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How to Create Certainty in an Uncertain Time

Having to go home early this semester because of the corona virus was strange.

There is so much happening in the world, and while it is important to get updates on the world, it can sometimes be too much to hear the news constantly, and to hear about all the struggles that people in the world are going through right now.

While people everywhere are all going through so many things that are serious, and sadly sometimes threatening, you should not discount how you are feeling in what is an uncertain time for everyone. 

Being stuck at home is a luxury, because other people have to risk themselves to go to work.

However, being stuck in your house is not without its harmful effects.

Since I’ve been home I’ve had to deal with the added stress of getting used to being surrounded by my family, losing my independence, having to learn to study at home again, and, on top of that, there is a constant overwhelming feeling from the world’s crisis.

But there are a few things I have discovered help to create and bring back some structure into my life during this time.

Here are the things that have helped me feel more in control during this strange time. 

FaceTime dates with friends 

Having to stay home and self-isolate can get to be lonely.

I feel like the only thing I do during the week is my homework and then watch TV.

But the past few weeks I have been trying to do a weekly scheduled FaceTime call with a few of my friends.

Planning a set, weekly call with a few of my closest friends gives me something to look forward to.

It’s nice to know that even though I’m home, there is a set day that I can sit and talk to my friends and de-stress. 

Not knowing when we will all be able to hang out again in person adds to all the uncertainty in the world and this small opportunity to see each other and catch up provides some comfort.

Personally, it has also been kind of hard getting used to just being at home again and it’s nice to sit and rant to my friends at least once a week.

Taking advantage of technology and the opportunity to stay connected with friends regularly can help with stress and being stuck inside.

Keep your planner filled 

At first, when all my classes got moved online, I didn’t see the point in continuing to fill out my planner.

Having to take all my classes online while adjusting to being back at home made school seem unimportant.

Coming home made it feel like I was on a break from school, but I’m not.

By still filling out my planner though, it keeps me accountable, on time and productive. 

Even though I do not have to be anywhere, physically, it’s still helpful to have everything I have to do for the day listed out  in one place.

With things so different and up in the air right now, it’s nice to keep up with and do something that I did all year at school. 

But even though I don’t have to be anywhere now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have responsibilities and things to achieve.

Limit the amount of news you take in

My parents love to watch the news and have been watching it constantly since I’ve been home to keep updated on what’s going on in the world.

But after a few weeks of having the news on and talking about how nobody knows what is going to happen, and how everything will get worse before it gets better, it’s stressing me out.

I know that this is the truth and everything that is going in the world right now is scary and it’s good to be informed.

But we all know ourselves best and know when something is affecting me too much in a negative way.

What I have been doing that has helped me out during all of this is limiting the amount of news that I have been allowing myself to take in.

When I start to feel anxious after watching the news I know that it is time to stop watching it and unplug for a few hours. 

This time is a strange and unsettling time for everyone.

Nobody knows what’s going on in the world and what we are hearing is scary.

It’s hard to adjust to this new unknown that we have all been thrust into by the coronavirus.

But finding the small things that can make your life feel even a little bit more normal can help make all the difference when it comes to your anxiety and stress levels.

I’m somebody that gets very unsettled by uncertainty and not knowing what is going to happen.

But during this time there is nothing we can do about this.

Doing even just these three things I discussed, however small they may seem, have truly helped me feel more secure in a time when everything is unknown and uncertain.

Caroline is a fourth-year sociology major at the University of Florida. She is from south Florida and loves to travel, cook, read, and listen to true crime podcasts.
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