Uncertainty: for someone like me, this is possibly the worst feeling in the world! Sometimes it can be small things like am I going to that new restaurant for lunch today or should I spend the money on this new pair of shoes? (Is that really a decision?) But sometimes the stakes are a little higher. Maybe you have an upcoming move. I have been there before and let me tell you, it can be kind of scary. Moving is not only stressful because of all the things you’re needing to organize, but to top it all off you might not know what the new location will be like or where you’ll live. Will you make lots of new friends and will there be plenty of good amenities close by? Obviously, life is full of changes. And while we may not always mind the end results, sometimes it’s those in between moments that get to us. So here’s a few tips for what to do with yourself when life is uncertain.
Treat Yourself (if possible)
Now I do realize that this is not always advisable or possible. Sometimes, especially if you’re in a financially difficult situation, treating yourself can be a very bad idea. However, if it is possible, find small ways to encourage yourself. Maybe it’s something as simple as paying a dollar or two for a coffee. Maybe you’ve had a difficult day so you decide to get a little ice cream. (Calcium, right?) Spending money cannot buy you happiness or solve your problems, but it is pretty therapeutic to get a new trinket or a special treat. Oh, and chocolate is supposed to improve your mood too 😉 When life is uncertain, humans can’t help but experience emotions such as worry and anxiety so find ways to alleviate those thoughts and emotions.
Do Something Fun
When life is uncertain, the easiest thing in the world at that moment is to plop down on the sofa and analyze your situation. If you do it too, don’t worry. I have been there so many times. So what better way to pull you out of your funk than to do something you enjoy?
Just yesterday, I felt a little discouraged and overwhelmed. Thanks to my hubby’s suggestion, I spent the next several minutes looking at puppies on the internet. Why? Because they’re so adorable and really, who can look at puppy pictures and not get happy? Who are those people??
Obviously, puppy pictures are not the answer for everyone. One of my greatest worry-busters is playing video games. Playing video games requires you to use hand and eye coordination while it also pulls you into its many sights and sounds until you’re pretty well lost in another world. I love them for that reason.
Other activities such as playing an instrument, working on a craft project, or gardening can be great ways to steal your mind’s focus from uncertainty to something you enjoy.
No matter who you are, I bet you have either that one friend or family member who always makes you laugh. The one that you feel like totally understands you and likes you anyway. Yeah, that one. Maybe you even have a group of people like that. Whoever falls into that category, go find them when you’re facing uncertainty in your life. These are the people that can either be a listening ear/wise counsel or maybe just someone to laugh with. (Both is also good!)
When my life is uncertain, it becomes easy to focus in on what will be instead of what currently is. I look ahead to the future, whether I know the outcome or not, and plan every facet and account for every loophole until I realize that my head isn’t in the game for where I’m currently at. If you have a family, uncertainty can easily rob you of special memories with your loved ones. Whatever your circumstances, focus on the present no matter how loudly the future is calling. While the future may be scary, exciting, or formidable, don’t focus on it and it alone.
Do you dislike exercise like I do? Would you rather just magically have a perfectly fit body while eating donuts? Yeah, me too. But as much as I dislike exercise, it can prove useful from time to time. And if your life is feeling a little uncertain, then that’s the perfect time to take a walk or go for a swim. As I mentioned earlier, uncertainty likes to bring it’s friends worry, anxiety, and sometimes even fear along. For obvious reasons, all of these emotions can cause serious health problems if not attended to. Exercise is a great way to help with any anxiety or jitteriness that you may be experiencing. Focusing your pent-up energy on physical activity rather than emotional strain is a healthy release if done regularly and properly.
Do What You Can
Yet, as much as we would like to, sometimes you can’t just totally ignore the problem. Sometimes you have to face it because sometimes there are things you can do. For instance, going back to the moving scenario, if you know where you’re moving to, do research. Pack and clean in advance. Find out which apartments or neighborhood would be a good fit for you. Yes, there are those times when there are things you can do; however, just be sure to leave the situation alone if or when you can’t do anything else.
Ultimately, you’re going to need to seek God for His peace in your life. Stress gets to all of us, but God can help you overcome it. Prayer is the most important thing you can do (and really should be the first thing). No matter the situation or difficulty, God can give peace. A peace that no amount of exercise or activities can give.
I hope that these tips will be helpful to you the next time life is feeling uncertain. Life can be difficult, but there are things that we can (and should) do to eliminate the anxiety, fear, and apprehension in our lives. So even when life if uncertain and you don’t know what’s coming next, enjoy it. Enjoy the crazy, unpredictable circumstances as best you can and keep fighting.