Tips for Dealing with Uncertain Times

There’s no doubt, for most of us, uncertainty makes us nervous. Given the state of our world today, it’s likely you or your kids are facing an enormous amount of uncertainty in many areas of life. From back-to-school plans to unemployment, many areas of our lives have been turned upside down.

In these circumstances, we often desperately want to regain control of things when there are so many factors that are out of your control. Thankfully, there are ways to manage your worries and improve your mindset when uncertainty is all around you.

Here are some specific ways to manage uncertainty: 

1. Acknowledge the difficult feelings you are experiencing and create a compassionate space for yourself to express these emotions. Rather than seeking control in an attempt to avoid experiencing these unpleasant emotions, talk with a friend or loved one, write in a journal, or use a creative outlet to express your feelings.

2. Shift your focus from control to choice. Who do you want to be during this uncertain time? Do you want to be brave, patient, consistent, or disciplined? Recognize that you still have the capacity to make decisions that align with your own values or goals. When you’re not focused on regaining control, you’re more likely to recognize where you still have a choice, which can provide relief. One helpful exercise can be to set an intention each day by reflecting on values you want to embody or how you want to feel, and then write down your intention as you begin your day.

3. Recognize your limitations and accept that you are doing your best. Your best is all that you can do. Give yourself permission to be imperfect, and accept yourself for what you are capable of. Recognize your strengths and your effort as you “do your best and accept the rest.” Using positive self talk that is compassionate and non-judgmental can be very helpful for this approach to managing during uncertainty. Repeating a positive self affirmation is a good way to put this into practice.

Here’s to Your Well Being,
Natalie Edelhauser, LCSW