Coping with Fear & Uncertainty

Coping with Fear & Uncertainty

If you are having feelings of uncertainty right now, you’re not alone.  A few months ago, I would have written a post on how to cope with the uncertainties of infertility or a pregnancy loss or moving to an assisted living residency.  Ha!  While these things are stressful and emotionally taxing, many of us are now in the re-opening phase of the pandemic while also witnessing an immense amount of pain and heaviness surrounding the death of George Floyd.  Combined, these events have led to unprecedented feelings of fear and uncertainty.  Societal fears.  Individual fears.  Realistic fears and sensationalized fears.  To counter all of these feelings of fear and uncertainty consider the following:

 “Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process” Harold S. Geneen

How are you taking charge of your life right now? In other words, with everything we don’t know right now (i.e., should I meet up with friends or go to a rally or put my child in day care?), focus on what do you know.  Even better, as Glennon Doyle asks “What do you know to be true and beautiful?”  I know this is asking a lot at a time where there is immense darkness and ugliness in the world, but try it.  What do you know to be true and beautiful in your life right now?  When you start to think about what you know to be true and beautiful, notice how that feels inside your body.  I would imagine it provides a space of peace rather than agitation.   Expansiveness rather than feeling small and helpless.

Pay attention but don’t get swept away

For many of us witnessing and experiencing the simultaneous pain of racial inequality and COVID19, it’s easy to get stuck in feelings of anger, fear, rage, shame and sadness.  All of these feelings are completely justified.  They are valid.  They are also worthy of exploring and expressing appropriately.  However, notice if and when they start to hijack you and your life.   It is as this cross road where you can ask yourself, “are these thoughts and feelings helping me or hurting me right now?  If the feelings and thoughts are not helpful, focus on thoughts that would be more of service to you.  In other words, don’t get stuck in the feelings.  Take action.  This might look like taking a walk outside to improve your own health so you can help others.  It might look like using these feelings to motivate you to become an activist or to use your voice to help others.  If you have experienced trauma, then this might look like giving yourself the permission to feel the feelings and then rest and retreat.  The point is to notice the feelings.  Sit with them.  Thank them for being present.  Then, replace them with thoughts and feelings that would be more helpful to you right now.

You’re not alone.  I see you.  I hear you.  I am here for you.


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