Uncertainty is something that we experience individually first, but then it affects our relationships as our anxiety and frustrations grow.
Whatever you can change on an individual level will bring about a change on a relationship level as well. How you are coping is not just your problem, but it becomes an overall problem for your relationship.
Uncertainty is not only an individual problem but also a global problem. Yet, uncertainty can only be rectified at the personal level.
If things go the way that we plan we feel we have power and we are in control. When things don’t go according to plan, or we get knocked off course by something we never saw coming, we are left feeling powerless, stressed and anxious.
While we all react to stressors differently, we nevertheless respond in some way. Some responses are easy to see while other responses, such as becoming a little snappy to those around us, are often not recognised as a stress reaction.
Considering the pressure that we are under with the changes brought about by the current crisis, stress and anxiety are becoming the new norm. So how do we cope with the uncertainty of the times that we find ourselves in?
Minimise dwelling on things which you can’t control.
If we focus on negative thoughts, we will tend to image worst-case scenarios and increase our anxiety.
Focus on what you can control.
Even if the outside world seems out of control, you can establish routines in your life that will give you some structure.
Things such as getting out of bed at the same time, eating food at the same time and exercising at the same time of the day all help. What other routines can you think of and put into place? Predictability is the key here.
Recall past achievements.
Think about what you have achieved in the past in the face of difficult situations. What have you overcome? What helped you overcome these situations?
Limit your exposure to the news.
The news is delivered in a way to shock and sensationalise what is happening in the world. Too much of it feeds your negative thoughts and increases your anxiety.
Develop new skills.
When things are good, and you are not under pressure, it is an excellent time to develop new skills that will improve your future.
When you are in difficult times, you must focus on developing skills that will help you overcome and prosper.
Be honest with yourself.
Take stock of how you are feeling. Your feelings at this time are normal and understandable. Express how you are feeling to your partner or close friend. But don’t just tell then how you feel.
Take the next step and tell them what you need to help you to cope better. Maybe you need to know somebody is there to support you emotionally or perhaps there are other practical things that you need.
If you find yourself in the middle of stress and anxiety, it can help to talk to somebody who will listen compassionately and help you find a way to navigate through your current circumstances.