We’re in lockdown and by now we all know what it feels like to not know what’s coming up next. Uncertainty- the heaviness of not knowing, doubt, and unpredictability. Sound familiar? A part of you assumes and secretly hopes that this will all end in 21 days, we go back to normal life, meet friends and family, resume work and don’t stay confined to our rooms. Let’s face it though, there is a part of you that wonders what it would be like if this went on for more than 21 days.
What happens to your work, the people you want to meet, the places you want to see? what happens if life has to reset for good? We wonder if we are ready for it all. As more and more people continue to be infected, your uncertainty about the future multiplies as well. How do we deal with this uncertainty? I honestly wish there were suggestions that applied to everyone. But that can’t happen. We all have different lives, different struggles. We often limit our context to our immediate world. There are people, classes, cultures, and places we don’t think about consciously unless they affect our own ‘immediate world’. These things are largely out of our control. But if you can read this and are privileged like me, I hope some of these suggestions help you deal with uncertainty better.
Tips to deal with Uncertainty
Find a purpose larger than yourself.
Something that you can engage with, work for or learn about. Investing your energy in activities that keep your mind engaged helps take care of the anxiety during coronavirus and the uncertainty. This also acts as a grounding technique.
Remind yourself that we are facing this collectively.
It may feel like you’re not going to survive this and there are a lot of questions unanswered. Your mind and body are unable to prepare you for what’s to come and so they reach the worst conclusion. But the bittersweet thing here is that we’re all in this together. Till the end! Remember, Wysa is always here if you need to talk.
Plan your life based on the current circumstances.
You may realize that you’re thinking more about what’s to come and how you’ll deal with something in the future which can cause a lot of stress. The thing with being preoccupied with that is that it’s very easy to lose sight of the here and now. Your focus moves from what IS in your control to what isn’t. That can be an exhausting exercise. So make a list of things that are in your control and try and build some changes around that.
Introduce the concept of ‘stability rocks’ in your day.
A stability rock is something that acts as an anchor through your day. It’s a fixed activity that you do each day, at the same time. This could be as simple as setting a time to wake up, eating your meals at the same time or even making time for a creative activity like music, painting or baking. This helps you have some semblance of structure through the day and help cope with quarantine depression.
Don’t overburden yourself with the news.
I know it can be tempting to read, to keep up to date every minute when you have no idea of what’s happening outside, but obsessing over the news will only cause more anxiety about coronavirus and being quarantined. Instead, fix a certain time of the day that you will dedicate to the news.
Stay connected with other people, consciously.
Get in touch with your loved ones, family and friends. Maybe reach out to an old friend you lost touch with because you were very busy in your life before this quarantine was imposed. Share what it’s like to feel this uncertainty and quarantine depression. You may find that someone else is feeling the same way and just feeling understood will help you feel more in control.
Be kind to yourself through this process.
This is not a race! It’s hard and you may push yourself to feel good, but remember that it’s okay to feel low and uncertain about something. Just take one day at a time and you’re soon going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You can use Wysa for mindfulness exercises and practice self-compassion.
While you’re doing your best to deal with this uncertainty, remember that if it gets really hard and you cannot deal with it alone, reach out for help. There are professionals who can help you make sense of your feelings and cope better.