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8 Quick and Easy Ways to Regain a Sense of Control and Certainty in Uncertain Times.

My two young nephews call the song (Let it go) from the film Frozen, “Nanny go” which always makes me laugh when I hear it. As a trained ‘navigating uncertainty’ coach, I love co-creating solutions to my client’s problems and helping them to regain a sense of control and certainty in this big old crazy world when we can't seem to just...let it go. We, as humans, need certainty just as we need uncertainty. Well (lucky old us!) we have LOADS of uncertainty right now. So check out some of my tips below for some quick go-tos when you are feeling emotional about the ‘state of the world’ or a certain situation that feels like just has way too many ever-moving conditionals and you need to rebalance.

1. Clean/organise your house.

Cleaning is a quick way to take control of dirt and harness mess and clutter. Go deep. A clean/organised space always helps you feel better (tidy room, tidy mind!) and you know you are always in control of this and create certainty around the cleanliness of your home.

2. Write down a list of your achievements.

This improves your sense of self and sense of self-esteem and helps you to remember that you’ve already achieved lots of good things and are more resilient and have more grit than you sometimes realise.

3. Take some time to really rest, relax and introspect.

This may seem impossible or counterproductive if you are feeling restless and anxious about the situation. Also if you have been furloughed or things have slowed right down workwise you may not feel you are entitled to any more rest. However, acknowledging that you feel this way (overwhelmed/angry/frustrated/sad/sense of injustice) may help you to realise that you need some self-care. If you’re self-employed and work is quiet, take the time to give yourself some well-deserved rest, play and pampering. It is stressful not having a certain, definite income each month/year. But there will be a time where you will be rushed off your feet with work again, so take the opportunity to chill… or if that doesn’t work, how about learning something new with your time?

4. Commit or recommit to something.

E.g. An exercise routine/donating to charity/ensuring you will call the people important to you twice a week. Creating your own certainty and holding yourself accountable to that helps to improve your overall sense of certainty. A commitment to something longer term carries the intention of continuity and regularity which are relatives of certainty.

5. Journal a list of what you CAN control in relation to the situation that is providing lots of uncertainty.

Ah, the locus of control. So many things are out of our control on a daily basis but we do things that help us feel in control. Unpredictable English weather? We carry coats and umbrellas and wear the right shoes. Covid? We take precautions, stay safe and do what we can to help others. Other things outside our control like Asteroids? Well, we have to let that stuff go. Say you are worried about your current job security because your company is going through a huge restructuring and you feel helpless. Well, you can update your CV (see point 2) speak to HR about possibilities, check in with your manager. Learn how to differentiate between what you can and can’t control and then start taking action on the things you can control and for what you can’t? Let it go.

6. Leverage your personal strengths in new ways.

NANNY GO! NANNY GOOOOOOOO! Yes, laugh it off. Sing NANNY GO to yourself when you catch yourself worrying. Sing it in 5 different accents and then inward sing it. Draw a picture of the words nanny go. Turn it into an anagram. Turn your worries into an awards ceremony “And best come back of the year is (drum roll) Worrying about moneeeeyyyy!! (applause)

My point here is to use your strengths. Humour helps so much. Learn your strengths (kindness, bravery, honesty etc.) and then learn how to apply them in different ways.

7. Practise Mindfulness.

One of the best things regular mindfulness practise teaches us is that thoughts are transient. So are situations. This will pass. Mindfulness helps to help you see that you are focusing on the future or the past and to return to the present, to external stimulus: such as the things around you. Mindfulness increases your ability to notice what you are thinking and how you feel, which then gives you more control over those thoughts and feelings. This can help you to respond and not react (reacting is not just anger it can be in the form of silent worrying) which is empowering and gives you a sense of control over that wonderful but always thinking mind of yours. Mindfulness also helps us to feel more compassion for ourselves and others (great at this time!) and helps improve our ability to accept things as they are.

8. Workout.

A quick run, walk, workout yoga session always changes our energy and reduces dopamine to improve mood. However, it also reminds you that you can control what you do with your body and that you are most of the time just one workout way from feeling better.

Remember, if you’d like to go deeper, I would love to serve you on a more personal one-to-one basis. I can help you become aware of, explore and learn how to apply your character strengths. I can give you tools that you can use way past coaching that help build and maintain your resilience. I can teach you about mindfulness and how to meditate/develop a mindfulness practise. I can provide a whole new perspective informed by the latest research from Positive Psychology on how you can grow in the face of adversity. I can listen to you fully and provide unconditional positive regard and regular support.

Schedule a call with me here.

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