip #3.

3. Continue to focus on the end game

When you are reflecting, don’t lose sight of the end goal. Sure, the world has changed & will continue to change but if you can continually reconnect with your ‘Why’ you will find it easier to get through all the challenges & opportunities that these changes present.


My ‘why’ is to help Entrepreneurs live a better life, through creating a better business for them. This means that they get to do what they love, with people they love, making a significant difference to the world whilst being compensated appropriately & having time to pursue other passions.

This ultimate ‘end game’ hasn’t changed in years & won’t for the rest of my life I suspect, so if I focus on this, rather than what is going on, I can start to look for opportunities to continue to deliver on this.

If I can’t do face to face meetings, what else is possible?

If Business Owners find it difficult to focus on business right now, what can I do to help them through that?

If I’m having a shitty day (because I too am human & the world is not perfect) then I can remind myself why I choose to continue to keep putting one foot in front of the other – because I know what the end goal is.

If you feel stuck around this, then take advantage of the extra ‘quiet’ time to spend some time thinking about what is important to you.

I learnt this through my first lockdown – it was a great opportunity to reprioritise things that were or weren’t important & I created some great new habits that are still with me now.

4. Focus on what you can control

This is a tough one. It’s easy to get caught up in the various areas of victim, blame or self-wallowing.

I know this well as it’s something I have had to work really hard on myself.

Right now, I would have been preparing for my 50th birthday celebration with friends. I would have been having my final dress fitting for my wedding dress for this Friday.

But the universe had other plans it seems!

I could spend a lot of time being angry with the people who had virus symptoms & still chose to go on holiday. Or annoyed with our government because we chose an elimination strategy & yet still don’t have the right systems & processes in place to support this. Or upset because I was really looking forward to it.

And I would be lying if I didn’t say that these things haven’t appeared in my mind several times.

However, I chose to brush them aside & focus on what I can control.

I can’t change the fact that we are in lockdown & I won’t be free to enjoy my 50th birthday or my wedding. I can’t turn back time & have the family nor go on holiday. And I certainly can’t change our government & the way they operate – much as I’d love to 😁

What can I control? Well, I can learn from what has happened & make plans for the future.

So on Saturday morning (after the ongoing lockdown was confirmed), I got onto the phone & onto email & I changed the date of the wedding. I reorganised everyone & everything & we now have a new date.

I communicated with everyone involved & they’re now all on board with the new plans. They’re not perfect & they’re not what I originally wanted but they’re just fine for the current situation & intend to make the most of them.

I’ve also realised that even these new plans probably won’t be concrete, as everything is a moving playing field right now, but they’re the best plans I can have right now, so I’ll go with them & I’m truly looking forward to seeing them come to fruition.




And that is the end of my first 4 of the 13 tips.

Do come back & view the other tips over the next 3 days.

And if you would like to get ongoing tips around business & life then please subscribe to our newsletter here – https://www.businesstraction.com/

Finally, please don’t do this alone.

If you are struggling or you just want someone to be a sounding board for your ideas, opportunities or challenges then please book a free session with me – I have some free time over the next week now that I don’t have a birthday or wedding to plan 😀https://calendly.com/debra-chantry/15min

Or visit www.bssv.org to get some free advice from one of our many professionals who have a wealth of experience in dealing with adversity.


And here is the first video for your visual pleasure 😆