Living with Uncertainty and Not Knowing
Posted on 3rd November 2020 at 13:53
As COVID-19 rattles on, we continue living our lives with a degree of uncertainty and not knowing how long it's going to go on for. This year you may have faced uncertainty over your job, finances, health, relationships, going on holiday, seeing family and friends, and now a new uncertainty over how we’re going to celebrate Christmas.
Many of us aren’t equipped with the skills to manage uncertainty, especially over a sustained period. We have an inbuilt need for security. Uncertainty can leave us feeling out of control, anxious, directionless, drained, and wondering what tomorrow might bring.
A simple exercise for dealing with uncertainty
Here’s the thing. Life is always uncertain. The global pandemic has shown us how it can change in a heartbeat and be unpredictable.
This simple exercise from our Open Ears programme, a year-long curriculum for schools to equip children with the tools for emotional well-being and coping with life and loss will help you to realise what you can take control of.
Copy the circles onto a piece of paper, or print them out, and then write the things that you are in control of in the ‘Can Control’ circle. Now, think of the things you can’t control that are worrying you and place them in the ‘Can’t Control’ circle. Sometimes there will be a bit of overlap, so place those things in the middle circle.
An example is if you lost your job, which is out of your control, you can be in control of the amount of time and effort you put into searching for a new job, sending out your CV, asking your friends if they know of anything, etc.
Another example would be if you’re worried about catching the virus, you can control washing your hands, where you go, and wearing a face mask. Focusing on what you can control will turn your mind from worrying to problem-solving, even though all you can control are your emotional and attitude responses.
If you would like to find out more about coping with uncertainty, download our free ebook on Living After Lockdown.
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