How to Deal With Uncertainty in the Time of Fear and Chaos

COVID-19 has called for extreme measures on a global scale, but if history taught us one thing, it’s that when there’s down, there’s up.

Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

How are you coping with recent developments of COVID-19?

Are you feeling anxious about where we’re heading? Do you find social distancing daunting and don’t know how to adapt this challenging way of living?

What seems even worse is that we don’t know how long we must live this way.

That uncertainty makes us anxious and worry.

So, how to deal with uncertainty in the time of fear and chaos?

We deal with it like any other life crisis we have had in the past: we focus on things we can control.

And, as an individual, what we can control now (and the single best thing we can do) is stop the spread of the virus by social distancing. (see below image credit: BBC)

BBC Social Distancing

Along with it, there’re several things we can focus on.

Here comes the number one on the list.

Stop Complaining!

Some of us might feel a tad resentful at the restrictions imposed on us. Begrudging the time we have to spend indoors.

But we also know from our personal experience, extreme circumstance calls for extreme measures.

And unfortunately, the outbreak of a pandemic called for such measures on a global scale.

So, don’t waste time complaining about losing personal freedom in times like this: that’s just plain silly and you know it.

Be Grateful

We aren’t living in the Middle Ages with gritty bread to ruin our teeth or water to make us sick.

Nor are we being forced into a concentration camp where hard labour and starvation await.

No, we’re safely tucked in our very comfortable home with a variety of food, clean water, electricity and internet 24/7.

There are millions of books downloadable in seconds, inspirational videos to watch, indoor exercise videos to keep fit, countless online lessons to learn a new skill, social media/Skype/Zoom to stay in touch with friends and family.

No matter what we go through, our ancestors had it worst and, most importantly, came out of it.

And We’ll Come Out of This Too

No one knows the full scale of this crisis will have on the economy. But if there is one thing history teaches us, it’s this: 

When there’s down, there’s up.

Nothing is permanent. Nothing is static.

The acute threats to the way we live by this pandemic will be history too.

The Right Attitude

Join in doomsayer: you’ll likely live in a perpetual state of anxiety, stress, and worry.

And those negative feelings reinforce itself and make matters worse in your mind: you act irrationally and waste time and energy on the wrong things such as stockpiling food and toilet paper!

Have faith this is another blip (or test, if you like) to our existence and we’ll live through and come out stronger.

Be rational and calm.

And know how your action (from buying food as normal to spreading good messages) can influence others positively.

Feed Your Mind Right

Sensationalised headlines we read on the media don’t represent what makes the world go round in the right direction.

For every one or two unspeakable behaviours like spiting on others’ face or hosting a barbecue party on the beach during the pandemic (duh!), there are thousands of good samaritans, signing up to help the vulnerable with food and medicine or chat with people who may feel lonely.

Avoid being glued to TV throughout the day. Instead, join social media movement promoting collective effort to help the community.

It’ll instil the “we’re in this together” mindset and encourage you to help others in any way you can.

What You Wished You Had More

Remember all the things you wanted to do but couldn’t because you didn’t have time?

For so long, you’ve worked 5 days to trade with 2 days’ rest.

Now you have 7 days’ rest. It’s heaven. You finally have time to do things you’ve always wanted to.

Maybe it’s writing a book, starting a blog, learning a new language or a musical instrument, spending quality time with family or chatting more with family on the other side of the planet.

When this crisis is over (as it sure will!), you’ll look back and glad you made the most of what you have today.

Look After Your Body

Your physical health has a significant impact on how you feel, so be mindful of food and drinks you consume: too much of it will make you feel worse.

And make exercise a daily habit.

If you get bored with exercise routines easily, this YouTube Channel called Body Project has jam-packed varied routines you’ll love.

Here’s one I like at the moment:

25 minute interval cardio workout from home

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the only saving grace of this sudden pandemic sweeping the globe is that we’re in it together. And that children seem to be less affected by it.

Other than that, it’s daily disruption that is an initial shock to our system.

Once we get over it, it’s a matter of time: we’ll soon adapt the new way of living and make the most of it.

Because we’re the most adaptable species on earth.

Focus on what you can control now. Look after yourself and others by staying apart.

We’ll get through this together.

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