How to deal with feelings of uncertainty

We feel safe and comfortable when we know exactly what we can expect.

When we are unsure of what to expect, we begin to anticipate and predict what will happen. While this may evoke some feelings of anxiety, we are not thrown into a state of panic. In situations where we have no idea what will happen and we cannot predict any outcome, we feel overwhelmed by uncertainty and fear. Throughout the past year, we have gone through various stages. First, we were afraid but hopeful as we anticipated that by following the pandemic rules, we will ensure that things return to normal. With time, however, we saw that nothing changed. In fact, things became worse and so, our hopes began to vanish.

When we cannot predict what will happen, we begin to panic.

Now, in an attempt to make sense of what is happening in the world around us, we turn to the media. We become glued to the news and we doomscroll through social media. We check the COVID statistics every day and idly sit by as everything we ever knew gets taken away from us. Unsurprisingly, this can make us feel anxious, afraid, and stressed out.

How can you deal with these feelings?

1. Notice your media consumption.

Although you might think that watching the news and staying updated 24/7 reduces your anxiety, it only fuels it. The stress and fear you feel as a result of uncertainty can be reduced when you limit your media consumption. According to Fast Company, staying away from social media “will allow you to focus on the relatively predictable life you’re living.” In other words, your focus will be on your work, your chores, and your family instead of the global pandemic.

2. Keep a to-do list.

Writing a list of tasks that you can complete gives you a sense of control. Keep track of your work and tick things off as you go along. When you see the results at the end of the day, you will feel accomplished. This will help ease the feeling that you are helpless and not in control.

3. Practice self-care.

Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Whether this means changing your diet, staying away from your phone before you sleep, or talking to loved ones, find what makes you feel good. In times of uncertainty, it is important that you practice self-care and compassion.

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