Coping with COVID-19

Free programs help working women during COVID-19

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STEPHANIE LANIER founded The Inspiration Lab in 2015 for working women who are passionate about personal and professional development.

The Inspiration Lab offers its more than 300 members year-round meetups, mixers, expert-led workshops, quarterly-planning workshops called Banner Year Blueprint, and an annual conference. Now, The Inspiration Lab is offering free online programs to help working women cope with COVID-19 stress and anxiety.

Lanier earned a master of social work degree from UNC Wilmington in 2007.  She blended her social work roots with her business, particularly by creating experiences and writing workbooks she wished existed.

As women, we face unique pressures, particularly as we navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of us were already juggling work and family duties before the outbreak.

Now we’re cooking, caregiving, cleaning – but we’re also homeschooling our children. How can we avoid burnout? Lanier recommends self-care first and foremost. “Self-care isn’t selfish,” Lanier says. Women are hard-wired to capably multitask a multitude of responsibilities.

“We’re superwomen, but that cape can choke you,” Lanier says.

Lanier’s “Self-Care 101 COVID-19 Edition” workbook discusses five principles of self-care (energy management, priority management, work-life rhythm, community, and gratitude) and the three types of stress (acute, compounding, and chronic). Prompts and thoughtful questions help you create your own self-care lifestyle – one you can maintain, afford and enjoy.

Self-care doesn’t just apply to self. It’s important for small businesses too. The Inspiration Lab’s “Small Biz Workbook” provides strategies to ensure you’re giving yourself, your team, and your company the attention they deserve.

The “Crisis Checklist: COVID-19 Edition” offers a checklist on coping with the loss of the illusion of control, as well as how to reduce high levels of physical and psychological stress in a realistic way in order to find some hope in the midst of life-changing hardship. 

Lanier also recommends getting your personal and professional priorities in order.

“Use your time wisely,” she says. “And, get plenty of sleep and don’t get dehydrated.”

As a working mother, Lanier admits it’s been hard for her to adjust to a new routine. She says there’s not much balance between motherhood and work right now.

“It’s like swirl ice cream. It’s going to blend into the next activity,” Lanier says.

In this climate of employment uncertainty, decide what’s most important for your family – your profession or home school, she says.

“You’re going to have to pick one. Adapt the best you can. Prevent regression and keep your child’s skills where they are,” Lanier says.

“At The Inspiration Lab, we have always said we’re a soft place to land and a strong place to launch,” Lanier says.

Challenging days are ahead. And Lanier has built a community – and resources – to equip, inspire and support one another.

“You have to do work,” she says. “Your self-care practices are different than mine. Invest the time and reflect, plan and do it in a community for encouragement and accountability.”

The good news is – we are in this together.

Explore The Inspiration Lab’s COVID-19 resources at

To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to

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Categories: Health