Taking Control In Times of Uncertainty

It’s easy to become a little anxious when things feel out of control.  During times like these, it’s important to focus on things that you can control in order to keep some calm in your life. Another thing that is important to think about right now is that you probably  have some TIME that you otherwise may not have had. This can truly be a blessing.  But for some, having time on their hands can also provide the opportunity to be worrying a little more than usual. That time may also be getting filled with media and a barrage of bad news.

Taking some control over the next few weeks can give you some sense of predictability during uncertain times. Consider these tips and ideas as you navigate the coming days:

  1.  Keep a routine: It doesn’t have to be extremely rigid.  Consider a set wake up time, lunch, dinner, and bed time.  From there, you can set some to-do items for the morning block that you have created and another list of things for the afternoon.  (Some of the items on this list could be built into your daily routine).
  2. Make good sleep a priority.  If you are having trouble with sleep due to stress or anxiety, check out our article on good sleep habits.
  3. Get outside every single day. Bundle up if you have to – just get outside.  This is vital to good mental health.  This is a non-negotiable at my house.
  4. Get some exercise. There are tons of free streaming platforms and ideas for body weight exercises even if you don’t have any equipment.  It’s even better if you can exercise with a friend or family member at a distance.  If you are new to exercise or have a family member who could use help with that first step, check out our Day One Fitness Program.  This too is a required daily item in our routine.
  5. Cook if you are able.  Experiment with some new, healthy recipes. My family member has a great site for this: Figgin Delicious. Lots of simple, natural recipes here.  My kids have started to experiment with some recipes and learn some new skills in the kitchen.
  6. Breathe.  Download a calming or meditation application for your phone. Even a five minute break during the day can help.  This can also come in the form of some gentle stretching or yoga too.
  7. Unwind.  Check out our Stress Management 101 article. A couple of important things on it that are particularly relevant during this time include: taking breaks from media, helping others, and the power of social connection.
  8. Connect.  Thank goodness for technology to keep us connected.  It’s amazing how much happier my family members are when they finish a virtual meeting with their classmates or co-workers. Keep in mind that you may still be able to connect in person with a walk, a visit to a park, or bike ride – as long as you keep a safe distance and follow any public orders that have been put in place.
  9. Journal. These circumstances that we are experiencing are very rare.  Writing can help get your feelings out but also document a time in your life that you will probably never forget.
  10. Take Up A Hobby, or revisit an old one.  I have dusted off the old sewing machine to sew masks for the hospital. I know others who are knitting. Should you brush up on your language skills or maybe get back to reading a little more than you used to?
  11. Tackle that To-Do List.  Even if it’s just one small item per day, it can leave you feeling more productive than if you spent it streaming or scrolling for hours  It might also help to get your mind off of things.
  12. Make a list of the positives.  We have to count our blessings. If you are healthy and safe, that should be at the top of your list.  Add to this list each day as you think of more things that you are grateful for.
  13. This too shall pass.  Start a list of all of the things you look forward to doing in the coming weeks.  Mine grows every day.

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