FRUSTRATED? UNMOTIVATED? HOW TO BETTER DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY
Remember back when the pandemic started and we all kind of thought things would be back to normal within a few weeks or even a few months at the worst-case scenario? Now we are about eight months in and I don’t know about you, but where I live, nothing is back to normal.
As humans we crave structure and a sense of certainty. What this entire situation has done is to add an extra level of stress to our daily lives. Our systems are forced to manage the uncertain conclusion of this pandemic while still continuing to go about our careers, family, and other expectations.
In the short term most of us can handle an extra stress like this. Over the long term is where this starts to become problematic.
Some of you may have been experiencing some of these side effects personally.
These might manifest as:
· Shorter fuses when dealing with spouses, kids and coworkers
· Impatience while in the grocery or other retail stores
· Traffic incidents make you more reactive
· Motivation issues
· Nutrition is suffering
· Higher reliance on substances (alcohol & drugs) to manage stress
· Inability to concentrate
· Sleep disturbances
You might be saying…Jenni, I am struggling with that entire list. Now what? Well, you’re not alone for starters. The bulk of my clients, my friends, and even myself have had most if not all of those things on the list as a concern thus far this year.
I have seen a lot of people say, “What’s next 2020”, “2020 sucks”, or “I can’t wait until 2020 is over”. I’ve even said it myself. Think about it though…do you somehow think things are magically going to change once the clock rolls over into 2021? Does blaming 2020 make it any better?
I’ve had a hell of a year personally. I don’t want to look back and have it been the year that I blamed on something though. I had a lot of great things happen this year too. I feel like that would take away from those accomplishments.
TWO MONTHS LEFT
As we head into the final two months of 2020, I think it would be helpful to have a strategy that could carry you into 2021 and help you manage some of the uncertainty, regardless of what happens with the pandemic.
Here are three easy to implement steps that you can start using right now that will make you feel more in control of your current situation and the future:
1. Control What You Can Control – You have probably heard the saying “Don’t worry about things you can’t control”. There is a lot of great advice in that. If you focus on what you DO have control over, you lower your stress level. Your family will be less stressed. It will have a ripple effect on those around you. If you have a hard time identifying things you actually HAVE control over, let’s start a list: your attitude, body language, effort, focus, work ethic, preparation.
2. Practice Flexibility – We are in a changing situation right now (lets be real, life is always changing) and this is a perfect time to learn to be less rigid. Do you always drive the exact same way to the grocery store? Try a different route. Do you always eat the same thing on Friday night with the family? Try a different recipe. Has your training been the same for ages? Try something different. Yoga, go for a run, etc. The point is to be a bit flexible so when you are faced with no choice it becomes easier.
3. Journal – I’m going to keep on you guys about this one. If you aren’t already using a journal, start now. Journaling is a great way to get all that “noise” in your head…out. Commit to 10 minutes in the morning or evening and just write. It doesn’t need to be a fancy journal. Just a notebook will do. If you need a daily prompt, there are lots of places online you can find those. The idea is to be consistent with the time, location and practice.
If you are struggling with getting through this time, please reach out. There are lots of ways that we can work together to get you back on track, feeling more like yourself, and less frustrated. I can’t help if you don’t ask though.
I offer a complimentary call to all new clients. Click here to schedule yours now. I look forward to hearing from you!