When your life gets disrupted by something that’s not expected (like COVID-19), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty. And that brings with it a host of emotions you’d rather not feel such as. . . worry, stress, fear. Life becomes a struggle.
The good news is that it need not feel so overwhelming (because you can feel more certain in uncertain times).
There are simple things that you can do to put some certainty back into your life. Things that make you feel calmer and more in control (so that you can stop feeling so fearful and instead have a clearer mind and more self-confidence regardless of the crisis of the moment).
Below I’m sharing 3 simple things that you can start doing immediately for more control and certainty within your life. And to help you take this further, I’ve also got a powerful resource with proven mindset and stress management activities to help you develop a healthy mindset and take control over your emotions.
Getting Real About Uncertainty
As I write this, we’re in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. I’m under a shelter-in-place order and trying to work, serve clients, and act as teacher and gym instructor to my two boys. This disruption has created a lot of uncertainty.
In some ways, the feelings that have come up for me over the past 10 days remind me of how I felt when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Uncertain. A bit fearful. Worried.
Back then, I believed that things would go back to normal once treatment ended. I’d regain my sense of control. But that day never came.
In times like these, the truth is unveiled. . .
- Life isn’t all ease and flow (no matter what the self-help gurus promise).
- Uncertainty is the norm.
- You don’t have control over much of what you thought you did.
- Struggle is a natural part of life.
But that doesn’t mean that you must live in fear.
How To Stay Confident Through Struggle
It’s important to remember that struggle makes you into who you are. It’s where you learn life’s biggest (and best) lessons.
And just because you don’t have control over much in life, you do have control over YOU. Taking control is about 1 thing: choosing.
You can choose to take control of things like:
- Mindset, perspective, attitude (or whatever you want to call it).
- Daily routines and rituals.
- Living your values.
- Acting despite fears (called courage).
- Compassion + understanding.
And I’m here to tell you that it’s time to choose. Take control of what you can. Let go of the rest.
Will you still struggle? Of course. You’ll even feel some worry, stress and fear.
But as you make that choice (and continue on), you’ll realize that you’re okay despite your struggles. Fears will go down. You’ll even start to enjoy more of life.
[Recommended Reading: 10 Powerful Life Lessons On How To Be Happy (Thanks to Cancer)].
Your First Steps To Feel More Certain In Uncertain Times
Here are three steps you can take right now to put some certainty back into your life (no matter how uncertain life feels):
Step #1: Stick to your usual routines (as much as possible).
Routines have a grounding effect. And that’s especially the case for those that are already in place. For that reason, it’s important to stick to your usual routines as much as you can.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t change them up (or that you shouldn’t be creative). For example, my husband typically works out at the gym 3 mornings a week. During the COVID-19 crisis he obviously can’t do that. But he can work out from home (and is doing that instead).
Additionally, we’re both still going to bed and getting up around the same time each week day (even though we don’t necessarily have to). It helps us to feel more in control of and puts back some certainty into our lives.
Step #2: Create new routines and habits.
You don’t have to stick only to old routines. During times of uncertainty and disruption, it’s important to create additional habits and routines that are aimed at further grounding you. Consistency creates more control (and a calmer mind).
Plus, you can create a feeling of certainty and control within your life even when times are uncertain. This process is what Jonathan Fields (in his book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance) “certainty anchors”.
So, think about how to develop simple routines and habits around daily activities to help you even further. For example, during the COVID-19 self-isolation period, I’m taking a daily walk with my 2 sons. Unless it’s raining outside, we go no matter what. This has helped to keep us sane and feel more in control regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.
Step #3: Stay close to and connected with those you love.
When life gets disrupted and you feel out of sorts, it’s easy to pull away from people. Don’t do that!
Pick up the phone, schedule regular meetings (even if just online), write letters and email family, friends and colleagues. And don’t just ask for help. If you need help, definitely ask for it. But helping others will make you feel good too (and more in control).
Feel More Certain In Uncertain Times By Choosing
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to make the choice to be in control of what you can. Be sure to proactively make this choice. Every. Single. Day.
Want to take this even further? Download 5-Minute Stress Solutions, a free resource containing effective mindset and stress management activities for a a healthy mindset, less stress and emotional control. Grab your copy here: