Living in uncertain times
It’s been several months since the Covid-19 pandemic first began impacting much of society. Initially, many of us believed that a short period of isolation and some changes to our regular lifestyle would lead to a swift return to normalcy. Since then, we now realize this is not the case.
In fact, things may seem more uncertain now than ever. There’s no unified federal response to the pandemic, and regions across the country are reopening at differing paces with inconsistent expectations in place. Our lives continue to be upended, and we don’t know when it will end.
This uncertainty can lead to issues such as anxiety and depression, even in those who haven’t experienced such problems before. Feeling anxious and out of sorts is to be expected right now. Be gentle on yourself and know that there are some ways you can help to lessen the impact.
Focus on the Now
There are probably events or occasions you’d been looking forward to that have now been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Your daily routine may be shaken up. Perhaps you’re working from home and feel isolated from your former support network. These things can increase feelings of loneliness and cause you to feel like there’s nothing to look forward to, which can lead to a negative or even depressed mindset.
Rather than focus on missed opportunities or an uncertain future, you can feel more in control by looking at what you can do right now to increase your quality of life. Despite the fact that your activities may be limited, there are lots of ways you can still gain fulfillment from life. Find ways to safely connect with friends. Enjoy activities like hikes in nature or baking. Take time to find gratitude in what you currently have. Reframing your thoughts around your current abilities can allow you some peace of mind.
Hope the Future
While it’s important to be realistic during this period, you don’t have to lose all hope for the future. You may not be able to look forward to specific events and times, but you can allow yourself to picture a time when it is safer to return to normal activities. A vaccine will eventually be formulated and approved. There will come a time when we can return to a more normal routine. This type of optimism is good for your mental health.
Make Some Plans
Having contingency plans in place for certain potential outcomes can also provide you with some security during this uncertain time. For example, you’ll want to figure out what you would do if you or someone in your household should get sick with the virus. It also can be helpful to look at your immediate financial and work situation in order to assess whether adjustments may need to be made. Taking any possible proactive measures can provide reassurance.
It’s okay to feel anxious right now. Finding little ways to assert more control over your circumstances can provide tremendous return on your mindset. Give these suggestions a try to see what a difference they can make on your outlook.