Moving Forward With Confidence in Times of Uncertainty
Writing what I need to read.
The world is crazy right now. Once I finally decide how to feel about something, everything changes in the course of reading a U.S. State Department tweet or listening to a press conference from the Ministry of Health.
And, although I think it’s safe to say that the impact of this particular circumstance is unprecedented, we can all agree that having a sense of uncertainty about the future is not.
Here are a few simple things that we can do to try and address the anxiety and fear that come with a future that feels like a big fat question mark — and to continue moving forward with our work and our lives.
1. Make plans
It can be easy to feel frozen with indecision during times like this. I find myself playing out so many different scenarios that I can’t seem to decide on any single choice.
But I think it’s important — from what to have for dinner, to what new project you’re going to tackle — to make some plans. We may not be able to make any that take place very far in the future, but we can make some. Even if it’s just for the day or week ahead; it’s good to have things to look forward to.
Some of the non-work plans I’ve made include FaceTime calls with family in the U.S., participating in collective creative outlets, making pizza, and 30 days of yoga (which was meant to be a beginning-of-the-year thing, but here we are).
2. Embrace the new normal
This doesn’t mean you have to always like it.
But instead of getting hung up on thinking about what life and work and relationships were like before, we need to be ready to fully adapt to the new reality, for as long as it lasts. Thinking back to how things used to be will only frame our life in terms of obstacles. Instead, can we think of what opportunities this new normal offers?
And because things tend to continue to change and evolve, this probably won’t be a one-time thing. We’ll need to practice adapting to and embracing new realities on a regular basis.
3. Keep a routine
Everyone’s telling you to do this, but it can be challenging. And, although not all of these will work for everyone, here are a few ideas:
- Have a morning routine — now might be a great time to test out different things to include and see what sticks.
- If you’re still working, set a time to start and stop your workday. Take a lunch break and schedule in mini-breaks.
- Set a time when you can have your first glass of wine — and maybe make sure it’s no earlier than 5 PM. And it might be a good idea to give yourself a cutoff time/bedtime, as well.
- Keep the weekend the weekend. It may feel like every day blends into the next, but maybe sleep in on the weekends a little bit, go device-free just like you do every Sunday, and then wake up bright and early on Monday morning as if you’re leaving for the office.
4. Stay grateful
I was talking with some women in my business group the other day and one theme that kept coming up was acknowledging what we have to be grateful for.
It’s such a simple idea and should not have seemed so revolutionary to me. But it did. I was doing a really good job of thinking only about myself and everything that could go wrong in my life, without considering that I have more than enough to be thankful for.
These fresh flowers were on the top of my grateful list yesterday.
Although the future is a mystery and today has some anxiety, there is plenty to be grateful for. And when we move forward from a posture of gratitude, we’re bound to make wiser, kinder, better decisions.
These are things I know to be true, but I am writing this for myself as much as for anyone else. I need tools to help me move forward with confidence in this time of great uncertainty.
Originally published on medium.