How to deal with uncertainty
At the time of writing, the coronavirus pandemic brings uncertainty to the world. That’s why many people are wracked with depression and anxiety nowadays. The virus keeps releasing new variants, prompting countries to implement lockdowns each time. It’s been almost three years now, yet getting back to normal seems more distant as time passes.
There have been many times of uncertainty throughout human history, yet we see people go beyond their circumstances each time. Yet, you can do so many things to deal with uncertainty. You, too, can learn to deal with this situation. Perhaps you could even make it work for you!
First, we will talk about why people feel distressed by the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic. Then, I’ll cover the many ways you can cope with such conditions. I made sure you can follow these tips even as you stay indoors to follow the public health guidelines. On a side note, I advise that you take the COVID-19 vaccine in case you haven’t yet.
COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty
According to a 2021 study from The Lancet, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 27.6% increase in the number of people with major depressive disorder.
The study also recorded a 25.6% increase in anxiety disorders. That’s an additional 53.2 million people who now have this mental health condition. How did this happen?
Let’s look back to March 2020, when the world first knew about the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19. This was when countries took drastic measures to prevent it from spreading.
One by one, various parts of the world began implementing tight restrictions. People were asked to stay indoors and wear face masks while outdoors.
Many businesses had to close, while others struggled to remain open. As a result, many lost their jobs and had to make do with their savings, if any.
These rules meant you couldn’t do the things you used to a few years ago. Still, we thought that was fine. If we followed the rules closely, we would be rid of this infectious disease sooner.
Three years later, and that hope seems to be dimmer. At the time of writing, the Omicron variant is causing countries to return the strict health care protocols.
This is why we now have so many people struggling with uncertainty. Fortunately, I have a few tips that can help you deal with these unusual times:
#1. Be honest with yourself.
The first step to fixing a problem is recognizing that there is one. You feel uneasy about the pandemic, right? Then, look deeper into the reasons why you feel that way about it.
That’s usually because people want to continue the things they used to do. For example, you might be feeling bad about not being able to go on with career growth.
Don’t dwell on them for too long, though. Instead, follow the next step shortly after recognizing those negative feelings.
Read More: The Best Inspirational Quotes
#2. Focus on what you control.
Most people feel distressed because they focus on the past. They look at what they could do before so much that they would rather be there than the present.
Yet, the current times are the only ones we can truly control. The past has already slipped away, while the future remains unclear. It’s true then, and it still is despite the pandemic.
Once you realize this, you can start seeing the other things you can truly manage. Some immediate examples include your body and thoughts, perhaps your messy room too!
#3. Remember that the human mind has flaws.
Your mind helps you most of the time, but it’s not perfect. We are prone to falling for our limited biases. With regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, we tend to think negatively.
It’s easy to see why when you realize how much negativity is swirling around modern news media. If you keep on reading about the pandemic becoming worse, then you’d probably feel that way too.
The best thing to do is to question any thoughts that may enter your head. When a bad thought comes to mind, pause and ask yourself you might be feeling that way.
#4. Help yourself instead of waiting for others.
Again, this connects to flaws in our minds. People may feel powerless in the face of uncertainty, so they look outside themselves for help. They might rely on a friend, for example.
Sadly, this could also cause more anxiety and depression when no one can truly assist them. That’s why you should realize that you will have to help yourself.
As I said, the first things you can control are your mind and body. Once you learn this, that’s your first step to finding a way to deal with overwhelming uncertainty.
#5. Invest in yourself.
I mentioned, “mens sana in corpora sano” in another article. It roughly translates to “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” With that said, you might want to start working on your physical health.
This means laying off the junk food and doing some exercise. As you do this, you will likely feel better. What’s more, you could even improve how you look!
On the other hand, you may also work on your mind. Look for new skills you can learn on the internet, such as coding in Python. Those might help you land a job too!
#6. Find meaning in the chaos.
French philosopher Albert Camus wrote the “Myth of Sisyphus.” It recounts the Greek legend of Sisyphus, who was punished by the gods by carrying a boulder up a hill forever.
Despite this, Camus said that “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Similarly, you must find meaning in this situation where we keep on restarting the lockdowns.
As I said, you still have control over your body and mind. You can rebuild what you’ve lost in the past in new ways. Let’s take that stalled career path that I cited earlier as an example.
The pandemic has caused many people to transition to remote work. Check the internet, and you might find one that’s similar to the job you once had.
Then, you may apply for that position in various companies. From there, you can rebuild your career. This might be even better since you’re able to do it at home!
Of course, I recognize that people might be suffering from clinical anxiety or depression. If the feelings worsen, you might look for mental health assistance.
Don’t be afraid to look for this kind of help if you truly need it. This pandemic is a global outbreak, so millions like you are looking for similar aid.
What’s more, I would like to remind you to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More importantly, complete your COVID shots!