Though most people will soon be able to access a vaccine, it will take some time to recover from 2020’s trauma. In our daily lives, we were plagued by uncertainty, from not knowing when our health and safety would be safe to not understanding the different restrictions from state to state to not knowing when our daily lives would resume normalcy. I found it difficult to swallow.
Our lives will be filled with uncertainty at other points in our lives, as well. The year 2020 was unique because it was a year of uncertainty for everyone. Uncertainty affects different people at different times, according to the usual pattern.
The following tips should help you not only this year but also in the years to come.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with the uncertainty:
Uncertainty is not a Permanent State of Affairs.
Better yet, insecurity is always transient.
There will be a resolution to the crisis, no matter what you’re facing. No matter how far away March 2020 may seem, we all know that our lives will return to normal at some point in the future. However, knowing that every stressful period of uncertainty is only temporary provides a sense of comfort. The stress and anxiety will pass, no matter how intense they feel today.
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Predictability = Safety + Security
Safety and security are two things we need in order to feel in control. Our lives tend to spiral out of control if we don’t have either of them. Because of safety concerns, 2020 was chaotic and traumatic for many people. Our daily routines and coping mechanisms were stripped away. In the absence of our usual fallbacks, we felt uneasy. As a result, many of us lacked a sense of security throughout the year.
You should always seek safety and security whenever you feel out of control and unable to predict what will happen next. Create a routine, and stick to it as closely as possible. Instead of relying on others to follow through, focus on the things that you can control (cc: mask etiquette)
Hold Space for Negative Emotions.
It is perfectly acceptable to not be okay.
Certain situations require that you not feel OK.
We have a toxic positivity problem as a culture. In spite of the fact that the world as we know it has come to a grinding halt, we love to pretend that everything is fine and dandy.
Confront this urge to gloss over unpleasant emotions by embracing them instead of avoiding them. You can give them a name if you want. They should be understood. They’ll appreciate a warm beverage and salty snack if you ask them to come inside. Curiosity and compassion are the best ways to welcome them. Once you’ve gotten to know them, let them go.
Negative emotions are only amplified when they are swept under the rug. They do, in fact, exist. And until you acknowledge them, and sometimes give them a voice, they’re not going anywhere.
However, this does not obligate you to succumb to them. Instead of calming down, allowing yourself to feel your negative emotions can actually make them worse. In this way, they can be heard at a specific time and place and not disrupt your day. So many people tend to bounce back from adversity. So, they’re able to acknowledge their emotions and move on to other, more positive emotions shortly thereafter.
As a result, don’t be afraid to accept the unpleasant feelings that you’ve been trying to suppress. Their passage will be hastened if you make room for them as soon as possible
Accept your Reality.
An almost instinctive wish for easier times arises when there is acute uncertainty. So that we can cope, we enjoy recreating the real world in our minds.
Despite our best efforts, we are unable to alter our reality. Despondency and depression are common reactions to the dissonance between what we wish was real and what is actually real.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much. Take a step back and accept the reality of the situation you’re in and work to adapt to it. A false narrative that you keep forcing on yourself will only lead to frustration and ultimately surrender. Instead, find ways to be creative within the constraints of your reality.
In lieu of the 200-person gala, many 2020 brides eloped and ended up loving their private moments.
Restaurant happy hours were replaced by Zoom happy hours. Everyone’s living rooms turned into romantic restaurants complete with all the trimmings. Whoever made the most of what they had, accepted and adapted to the new norm quickly.
The easier it will be to deal with the real world if you accept your reality and let go of your fantasies.
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Simplify your Life
“Michael always says ‘K-I-S-S. Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.”
Great show. Great line.
During a time of unpredictability, it’s counterproductive to try to overwhelm yourself with the complexities of life.
Go back to the basics and learn them again. What do you need to get done today, specifically? Get up, eat, clean, dress, do your job (whatever that entails), take time for yourself, connect with others, and sleep, if you haven’t done so already. It’s already difficult enough as it is.
During times of crisis, we need the basics to keep us anchored in our position. During times of crisis, we do the things we know we must do and even like to do. As soon as things settle down, the rest of the items can be removed. A situation that is already delicate will become even more chaotic if you put yourself under undue pressure.
Be gentle with yourself. Try to keep things simple. After a while, things will return to normal, and you’ll be able to resume being your complicated, overachieving hard-working self. I’ll keep my word on this.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Humans are propelled forward by progress. Feeling in control of our situations is important to us, as is observing growth taking place right in front of us. The easiest way to feel better about yourself during times of acute uncertainty is to set small, actionable goals that you can check off a list.
The smaller the better, in all sincerity. Taking supplements; drinking a certain amount of water per day; walking a certain number of steps; cleaning your room… On some days, taking a shower can even be considered a productive activity.
Celebrate each and every time you reach one of your small objectives. Gratify yourself for surviving one of the most difficult times of your life. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit, and at times like these, we could use all the self-confidence we can get. Remember to take care of yourself by keeping the small commitments you’ve made, and by celebrating your successes.
As a general rule, self-care is anything you do to rest, reset, or reflect on yourself or your life. Self-care is most effective when it is used to re-fill the cup. Self-care is the fastest and most effective way to refuel ourselves and our energy.
During times of crisis, however, self-care is usually the first thing to go.
Other priorities take precedences, such as work and finances as well as family and friends. But if we don’t take care of ourselves first, everyone else will suffer.
Make time for yourself, even if it seems impossible. As a result of self-neglect, you won’t be able to be your true self when times are tough. Recharge your batteries and invest in your own happiness and relaxation by taking time to yourself. If you’re consistent, you’ll start to see results pretty quickly.
I sympathize with everyone who is feeling stressed out after a long, grueling year. Your chronic pressure may be relieved by these tips. I wish you well! And don’t forget that insecurity is never a permanent situation.
Eventually, this will pass. While we wait for our normal routines and rhythms to return, these tips will help you get by. Keep yourself safe and healthy at all times!