How to take care of your wellbeing in times of uncertainty?
Uncertainty is in the air. So much of what is happening around us is unclear. Brexit has most of us confused. What happens after Brexit in Ireland, Britain and the EU? The nurses strike and where is that going? The next election ? So many things seem to depend on so many other things. Everything is inter-related. Where are we going with the 6 nations after yesterday’s rugby game with England? And the weather – In Ireland, it has been a relatively mild and warm January and yet around the world, there are extremely cold temperatures and we have last year as a reference.
Uncertainty can often bring up fear and doubt which if unmanaged can lead to self-doubt, putting things off, procrastination and shaky confidence.
It starts small but can take hold if you don’t take care.
The antidote to uncertainty is to trust – and most importantly to trust yourself and engage with what you trust. Have faith things will work out and put purpose into everything you do. Keep the important things moving. Maintain positive habits and plan your day – and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
The most important thing is to keep moving forward. Time waits for no one.
Four strategies to help with uncertainty and doubt
1. Breathe – Take 5 minutes out of your busy life and breathe – and enjoy the rhythm of that. Reconnect with the flow of yourself and life through that. Focus on feeling the breath coming in and going out. As you focus, it will naturally slow down and become deeper. This is very grounding and connects you to yourself and the moment and puts the flow of life into perspective. We breath approximately 20000 times a day but somehow we mainly miss that.
2. Try something new. That is always energising and helps you shift gears, lifts your mood and helps you feel excited about the possibilities of life.
3. The growth mind-set is also a very useful concept that can give inspiration. “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” says Carol Dweck who coined the phrase. People who have a growth mindset – and believe they can become smarter through hard work and perseverance — learn more, learn more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve themselves, their learning and skills. You cannot lose in a situation. You either get a positive result or learn something to make you better next time. The growth mindset will always see the benefit in engaging. It helps you not get bogged down with feelings of guilt, shame or failure so easily if you have any tendency for that. And it helps you be happier, more successful and makes life interesting.
‘If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in the past, you’ll end up losing what you have in the present’.
4. Be curious. It always makes life richer.
We live in very interesting times. The price of having great opportunities and freedom is uncertainty. They never come together.
As the former US President Theodore Roosevelt said: ‘In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing’.