uncertainty

Dear Soulseeker,

We are living in a time of extreme uncertainty: the pandemic, the hurricanes, the fires, the election, the riots, the looting, the social injustice. Did I mention the election? It’s all too much, and I’m tired of it. You are too, I know. I’m thinking about going into full on hermit mode and cutting myself off from the world entirely. Ignorance is bliss right?

These uncertain times are leading to an increase in our anxiety. 2020 has had a cumulative effect on us of ONE. BAD. THING. AFTER. ANOTHER. Our brains are hardwired to anticipate and plan for the future based on our past experiences and information that we have about our present state. When our current information and situation keeps changing, we can’t anticipate what is to come and as a result, we feel anxious. For example, our current number of Covid19 cases are going up drastically in some parts of the country, and yet, our President, says we are turning a corner, vaccines are coming out soon making it seem like the end is almost here. We don’t know what to believe, and that makes it hard to anticipate and plan for the future.

So what can we do right now to help ourselves out?

  1. Cut yourself some slack! We are all just doing the best we can right now. Parenting is hard even in normal times. Now is not the time to go for parent of the year. Not baking bread or creating a garden or working on that new novel? Me neither! We all deal with things differently. Try not to compare yourself to others. Show yourself some grace and compassion and know that you are doing the best that you can right now, and that’s good enough.
  2. Feel those feelings! None of us want to feel anxious and our first response when we feel those feelings of anxiety is to try and stop them. Usually that just makes it worse. Ever tried to diet and make yourself not think of all of the foods that you can’t eat? All you can do is focus on candy, chips, desserts, carbs whatever! That’s what happens if you try to suppress those anxious feelings. Next time you feel anxious, just feel anxious. Recognize those feelings. Label those feelings and acknowledge that Ok I feel anxious right now. Pretty soon those feelings will go away and over time you will get better at managing that anxiety.
  3. Get your control freak on! That sounds weird, but here’s the thing. Anxiety comes from a place where you feel that don’t have any control over things. I like knowing that I have some control over parts of my life. I’m a planner. I make lists. So make a list of the things in your life that you can control and the things that you are anxious about. Are you worried about the upcoming holidays and get togethers because of Covid? Write down those worries and then decide what factors about those events you can control. Anxiety lies to us. It tells us that if we keep thinking about this problem, then we will work ourselves out of it. But this isn’t true! What happens instead is that we continue to think and worry and think and worry until we wear ourselves out. We never find a solution! Writing out what you actually can and can’t control can help prevent you from the think/worry cycle. The fancy name for it is rumination. We don’t want to do that!
  4. Find your resilience! You’ve been through tough times before and have come out on the other side. Write these down! Remind yourself that you are tough, you are resilient, and you will make it through these uncertain times. You are not alone. The whole world is experiencing this along with you.

Hang in there soulseekers! We can and will get through this together!

Posted by

I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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