With the pandemic COVID-19, we are facing a great uncertainty.
What will be the number of cases in Malaysia tomorrow? Will there be Movement Control Order (MCO)? What will happen to our classes? Our job?
Uncertainty about negative events can cause more anxiety than actual events.
What are the best ways to cope with uncertainties?
Psychologists have recommended several ways.
Firstly, accept that uncertainty is part of life. By accepting instead of resisting, we can use the energy to move forward. Accepting does not mean defeat. It means facing the reality of the situation and recognising the need to move ahead.
The second thing is to take care of yourself. During uncertainty, we need all personal resources possible to cope. It is important to take extra care of yourself at this time by eating right, getting enough sleep and creating joyful moments for yourself.
Part of taking care of yourself is to make sure you are comforted in healthy ways. If you enjoy talking to friends and family members, do this more often. If you like hiking, go and do more of that.
We have inbuilt negative bias that tends to direct attention to worst-case scenario. This can be debilitating. Try to resist this by imagining the opposite possibility, i.e. the best possible scenario. Things can go right, too.
We should also be more mindful of what is going on and be aware of the things that we can control. Following SOP during pandemic is something we can control. Just do it.
Instead of acting powerless, take responsibility for yourself and your life. This can help us feel more positive with the situation.
Lastly and most importantly, continue to find meaning in the situation.
Is the current pandemic part of the reminder to slow down? The opportunity to help others and build better relationships?
Finding meaning can help us become more hopeful.