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Stories from Inspire

Reducing Anxiety in Unpredictability

by Voices Wellness 29 Jan 2021

How to keep your cool in an environment that seems anything but. By LYDIA KWON.

This is a summary article pertaining to our 3-part series, ‘Reducing Anxiety in Unpredictability’ on our Instagram @voiceswellness. 

The world we live in today is crazy fast. Fast cars, fast technology, fast food––Along with this quickening current of all that happens around us, we’re forced to pick up the pace ourselves. We speed up the way we live and work and soon enough, it feels like we just can’t keep up. How can we keep ourselves from feeling overwhelmed? How can we resist burning out? How can we, in such an unpredictable world, hold onto our sanity? The answer is to create pockets of certainty wherever we can, and the first step to doing so is to create a routine. 


The Importance of Keeping a Routine

There once was a time where routine seemed boring and unexciting. Now, more than ever, a routine can be what keeps you grounded. With the sudden dawning of the COVID-19 pandemic something became apparent: We never know what could come; we have no idea what could happen. And yet, this isn’t entirely true. We can maintain some certainty of what’s to come when we have a routine that we keep to. Routines make our days more predictable, and the peace that comes with knowing, for instance, that after every long day of work, you will unwind in a hot bath–this reduces our anxiety. 

Creating Pockets of Certainty

What makes a routine? Assess your day. Is there something you do, try to do, or want to do every single day? Could it be coffee in the morning? Meditation before work? Yoga once you knock off? Make that event a pocket of certainty in your day. If possible, dedicate a time frame to it. Keep to it and you’ll know that no matter how your day might spiral out of your control, there is something certain you’ve done or will do. Knowing for certain that you have a portion of time dedicated to something important to you will help to anchor you and keep you from feeling lost. 

Determining what you can Control 

A huge part of determining what can or cannot be a pocket of certainty is the knowledge of what you can or cannot control. Ask yourself this golden question: “Will anything I do or feel about this situation change its outcome?” For instance, worrying about the pandemic won’t get you anywhere––worrying won’t cause it to disappear from the face of this earth. So stop. It’s alright to be concerned, but don’t let yourself worry so much that you find yourself despairing, desolate, and so disappointed carrying on the day becomes a mean feat. If the answer to that golden question is yes, that you can very much change the outcome of the situation––for example, your work performance––then you know for sure that it is something within your grasp, and something you can be certain of as long as you work on it. Some examples of things you can maintain certainty over are your finances, your relationships and what you choose to do in your free time. 

Take heart, dear friends. There are many things out of our scope and so many events not worth troubling ourselves over, simply because worrying will not change them. Instead, choose to focus on what you can control; what you can be certain of. The truth of this certainty will, as cliche as it may sound, set you free. Get a planner, or take pen to paper, jot down something you aspire to do everyday––and keep to it. 

 

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