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Dealing with Uncertainty – Ideas & Tips

Dealing with Uncertainty has been a theme that we have all had to get used to in recent times. Since 2019 and the start of the pandemic, we have all become accustomed with not knowing how things are going to change and how we will be required to adapt. We have experienced uncertainty from our leaders, about the rules we need to follow to keep our selves and others safe, uncertainty about our work, and how we will be able to interact with family and friends.

In the last few days, we have been faced with even more uncertainty and concern. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is disturbing and horrifying. With 24-hour news we watch the heart wrenching scenes of families being torn apart, terrified, and desperate. We may know people or have family or friends living in Ukraine or even mainland Europe who are much closer to the danger who we are worried about.

Many of us will recall conflicts in the recent past, where Britain itself has been involved. The big difference now to then is that the news wasn’t 24 hours and rolling. Social media did not provide instant and constant coverage, so whilst still frightening and concerning our knowledge of it wasn’t constant. This greater access to information can be a double-edged sword, on the one hand we are informed, and people can speak to and contact their loved ones with ease, on the other it means that we are in danger of overwhelming ourselves with information, which can leave us highly anxious and feeling impotent. What can we possibly do about the situation?

Dealing with Uncertainty

In whichever way you decide to respond to this situation and this time of uncertainty is entirely up to you, everyone’s circumstances are different and they will need to respond in the best way for them. However, below are a few ideas on how you can manage this uncertain time so that you are not overwhelmed by what you are feeling and seeing in the news.

  1. Limit your access to the news and social media – whilst it can be tempting to always be listening into the news, it will only act to increase your anxiety. Put boundaries around what time you spend watching the news or on social media. Limit it to a small amount of time each day.
  2. Continue with your routine – at the moment it can feel like not much matters with so much going on. It is important to continue with your usual activities and routines. Spend intentional time taking part in a hobby or exercise that takes up your attention. Go for a walk and get fresh air, watch a film or go out with friends. Continuing with normal activities will keep you grounded.
  3. Talk about it – it is important that you don’t bottle up your worries and feelings, make sure that you have time to talk to a friend or family member about how you feel, and be willing to listen to how other people are managing things. If need be make an appointment with a therapist to talk through your anxieties with a professional.
  4. Take positive action – when we are facing uncertainty it is very easy to feel as though everything is hopeless because there is nothing we can do, but if you are so minded look around locally to any groups that are asking for donations or help or donate to a charity that will provide support to Ukraine directly.

Below are a list of further online resources that you might find useful:

How to talk to children about what’s happening in Ukraine

How to manage your mental health in uncertain times

Dealing with uncertainty

Blogs from our website

Mental Health and Social Media

Dealing with Unexpected Change

Hobbies and Mental Health

Exercise and Mental Health – Developing a Practice

For more informaion about Paul please take a look at the About Paul Page, Frequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page. If you would like to make an appointment with Paul for Counselling, Psychotherapy or Supervision, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.

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