The next pandemic challenge for the printing industry and how the R3 steps can help

Since the invention of the first printing press in 1436 by goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg, the printing industry has seen its fair share of trials by fire. Simply owning and running a printing company is no small feat. Add to that past challenges like severe and prolonged power outages, war-time nationwide product shortages, or even contemporary unyielding environmental rules, and the industry has been called upon on many occasions to meet extraordinary tests of its survival. And then came COVID-19! For the last two years, printers have had to completely change their business models and practices. Suddenly, the needs of the company were forced to take a backseat to the health, welfare and protection of employees and customers. Sales and corporate survival could only be realized once health and safety protocols were firmly entrenched.

As challenging as it was and still is, printers did find new and creative ways to satisfy health protocols and survive the biggest recent roadblock the industry has ever faced. Constant disinfectant procedures, facemasks, limiting customer access to the premises and even inventory sterilization, are just a few examples of how the industry met the challenges. With these necessary changes, many companies were successful in maintaining profitability. But at what cost to the employees?

Recent reports from Statistics Canada, CAMH and Mackenzie Health, clearly reveal that all members of society today are dealing to varying degrees with mental issues from COVID-19 fears, job burnout, isolation issues and more, expressly due to the pandemic. Stress and the inability to cope are now having a Kung-Fu-like grip on society as a whole – which includes the printing industry. The question then becomes, what can you do to help your employees? How can we supply the help they so desperately need and find better ways to learn how to cope, both on and off the job?

Many people find what they need from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with the help of trained psychotherapists like me. CBT is a solution-based, goal-driven approach to psychological counselling that’s often the preferred methodology for two reasons. First, it teaches clients new strategies to change their way of thinking by arming them with easy-to-learn tools and techniques to address, manage and minimize mental health issues like day-to-day stress. Second, because it works if administered and adhered to properly. But too many people don’t have the financial means, coverage or time to meet with professionals. So where can they find help?

Resilience Training 4-Part Series

The internet is a good place to start for information on coping strategies. But many people look to books for help. Fortunately, there still are many proven and easy-to-learn psychological tools and techniques rooted in CBT. One highly successful strategy is called Resilience Training. This approach is strengthened by what social psychology identifies as Systems of Influence that operate as architects for all our thoughts, beliefs and behaviour at any given time. Simply put, they’re the reasons we feel happy/unhappy, bad/good, or stressed/relaxed.

My personal Resilience Training began in the early 1990s when I was stricken with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and chronic depression. It was a devastating time in my life. It was during my nine-month recovery that I discovered new, psychological and behavioural skills that helped me fully recover. The strategy was a three-part approach – Recognize, Respond and Resolve – the fundamentals of resilience training. 

This is the first in a 4-part series. In following articles I’ll go into greater detail about how each of the R3 steps approach work, and why they work so well for any age group. To be clear, it’s basic Resilience Training – learning easy, proven ways to better manage day-to-day stress. If you, your family, employees, or anyone you know are struggling with unwanted stress or unhappy feelings due to the ongoing pandemic, Resilience Training is a quick and inexpensive alternative to learn proven methods that clearly identify stressors, ways to respond, and a proven strategy that helps control, minimize and even eliminate unwanted stress.

Paul Shearstone
Paul Shearstone MACP, NLP, CCP is a Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Certified Coach, Neuro-Linguistic-Programing (NLP) Therapist and Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. His newest book, The Resilience Formula: Strategic Tools for Peak Performance, is available at and Chapters Indigo. Please visit or e-mail

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