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How to Deal with Uncertainty March 28, 2020

At this very moment, we are all facing a lot of uncertainty. Life has thrown us all a curve ball and for some of us, it seems like the ground has been ripped out from under us. Losing our routines and our sense of normality is unsettling. Admittedly, it’s a scary and uncertain time and right now, it’s impossible to know how this will end or how things will be different when we do finally come out on the other end of this pandemic. However, in that same vein, we must remember that it will, indeed, be over someday. You have faced uncertainty before and you have overcome it and this will not be any different.

In the meantime, there are certain things we can do to make this uncertain time a little more bearable. First, we need to validate our own feelings and reflect. Are you upset because your plans for the upcoming weeks and months have fallen through? Are you worried about a sick family member or about your own health? Perhaps you don’t know how you will make ends meet financially in the upcoming months and you’re shaken up by the thought of potentially not being able to. All of these feelings are completely valid and they are real worries. Reflect on them without sinking into anxiety-ridden spells. Uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety but there are ways you can mitigate the effects until the unpredictable situation is resolved.

Most importantly, avoid dwelling on aspects of the situation that you cannot control. The cards have been laid out and you have to figure out how you are going to play them, which in the end, will truly determine your future outcomes. Think back to when you’ve faced uncertainty before and what you did to overcome it and lean on your past successes as an indicator that you are indeed capable of coming out on top of any obstacle. Imagine the worst-case scenario if you must and think about how you would cope and consider the ways you could get out of that scenario, too. Engage in a lot of self-care, whatever that means to you, and limit your exposure to news sources. Staying informed only goes so far but don’t let the grimness of the news overtake your life. As always, find ways to lean on your loved ones and ask for their support. In times like these, we realize that material things mean nothing and our social relationships and support systems are everything. The uncertainty will pass, change will come, and a new normal will emerge. Hold tight.