No one could have guessed that shaking hands and having a large family gathering would be outlawed activities in 2020, yet that is the new reality we collectively face. The current COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the word ‘uncertainty’ into everyone’s lives and rightly so. We are facing twin crises of health and the economy, with major uncertainty over employment, catching or coping with the virus, finances, relationships, and the question on everyone’s lips is when can we all return to normalcy?

Many of us are feeling stressed and anxious with the unprecedented levels of disruption and the adjustment to our new reality. It can be very difficult during this time, even for the toughest of people, but there are actionable ways to deal with it and even learn from times of uncertainty.

Here are 4 simple practises to deal with uncertainty:

  1. Acceptance

    It is natural for humans to demand predictability and to want to control everything, however, embracing uncertainty is an essential part of living, as very little is constant in our lives. When bad things happen, some people prefer to ignore it, however our feelings can catch us by surprise at a later time. Therefore, take the time to acknowledge your feelings, whether it be feelings of stress, sadness, frustration, worry or anxiety, and allow yourself to feel those emotions and to come to terms with them. As hard as things are, you are not alone in this and expressing your feelings to a loved one, a close friend or seeking professional support may help and bring you one step closer to peace of mind. The act of letting go and accepting things “as is” encourages us to move on and to draw our focus on things that we can control.

  2. Self-care

    When everyone is feeling on edge, the best way to stay healthy and calm is self-care. Doing everyday things that relax and centre you, makes you feel physically and emotionally safe and brings a level of control back to your life will be nourishing for yourself and others around you. Try to maintain some balance in your life with enough sleep, exercise, and brain stimulation each day. Such activities may include reading, exercising, going for a long walk, cooking, playing games, or learning a new skill. With all this uncertainty, it is common to seek information constantly to retain some certainty, however, it can be counterproductive as the onslaught of media coverage on COVID-19 may add to your anxiety. Make self-care a priority as these little acts for yourself can be an immediate mood booster and bring back some confidence you may have lost.

  3. Positive Thinking

    In these times, we can often feel powerless and anxious but it’s how we frame it that can help us exercise agency over these unfortunate circumstances. Your mindset is the one thing you can control, and it is super important when it comes to battling unforeseen hardships like the Coronavirus. Try your best to be positive and to focus on the things you have and not what you’ve lost. Being grateful for the little things is powerful for your mind as it opens news waves of thinking that are more likely to help you come out of this favourably. There is creativity and strength in turning uncertainty into possibilities. The effects of Coronavirus will be long-lasting, likely to cause a recession, but as seen in the past, communities will recover, re-form and resume after this pandemic has passed.

  4. Compassion and Kindness

    Everyone could do with a bit more kindness right about now. Australians are becoming more anxious about the threat of the Coronavirus and it’s very likely that your neighbour, friend, or the person you walked past on the street, is feeling emotions of stress and ambiguity as well. Be conscious of how people are feeling and be kind towards everyone. Pay it forward and spread some positivity to others that are facing unfortunate circumstances.

Practising social distancing makes us more distant than ever, yet we do not have to be disconnected from each other. Call or video conference your friends and family to chat, eat a meal together virtually, workout, or play online games together. Show compassion and kindness to others during this trying time as people need it now more than ever.

What we can learn from uncertain times?

Resilience – Uncertain times test our mental toughness and our will and character. Life has been upended and these trying times continually push us down, but this presents us with the opportunity to bounce back stronger with a greater sense of awareness and appreciation.

Resourcefulness – In the face of chaos, the skill to manage stress and demonstrate critical problem-solving is valuable. For many business professionals, it has forced us to refresh business models and approaches. For example, with everyone working from home, is there a need for businesses to attain large real estate footprint to do business? Companies could instead integrate strategies like outsourcing virtual assistants and adopting flexible workspaces to pay for space when and where they need it. These strategies reduce business costs and create elasticity, which is crucial for business growth and success.

Sometimes it can get overwhelming, even when you’ve been practising these skills. If you require additional support, please contact any of the following support services: