Guide to surviving a year of uncertainty

This last year has been challenging for all of us in different ways but one of the underlying feelings across the board has been uncertainty.  Uncertainty about our careers, our futures, our loved ones, and everything in between. Uncertainty can be one of the most uncomfortable feelings and can contribute to higher stress and anxiety levels as well. However, despite the amount of discomfort uncertainty can bring there are some things we can do to help us cope with it and to help minimize the stress and anxiety that comes with it.

Establishing a routine

Establishing a routine can help bring a sense of normalcy and a sense of control in times of uncertainty. A routine can help bring balance and stability in a time where everything else feels chaotic.

Focus on what you can control

Despite there being a whole list of things that are out of our control, there are always things that are in our control. For example, our reactions, our responses, our coping mechanisms, and our attitudes can be controlled. We can bring back a sense of power and control when we remind ourselves of everything we can control.

Learn something new

Learning a new language or a new skill can be very exciting and can also help shift your focus to something positive. Perhaps there is something you have always wanted to learn but never had the time to, or you’ve recently come across something new that will take you out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is, it can be a very exciting process!


My personal favorite! I cannot advocate enough for self-care and especially in a time like this. Self-care can help with stress relief and can help you manage anxiety levels as well. I also sort of think of this as little things that can bring you joy. Perhaps self-care for you is doing your skin care routine, baking or simply taking a walk outdoors.

Reaching out for support

Reaching out for support may or may not be very hard for you to do but it can help tremendously. It is also important to remember that there are different ways you can reach out for support, for example you can join a support group, you can begin going to therapy, you can have conversations with loved ones! There are many ways you can reach out for support but most importantly this process can help you feel less alone, can help you feel loved and cared for which can be so important in a time like this.

Although this blog post is primarily focused on uncertainties associated with COVID-19, I would like to end this post by saying that my little guide can be helpful at any time and to anyone. Uncertainty can come from the loss of a job or the end of an academic program, regardless of what you may be experiencing I hope that this is helpful and that you find ways in which you can take care of yourself and focus on finding healthy coping mechanisms.

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