How will you get a handle on so much uncertainty?
Having so much uncertainty in our lives right now feels a bit like proverbial log rolling. Even as you concentrate hard to stay upright, you find yourself tipping here, losing balance there, gathering strength only to do the wobble all over again.
How is this time going to affect your children's mental health and their academic capacity?
How are you going to find a life partner when you are stuck in isolation?
And is this heavy lift going to result in crippling burnout for your team? What if they all quit? At the same time?!?!?! So much uncertainty.
So many questions, so few certainties. As the anxiety rises, your capacity to sit gently with the rolling waves wanes.
Fortunately, there are healthy choices you can make to provide some stability as you right yourself over time.
Here are three tips to help you gain balance, even as you find yourself in midstream...
Control the stimulus. Stop scrolling through the news. Turn off your phone when you get ready for bed. Stop watching the minute-by-minute analysis on broadcast news. Notice how news or social media overdose makes you feel. Instead, consider read books or paper copies of news analysis (think The New Yorker, The Atlantic, etc.). Watch theatre broadcast live. Take an art class over Zoom. Decide which stimulus is useful and helpful right now and then get disciplined.
Commit to a continual learning mindset. Continual learning supports and encourages comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty. Broaden what you understand, expand your comfort level with deciphering complex issues, commit to getting uncomfortable with not knowing and avoiding quick judgments. And then start to build awareness. Learn a language, learn to meditate, learn about a new culture, dedicate yourself to reading and understanding every single science article in the NYTimes each week. Exercise your brain and your heart by embracing a continual learning mindset.
Deliberate, then act. Instead of ruminating, backing up, getting stuck or lying down flat, reflect on as many options as you can, add input from three trusted people, aim for 80% certainty on outcomes, and then act. 80% is good enough. Gather input, reflect, act.
Living with continued uncertainty is draining and overwhelming and it can easily send anxiety spinning out of control. Through mobilizing self efficacy tools, you can ease that anxiety down to a manageable level, which allows you to ride the waves more comfortably.
It is always good to remember that with choice, we can add self efficacy to routines and feel more present. Actions, aligned with values, support optimal health.