How to cope with the stress and uncertainty of today

Illustration of Oski sweating nervously next to a backpack and a pile of textbooks
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It’s always nice when everything goes according to plan. When that happens, you can just go through the motions without worrying about a thing. The only problem is that things don’t always go according to plan. If last year and the start of this year have taught us anything, it’s that absolutely no one can predict the future. With so much uncertainty surrounding what’s going to happen next, life can be stressful. Here are some mind frames that might potentially help you handle an uncertain future and the stress that comes along with it.

Take things one day at a time

One of the best ways to deal with uncertainty is to take things one day at a time. Try not to focus on things that are happening days, weeks or months from now. Just pay attention to what you can do today. This isn’t to say you can’t make long-term plans, but when you do make those far-reaching plans, you should try to focus on the steps you can take now to get closer to your goal. If there’s a possible upcoming problem, then don’t worry about it until you have time to deal with it. As long as you take things slowly, you shouldn’t have to worry about the uncertainty of the future catching you unprepared. It’ll happen when it happens.

Do some breathing exercises

Uncertainty can be stressful, not just on our minds but on our bodies, too. A quick way to loosen that tightness in your chest is to take regular and controlled breaths. A breathing exercise written out or shown in a video can help you focus on controlling your breaths in a way that will make you feel a little less anxious. Once you’re done with the breathing exercises, you can get back to what was causing you stress with a more level head.

Be flexible

Being flexible is a great way to be prepared for whatever the future holds. So long as you’re flexible, it doesn’t matter how uncertain the future is. No need to get hung up on thinking about things that don’t go according to plan or things that might not go according to plan. Instead, shift when and how you’ll do things as much as you are able in order to tackle the problem at hand. Also, be flexible with your schedule so you get at least some work done, even if it isn’t as much as you had hoped.

Remember that you got this

This isn’t your first online semester. This isn’t the first time things didn’t go the way you thought they would in your head. You’ve gotten through all of that; you can get through some more uncertainty.

You got this. That’s all you need to remember. No matter how much the future seems in flux and how badly things might get, try the strategies above and remember that you can do it.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .