Dealing with uncertainty

10th January 2022

Uncertainty can affect our feelings in a variety of different ways. It can create anxiety, anger, sadness and feelings of not being in control.

We might start picturing worst case scenarios, fixating on things like health, checking and looking things up on the internet, putting things off, or we might try to keep busy so that we don’t think about the uncertain future.

However, worrying doesn’t affect the future outcome, we cannot prevent all bad things from happening and life remains uncertain. By worrying about what might happen, may seem like the best thing to do, but it only makes us feel worse and makes us less able to cope with real life.

So what can you do to help cope with the impact of uncertainty?

Acknowledge what you are feeling

  • Covid. This is a global issue and we’re not alone in this
  • Acknowledge how you're feeling and noticing what's happening to you.
  • Are you losing or gaining sleep or weight, are you eating differently, do you feel tired, anxious, restless, on edge? You won't be alone.

Challenge uncertainty

  • Is it possible to be certain about everything in life?
  • If you’re trying to control the uncontrollable then this is a waste of your time and effort and can be exhausting.

Focus on what you can control

  • Think about the things you can control, rather than what you can’t control.
  • This could just be small things in your routine.
  • Avoid 24-hour news as it can become addictive, a kind of rumination, and limit news to the headlines from one trusted news source once per day.
  • Focus on the present, take a few deep breaths, and engage in something relaxing or rewarding that is within your control. Going for a walk, run listen to music chatting with friends.

Set some goals

  • Goals often can, and should, change, but the very practice of setting goals can be hugely beneficial when dealing with uncertainty.
  • “Think about what you want your future to look like and what steps do you need to take to get there

Look after yourself

  • find fun and connection in any way you can: that could mean a podcast, a box set, a telephone call, a walk outside around people and nature.
  • Try mindfulness. Rather than trying to always avoid stress or anxiety, mindfulness encourages you to be more present to your thoughts and feelings. Headspace App can help with this.

If you need further support with your mental health, our team are here to help.

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