Going through uncertainty can cause your stress levels to rise. From the fear of losing your job to the dramatic changes in home dynamics to the worry of what will happen next. With all that’s going on, figuring out how you can deal with stress through uncertainty is crucial.
So, how do you deal with stress through uncertainty? What can you do to keep some sense of calmness or dare I say what can you do to remain positive?
Here are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to stress.
Focusing only on the problems.
Given that the current COVID19 crisis is on a global level – and of a nature that we’re all experiencing for the first time, it’s normal to spend time thinking about it. As long as you have eyes and ears it’s impossible not to focus on it since it surrounds our everyday. And as so many of us are back in lockdown part 2, it’s no wonder we’re feeling stressed.
The problem is when this is ALL you think about. Becoming consumed by worry is dangerous. It will do nothing for your mental state. Especially if this worry leads to paralysis or feelings of helplessness.
Shutting down and not communicating with others
If there’s anything I’ve learned from Covid-19 so far it’s that we all need connection. While levels of communication required to maintain sanity differ from person to person, shutting down will lead even the most introverted among us to struggle at some point.
When dealing with stress through uncertainty, keeping channels of communication open can be a huge help.
Thinking of it another way- if you’re completely fine and loving the peace – then take a moment to think about anyone among your friends or family who might be struggling with feelings of isolation.
While they might not reach out-you can guarantee that they’ll be more than happy to hear from you.
It’s easy to assume things without any evidence. Especially if your stressed and going through uncertain times. Some of the biggest assumptions you might be making right now that could be adding to your stress levels include:
Assuming that everyone can see how uncomfortable you are to be talking on video from home
Assuming that everyone around you is fine and handling things better than you are.
Assuming that your family and friends are all doing great
Assuming that your friend was being honest when they said they’re “fine”
Assuming that you’re bothering people if you call them too much
The list goes on. We make so many assumptions. All of which doesn’t do us any good.
Instead of making assumptions, ask questions, and probe deeper, because when things are this uncertain and people are feeling disconnected you need to create some sense of certainty and security. The only way to be certain about things is to be open, ask questions, and speak up.
Thinking the worst will happen
Another big culprit when it comes to soaring stress levels is thinking the worst will happen. Everything’s doom and gloom, and after this horror, we’ll be in a deep resection. You won’t be able to get another job, and your whole life will fall apart at the seams.
This is no joke. These threats are very real and I definitely don’t take these things lightly.
But when did catastrophizing ever make things better? The sad truth is, things will go how they will go and you can only do what you can do. Focus on the things within your circle of control and influence.
There are so many amazing and inspiring examples of how people have taken this opportunity to make a difference. What they’re doing is focusing on what they CAN do, and what they CAN control. This will have a significantly positive impact on your mental and emotional state.
Not taking care of yourself
By now you’ve heard the words self-care so much that you’re probably sick of them. But just hearing the words won’t change things. You need to actually take action on it. What that looks like for you is personal. Of course, there are some common things we can all do that constitute self-care, but self-care isn’t prescriptive. It’s about doing something to take care of you. That could mean meditating, making sure you’re eating well, getting into good sleep habits, reading a book, turning off your phone for an hour a day, taking a bath. Whatever it is that makes you feel good- make sure that you incorporate it into your life, ideally every week.
Lack of activity
We’ve already talked about taking time for self-care. As well as making sure you make time for self-care, you also need to make time for some activity. It’s easy to go from bed to desk to couch and back to bed. With nowhere to go and no one to see, sitting around the house can become the norm. And if you’re in the UK and on furlough then spending days in bed could happen easily. But while it can be hard to get motivated under the circumstances, even a short walk can do wonders for your mental state and could be the small thing that can make a big difference when it comes to reducing your stress levels.
If you’ve been feeling super stressed lately, it might be time to take a stress audit. Have you fallen into any of these 5 traps? If so, it’s time to take stock and create an action plan to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your stress levels down.
If you want to effectively deal with stress through uncertainty you’d better make sure you…
Take time to think about what’s good in your life ( Asking these powerful questions will help you with this)
Make time for friends and family and keep talking
Don’t make any assumptions
Don’t expect the worst. Remember, whatever’s happening, one thing always remains true, this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever, and you will get through it.
Make sure you take care of yourself. Whatever that means to you
Get out and get active. Even if it’s just a short walk.