How do I deal with Uncertainty and the Corona Virus?
Dealing with uncertainty and the Corona Virus has been a challenging time for the whole world. Your mental health can take a hit when dealing with unexpected events like this, so check out my thoughts on what you can do to deal with it.
Have fun! Laugh! Spend time with your friends and family
An expected event like this can really help make us realise what is really important. For most of us, family, friends and having fun are really the most important things – we just get lost in our work, busy schedules and the rat-race of life. Take this uncertain time to connect with something that is certain – your friendship and love for your family and friends. Spend time doing things that don’t cost money with those you love, whether it is having someone over for a coffee or just going out for a walk, your mental health will thank you for it. Have a laugh by putting on a funny movie, and if you don’t have the time, just go on YouTube and watch a few short clips of funny moments from movies you know you enjoyed. Google a few funny jokes. Find a way to laugh out loud (LOL), your body and your mind will love it.
Dealing with Uncertainty at work
This is a big one I know. A few years ago I went through a massive unexpected bout of uncertainty at work. It came out of nowhere and we didn’t know what was going to happen next. Anxiety can take over at times like this I know. I actually wrote a post about it and what I did to get through the job uncertainty, you can read it by clicking here. Work makes up a big part of who we are, and the threat of having that taken away can be a massive cause for anxiety. What we need to remember is that our work does not define who we are, and all we can do is try our best when we are given the opportunity to work. If you are at home waiting to go back to work, then finding other ways to keep yourself feeling productive is key. Take a short course, read a book that you hope to learn something from, spend some time working on yourself (and finding out whether you want to keep doing this same work or working for that same boss when this is all over). Set up a daily routine to keep yourself busy and motivated and stick to it. Allow yourself some time to be ‘unproductive’ and try to see the positives of what the uncertain time has brought to your life.
Dealing with uncertain income and problems with money
Anyone who says that money isn’t important, must have a lot of it. In my opinion, money is something that really matters when you don’t have enough to meet your expected standard of living. Sometimes this can also just be ‘the fear’ that you won’t have this amount of money or level of income in the future. I know, I have been there. We need to remind ourselves that money is just one part of our lives, and if we had all the money in the world, it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have our friends and family to share it with. Understand that this uncertain time will pass in time, but for now, do what you can to get by. Maybe you can sell some unwanted goods, or take up some casual work online as a second job. Maybe you can cut back on your expenses. Many organisations are offering reduces costs, repayment holidays and other support packages. I don’t have all the answers, but what I can tell you is that you need to remove yourself from the fear of not having enough money or income. For more info on how to deal with money and your mental health, read this post a few more tips.
Dealing with the fear of getting sick (or getting someone else sick)
This is something that really scared me. Even though I am a low risk of death from Corona Virus as I am in my 30’s and relatively fit and healthy, I still wanted to lock myself away. The fear of getting sick can take over, but we need to trust the health experts and authorities and believe that they are doing the right thing by us to minimise our risk of suffering from Corona Virus. Wash your hands, be safe, but don’t spend your days worrying about what might happen – you don’t want to die of a heart attack because you stressed yourself out worrying! I was also scared about getting someone else sick, particularly our elderly loved ones who are more at risk. Be sensible and do what you can to reduce the risk. Personally I have helped set up an i-pad for my grandma so I can FaceTime her, and it has actually been great! I have been able to see her much more than I would have seen her before Corona Virus.. Remember you can’t catch Corona Virus through the phone either, so remember to keep calling to check in if you aren’t able to meet in person.
You need to work on your mental health
I know it’s not easy to find time for even more things to do at this challenging time, but we have to find a way. Just like we need to find time to get some rest and enjoy some sleep, we also need to find time to work on our mental health. Our body and mind is a living being that needs to be looked after, just like you look after your plants and pets. My Mental Health Blog has a few good posts on how you can work on mental health, click here to check it out and get started.
Well Corona Virus has put a big stop on the way we used to exercise. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise! I know myself that I have not exercised a lot less with everything going on at the moment, but we have to find a way. Go for a run, do some push-ups or sit-ups, do some squats – we have no excuse for not doing these things and even the smallest amount will help. For those that want the next level, find an online class, I am sure the local trainers will appreciate you supporting them by paying for a class (or watching one on YouTube for free if money is tight). Exercising will release the endorphins and get the blood pumping – reducing your emphasis on any negative thoughts you may currently have running around your mind.
Try Living in the Present
I know this isn’t easy. Bills to pay, negative headlines, overwhelming times and everything else is taking its toll. But we have to try to bring ourselves to the current moment. Even if it is for a short while, it will make a difference. Think of your mind as a spinning wheel, and if you are always engaged and spinning around these thoughts, your motor is going to burn out. Even by taking a few moments to ground yourself and come to the present, your mind will breathe a sigh of relief and thank you for it. For example you can eat a piece of food and focus on it. Taste the food, smell the food, feel the textures, listen to the sounds, look deeply at it. It is time for you to live in the current moment. Another example is to pick up a pillow or an item and focus on it. Find 5 things you didn’t observe closely before. Listen to the sounds it makes while you rub your hands over it or move it around. Smell it. Focus. By doing this, you have just brought yourself to the present and stopped the spinning wheel. You can also meditate, practice yoga and use mindfulness to help slow your mind down and bring you to the present.
Remember, uncertainty doesn’t last forever
We cannot say whether the Corona Virus is going to be here for a long time or not, but what we can say is that much of the uncertainty in your life will relax at some point. Life as a whole is uncertain; we just don’t always believe it. When things are going well and we are sure of ourselves and what is going on in our lives – life is a lot easier. What is hard is to remember the good times when we are doing it tough and ‘in the trenches’. Remember that nothing lasts forever – not even uncertainty.
About the author – Stef – Positive Living and Mental Health Advocate
I am a published author with my book, Redesign Your Mind. I write to help people with their mental health. Through my story I hope to help others on their journey to a positive mindset. Click here to find out more about my book, Redesign Your Mind and how you can get your copy today, or listen on Audible. A portion of every sale is donated to a mental health organisation to help support the mental health cause.