There’s no doubt that we in the UK have been living in some pretty uncertain times. Uncertainty is something that we have all had to deal with. This can have a pretty big impact on our minds. Studies have shown that uncertainty is actually tougher on our mental health than receiving bad news. People would rather deal with the bad news upfront.
Yet, there are some practical ways you can cope with uncertainty. These are small actions that you can take that can help things feel more manageable. You don’t have to put every single one of these things into action, even one can help make a difference. Everyone goes through tough times, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
Reflect and acknowledge how you’re feeling
It might sound a little obvious to sit and acknowledge how you’re feeling, but you’d be surprised at how effective this can be. In our daily lives, we tend to spend a lot of time rushing around. This is especially true if you have a family to look after! Taking a few minutes out of your day to sit down and reflect on how you’re feeling could have an impact on your overall mental health.
The important thing to remember is not to judge yourself too harshly. Reflecting can be in the form of a journal, a quiet prayer or even talking with a friend. Making this time for yourself should be a priority.
Focus on what you can control
It can be very tempting to fall into the ‘should’ mindset. If you have a lot of free time all of a sudden it could be tempting to think that you should be doing more with it. Trying to cope with uncertainty could overload an already stressful situation. Focus on small things during the course of your day that you can control. Whether it’s making sure that a meal is cooked or getting out for a walk, these are small things that can give you a stronger sense of control.
The urge to want to do more in your day can be further reinforced by looking around at what other people are doing. You are going to have days when you have low energy and days when it will be tough to find motivation. The important thing is to remember that these less active days are okay too. While it can be nice to have bigger projects to focus on, look to the smaller aspects of your day. This can help to give you a better perspective on everything that is going on.
Make time for connection
In many ways, we are better connected than ever. There are plenty of tools at our disposal for staying connected with loved ones. It’s important to make sure that you are staying connected with the people that you care about most. Scrolling through things like social media or news websites can give us the impression that everything is awful. This could very well be the case and it might be hard to find things to be positive about. Yet, making time to connect with people that you care about can help you to put things in perspective. Texting someone is one thing but hearing someone else’s voice or video chatting with someone can help make a difference.
Be kind to yourself
No matter what preparations you take there could be days that feel like total write-offs. Days when no matter how hard you try things seem like they are getting worse. On those days it’s vitally important to remember to be kind to yourself. Carving out some time in the day to do something that you enjoy can give you a lift. This can be going to the shops to get your favourite chocolate bar or watching an episode of your favourite TV. Making sure that you don’t judge yourself too harshly can mean a big weight off your shoulders.
Build a routine
Finding your rhythm in your daily routine can bring you a sense of grounding. A lot of us in our lives will experience big changes like job losses, moving home or even loved ones passing away. These events can have a dramatic impact on our daily routines. Routines might sound boring but they can give us some grounding. They don’t have to be complicated things they can be as simple as making yourself a cuppa. These can be two to three points in the day that can help things to feel just a little bit more normal.
Don’t let uncertainty take over your life
There are some things in life that can be out of your control. It’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways you can get help. Focusing on the small things can help give you back some sense of control. Looking after the people you care about most and making time to look after yourself can make a huge difference. We might not know what’s coming down the line but there are plenty of little things we can do to help us focus on what’s going on right now.