Feeling Stressed During Uncertain Times
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coach
As I write this post today, I am listening to the latest White House briefing on what we as Americans need to know and do during this time of an unprecedented pandemic. I have been listening to the news all week, and in fact, I posted a podcast and a YouTube post this week on the effect of the stress on all of us as we experience these uncertain times together.
Rather than write about my thoughts here, I thought I would just share the links to the YouTube channel and the Podcast. You can also find them on their respective platforms as "Teachers in Transition."
The YouTube video is here:
YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/hs5i5X-V5ag
The Podcast link is here:
Podcast link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/277608/episodes/2962537
My message for the week is that it is easy to feel stressed and unsettled right now. We are navigating unchartered territory, and the sense that there is a competent hand at the helm is sometimes missing. As I recorded the message for the podcast and YouTube channel on Monday of last week (March 9th) we were just beginning to grasp the severity of the situation, and the stock market was reacting accordingly.
It was a bumpy week on Wall Street, to say the least, and that roller coaster ride may not be over as businesses like cruise lines, Disney, and sports events shutter activities for the time being. We are being encouraged to stay home and keep our distance from one another, especially if we are over 60 and have underlying health issues that may make us more vulnerable to the virus than other segments of the population.
Schools have been closed across the country, and that is causing stress and strain because millions of children don't eat if they don't come to school.
And then there is the issue of instruction. How do you teach children the curriculum they need to learn to progress to the next grade if they aren't in school?
The run on stores for commodities like toilet tissue and hand sanitizer has been a source of both bemusement and frustration.
There are just so many things we don't know yet, and we don't like not knowing things do we?
We like to feel like things are predictable.
The lack of predictability makes us feel anxious and stressed.
And when we feel stressed, we depress our immune system which can make us sick.
My best advice, as I offered in the message in the Podcast/YouTube message is to take a deep breath, follow the advice of the medical professionals, social distance yourself by staying out of large groups and tight quarters with people who may have it and not even know it yet, and stay safe.
If you can work from home, do.
If you don't know what to do with yourself while stuck at home, I have some suggestions for you.
1) Read those books you have been wanting to read but never had time to get to. You have time now.
2) Start writing that book you have always wanted to write but never could get to because you didn't have "time."
3) Spring clean your house.
4) On pretty days, take a walk. Sit on the deck or patio. Enjoy the sun on your face.
5) Binge watch some movies you have wanted to watch or re-watch old favorites.
6) Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Neither of you needs to rush off to do anything right now. Catch up on old times.
7) Take up a new hobby.
8) Can't go to the gym? Work out at home.
9) Start to get cabin fever? Make a quick run to the grocery store but don't linger and don't get overly close to your fellow shoppers.
10) For the first time in what has been a long time, enjoy a slower pace and recognize that there are some things over which you have no control. This is one of them. So go with the flow.
11) BONUS TIP: Stay off social media. There is a lot of crazy-making stuff there right now. Don't share anything you haven't verified first. It's not helpful.
Remember the point of social distancing and eliminating large gatherings. It is to help keep you safe as well as to help protect others so we don't overwhelm our hospitals and medical professionals.
If there ever was a time when we need to feel like we're all in this together, now is the time. It's not the first time we have faced a crisis together, though.
Our parents weathered World War II. Our grandparents weathered TWO world wars. Those of us who were around got through the days and weeks after 9-11.
We survived the Great Recession. And we'll get through this, too.
But we have to work together while being apart.
Feeling stressed during uncertain times is normal.
But if we cannot control the times, we have to go with the flow and do the best we can.
Being angry about it won't help.
Being frustrated won't make the time go by any faster or easier.
At times like this, it's a good idea to remember the "Serenity Prayer:"
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Until next time.
Since you are going to be home anyway, why not plan to attend my free webinar workshop this coming Saturday at 2:00 PM EDT where I will be sharing what you should know about writing your resume.
This may not be the best time to be looking for a new job, but this crisis will pass eventually, and you could be using this time to prepare for better days and that new job you have always wanted but didn't have time to prepare for.
To register for the workshop, click here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/3/37l4qax
You should always be armed with an up-to-date, relevant, and contemporary resume. I am going to share all my secrets about what should and what should not go into your resume.
So, join me. This coming Saturday at 2:00 PM EDT.
To sign up, just click here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/3/37l4qax.