Mental Health Minute:
4 Things to do Everyday to Help Navigate Uncertainty
Amanda P. Johnson, MS, LAMFT
Navigating uncertainty is one of the most difficult things to do. The waiting is hard. The not knowing is hard. Letting go of control is hard. It feels overwhelming. Here are some things you can control that will help ground you during times of uncertainty.
1. Worry List
We need space for grateful and positive feelings as well as negative and worrisome feelings. Spend about 10 minutes/day focusing and concentrating on what is worrying you, making you anxious, and what is concerning about the uncertainty. You can journal, think about it, or share this with someone. After the 10 minutes is up, shift your focus to something positive or neutral. When the anxiety and worry sets in again: acknowledge the feeling, kindly remind yourself you already spent time here today, shift your thoughts, repeat.
2. Gratitude List
Once we tend to our “negative feelings”, it is A LOT easier to feel grateful and hold space for the “positive feelings”. Similar to the worry list, spend some time noticing what you are grateful for that day. It does not have to silver line everything. Just shift your focus to what little or big things you are grateful for today.
3. Check-in with your Headspace
• What is consuming my thoughts today?
• Do I notice any tension in my body?
• Where is that anger or anxiety coming from?
• What do I need to be productive today? (*hint: it can be grinding through a task or allowing space for a slow day)
• What can I do to take care of myself today?
4. Be Compassionate Towards Yourself
During times of uncertainty, it is important to be compassionate, gentle, and flexible with ourselves. It is unrealistic to expect to be able to perform and function in the same capacity. Let’s not make the uncertainty more difficult by adding the harshness of how “you should be handling this”. You are handling it just fine.