How to Add Certainty in a World of Uncertainty COVID-19
Author: Nicole Bentley, LCSW Editor: Julie Raymond, LCPC
The global health pandemic happening right now has impacted almost every country world wide and changing every facet of everyday life as we know it. It has, in turn, left every single one of us having to make adjustments and a new way of being in some way or another in our everyday lives.
For many, it is marked by a large amount of uncertainty; not knowing when you might be able to return to work, what will our future look like, when your children will return to school, when your job will be well staffed, or when you won’t have to work overtime. It is during this time of uncertainty that we can begin to search for aspects of our life that can be grounded in some certainty.
Here are some tips for how to empower yourself to find that certainty:
1. Add structure to your day
2. Develop an effective morning routine
3. Choose to cook and eat your breakfast mindfully
4. Take intentional breaks throughout the day to identify how you feel physically and emotionally
5. Differentiate between work time and free time (create a work space!)
6. If staying home all day, utilize block scheduling. This will allow you to identify how you want to spend blocks of time throughout your day
7. Add movement to your day: through walking or on demand exercise that you enjoy and feels good in your body
8. Plan things to look forward to either today, tomorrow or later this year: like game night, rituals of connection through video chatting loved ones, walks outside, even take a new route or visit a new neighborhood or even plan a trip for the future!)
• Choose a perspective to ground you (examples below):
1. This time of social distancing will pass
2. Focus on what IS in your control
3. Take it day by day or hour by hour if you need to!
4. Notice gratitude for the things in your life like loved ones or even as simple as clean sheets!
When you notice yourself feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty of what is happening in the world, simply guide your attention back to the perspective you have chosen.
• Make effective choices for yourself
1. Choose how much news to read, listen to or watch
2. Choose who to stay in touch with, as well as how you stay in touch with them
3. Choose how to spend your free time
•Allow the power of choice to add certainty to this uncertain time through your values
1. Make a list of your top 10 values, the things that guide you and feel at the core of who you are
2. Choose to pursue at least one value each day
3. Example: If you value family, choose one family member that you can call or help each day
Remember within anxiety lies uncertainty and fear but also there lies hope, and it’s helpful to refocus your thinking on the hope you have for the future!