Dealing with uncertainty and change

Especially in these more turbulent times of the last year, we’ve all gotten quite a bit of practice in dealing with uncertainty. In fact, when you think about it much of life is uncertain. We often plan for one thing but then another thing happens. Carl Jung once said: In all chaos, there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

However, there are many specific reasons you may be dealing with uncertainty.  Whatever your circumstance or situation is around uncertainty I’d like to provide some suggestions that may help you in those times.

    1. If things are feeling out of control, focus on what you can control. For example, if Covid 19 is one of the things you are concerned about you can wash your hands or wear a mask. You could avoid certain situations where you may feel vulnerable. Or maybe you need to watch less news. By focusing on the current dynamic or situation at hand you can go into problem-solving mode by listing what you can do in that situation that could help.
  • You can bring yourself back to this present moment. Usually, in any present moment, things are actually fine, but it may be the worry or that something bad could happen that makes you feel bad. The best way to bring yourself back to the present moment is to focus on your sensations. Feel what you’re sitting or lying on, listen to the sounds all around you, feel any sensations in your body. Notice the color of the objects that are around you. One of my favorites is just to sit for 10 minutes or so and feel the movement of my breath.


  • Make time for extra self-care. Self-care is always a good plan when one is feeling overly stressed. Make sure you get the right amount of exercise and sleep. Make time for the things that relax you the most, whether that’s reading or being in nature, listening to music or talking to a friend, or whatever feels good to you. Particularly anything that centers you or helps you feel grounded can be helpful here. If you’re not sure make a list of the things that make you feel good.


  • Feel gratitude for the small things that are going well in your life. At the beginning of Covid when I felt anxious at the uncertainty of my life, I made a strong practice to focus on what was going well in my life, and almost immediately I would start to feel better. In my experience gratitude is one of the most powerful things one can do in life because it’s so easy to focus on what you don’t like or feel is a lack of in your life.


  • Use compassion to soothe yourself. It’s natural when times are difficult to feel challenged and feel a whole host of feelings you’d rather not feel. Just remind yourself it’s natural to not like what’s happening and it’s natural to feel what you’re experiencing and don’t add any being hard on yourself for what you’re experiencing.


  • Reach out for professional help if you need it. Many people have been needing more help in this past year and there’s nothing wrong with getting more help. If you’re suffering from ongoing anxiety or depression it may be time to seek out help.