Unsettled: How to Deal with Collective Uncertainty (Especially COVID-19)

Unsettled: How to Deal with Collective Uncertainty (Especially COVID-19)

Unsettled: How to Deal with Collective Uncertainty (Especially COVID-19)

I know a lot of you are struggling to deal with the uncertainty of COVID-19.

A truth we rarely recognize is that we are unable to predict the future. 

We don’t give much time or attention to that truth.

But in the grip of COVID-19, we are pissed that we don’t know when this will be over, when we can get back to “normal” life, back to believing that we have any control over the future.

We are fighting against reality – the reality that the world is uncertain. 

Always has been, always will be.

We’re just collectively experiencing this truth – and this heightened sense of uncertainty is unsettling.

When we launched 2020 I didn’t think the world would run out of toilet paper let alone have Netflix assault us with 🐯Joe Exotic, THE Tiger King 🐯(which is also unsettling for a myriad of other reasons, although distracting for sure).

But here we are.

This reality is stranger than fiction.

But the one thing that I know is that while we cannot predict the future (or whatever train wreck Netflix might release next) we have the power to chose our response.

Your brain will want to focus on all the things that can and will go wrong – to fixate on the worst case scenario. 

This is normal to have this reaction.

You are not broken.

I’ve certainly caught my brain worrying about what might happen.

But camping out in the worst case scenario makes us feel like shit.

It makes us feel powerless.

It heightens the unsettled feeling.

The worst case scenario isn’t the only possible outcome.

The worst case usually ignores the facts and all the other best case outcomes that are possible.

We must intentionally feed our brain other possibilities, to remind ourselves that worst cases rarely come true.  

So my challenge to you this week, is that when you notice yourself in worst case scenario land about COVID-19, do the following:

  • write out all the fears that are circling your mind in worst case scenario land.
  • remind yourself of the facts (for as many of the fears as possible)
  • spend an equal amount of time thinking about what’s the best possible outcome / alternative to each fear.

So, here’s an example (for a single fear):

  • Worst case scenario:  my loved one who has a respiratory condition will get infected and die.
  • The facts: my loved one is currently healthy and quarantined. My loved one is following CDC guidelines and we are actively monitoring for any symptoms. Should symptoms arise we know the recommended local medical protocols for testing and treatment.
  • Best possible outcome: because my loved one sheltered in place they never got sick. We were able to enjoy lots of family time and have made so many incredible happy memories during this time.

How are you feeling? Are there any worst case scenarios you’re having a hard time shaking?  Comment Below. I want to know!


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