Health & Wellness Living in Recovery Mental Health

Coping with Uncertainty: How to Take Care of Yourself Right Now

We’ve all heard the term unprecedented times throughout the past few years. It continues to be a fitting description of our current state of the world.  Read More

We’ve all heard the term unprecedented times throughout the past few years. It continues to be a fitting description of our current state of the world. 

The future, of course, is always uncertain. But when things feel entirely out of your control, it can skyrocket anxiety, depression, cravings, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

Whether you’re worried about the current war, global pandemic, volatile economy (or all of the above), it’s important you know how to manage your mental health. Here are some practical tips to keep in mind.

Focus On What You Can Control 

It’s easy to obsess over what could happen, but all that excess worrying doesn’t change the reality, and it certainly won’t make you feel any better. If anything, falling into a bottomless pit of worry will likely feel more uneasy.

Instead, recognizing where you’re not powerless can help you stay grounded during challenging times. By shifting your awareness onto what you can control, you move away from a state of helplessness and into a state of conscious action. 

Focusing on what you can control means:

  • Taking ownership over how you react to your feelings
  • Communicating your needs to others
  • Being responsible for looking after your physical and emotional health
  • Limiting or avoiding stressors that make you feel worse
  • Implementing making positive choices within your life 

Mind Your Media Consumption

Reading or watching the news to stay informed is one thing. But excessive doomscrolling is a real phenomenon, and looking through the headlines 24/7 can undoubtedly impact your mental health.  

The media can certainly sensationalize catastrophes and make it seem like the world is ending at any given moment. So, if you’re struggling, spend some time reflecting on your current news consumption. What limits can you set? How much news is too much news?

It’s okay to limit your exposure or even take a break from the news altogether. Instead, try to fill that time with more uplifting or prosocial self-care activities.

Yes, you might be afraid of missing out on something crucial. But in our increasingly connected world, there’s strong evidence indicating that if something significant happens, you’ll find out about it quickly. 

Aim to Stay Present

In uncertain times, many people become preoccupied with what could happen in the future. Of course, this worry is valid, but staying stuck in it can trigger immense helplessness and fear. 

As much as possible, try to lean into the present moment. Be with yourself right now, and try to connect with your current needs and feelings as much as possible. Doing so can reduce catastrophic thinking.

Mindfulness is one of the best ways to stay present. Disconnect from technology, redirect future thoughts, and align yourself with the here-and-now. Consider meditating for a few moments each day to familiarize yourself with this state of awareness.

Help Others

Volunteering your time can improve your mental health and give you a sense of purpose during uncertain times. It may also put your problems into perspective, as donating makes people feel more grateful for what they do have.

Try to get involved with causes that are important to you. Remember that quality trumps quantity- even donating a few dollars or moments of your time can make a significant impact. 

Seek Professional Support 

Self-help strategies can make a difference, but you may also benefit from seeking professional guidance during this time. Anxiety and depression can coincide with situational worries, but that doesn’t mean they don’t significantly impact the quality of your life.

A therapist can provide support, guidance, and practical coping skills to navigate your feelings. Having a safe, nonjudgmental space may also provide you with much-needed relief.