Managing Uncertainty During An Unusal Time

By Jamie Silverman, M.A.

We are all facing how life can be uncertain and it’s okay to feel anxious and concerned about what is out of our control. These are very valid feelings that most are experiencing. It is natural to try and find control in a time many things are outside our control. 

So much seems out of our control, including:

• When will this end?

• How will this impact my job and family?

• Will someone I know get sick?

• Will I get sick?

What can be helpful is looking at what we actually can control.  Once you are able to shift your mindset, you will be less focused on what feels out of your control

This might include:

Following CDC guidelines:  It is within your control to follow what has been recommended. This includes practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing masks when required to go out in public. 

Creating your new norm which includes structure and schedules: 

This might take a little time to figure out how to get a routine going that feels right, be patient with yourself and others. 

Staying active: Spring has arrived and the weather has been beautiful! As long as you are following the guidelines of social distancing and staying 6 feet apart from others around you, get outside! Enjoying nature is a great way to feel at peace and an opportunity to step away from some of the difficult news that surrounds us on a daily basis. If we get any April snow storms (which are to be expected in Michigan) you can utilize the variety of free trial exercise apps being offered on many different platforms. You can transform a hallway into a workout studio! Many of these platforms have options for children. Staying active can do

wonders for your mind! Great stress reliever!

Incorporate grounding, mindfulness and breathing techniques. This is something you can be doing on your own and with your children. Check out the app headspace, which has now made itself free for everyone. You do not need a lot of time for this one! You can incorporate  these techniques even if you only have short breaks throughout the day.

Limit your news and media content:  It is important to stay up to date on important news but stepping away when necessary and only watching 1-2 times a day can help you stay more calm. Make sure to stick to trustworthy sources! Be mindful of what children are exposed to and hear on the TV. From my experience working with children, they hear everything so we must protect them from news which is hard for them to understand.

Finding ways to experience a sense of gratitude: This can include something as simple as a hot shower, a strong wifi connection, and FaceTime session with friends and family. If we learn anything from this, it is that we take a lot for granted and it is important to take a step back and realize how lucky we are for the small things in life!

Lastly, it is in your control to protect those who are alone and may feel isolated….

It’s vital that you stay in touch with family and friends via FaceTime, phone calls, text

messages, etc. Helping others will likely make you feel better. 

  • Schedule plans with friends to have virtual dinner dates
  • Check in with a friend you may have lost touch
  • Reach out to that grandparent who likely feels more isolated than you do!
  • Teletherapy can be a great resource and support! No one should ever feel alone!

Stay safe out there! And remember, there are many things within you control. 

Jamie Silverman, M.A. is a staff therapist at Child and Family Solutions Center. She works with children, teens and adults. She is conducting teletherapy with her clients and is accepting new referrals. She can be reached at 248-851-5437 and Jamie@childfsc.com

 

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