The Impact of Uncertainty on Day to Day Life
Whether it is dealing with issues of health, the impacts of the pandemic, political unrest, climate change, or personal transition, everyone undergoes periods of uncertainty in their lives. These time periods can be very confusing. It can be hard to know what to expect next when there is so much unknown and no solution in sight. During this time it is natural to not know what to do, or to feel a mix of emotions which impact day to day life.
Building a Steady Ground
Uncertainty can disrupt our sense of stability and daily routine. During this time, we can focus on building a steady ground under us. Building a steady ground under us includes increasing self-compassion, incorporating mindfulness ‘time-out’ practices into our daily routine, and learning how to be more patient during a hard time.These practices are not always simple but, much like an exercise routine, they can help us feel stronger during tough times.
Step 1: Increase Self-Compassion
During a transition, it may be hard to know what to feel. One moment it looks like everything is going to be ok,and the next moment, everything is up in the air. We may not know what to feel.One moment we feel happy, the next, sad. In times like these, a self compassion practice can really help. It’s a good time to say to yourself “before I was feeling happy, and now I’m feeling sad, but no matter what I know I’ll be ok”. Afterwards, look around you and notice how much of you is still doing ok! It may be noticing something small like that you still ate breakfast today, or remembered to take a walk. What else can you appreciate about your daily routines?
Another practice may be just to notice how you are feeling without trying to change them. One helpful thing you can say to yourself is “I’m sad right now and that’s ok. I can feel this way as long as I need to”.
Step 2: Increase Daily Mindfulness
While things feel uncertain, adding a mindfulness practice can help us feel more steady. Add a simple 15 minute daily practice to help quiet the mind. A simple practice to increase mindfulness is to take a walk outside and notice the colors and sights and sounds around you while giving your thoughts a break! If the thoughts come back just remind yourself you can focus on what’s around you and that you can come back to them at the end of the walk. Other mindfulness practices include doing some yoga stretches or fun dance moves that can help us relax.
Step 3: Build Up Patience
If you don’t know what tomorrow brings, you can start to practice being patient with yourself and others. Remind yourself that you’ll keep taking care of yourself during these uncertain times.
Also, think back to other tough times. Can you remember a time in the past when things were hard but turned out ok in the end? What can you remember about what you did well to get through those times? Remind yourself of these things a few times a week.
Overall, remember, the future will always be unpredictable. However, as you continue to care for yourself you’ll feel stronger every day and you’ll be more ready to handle each challenge that comes your way.