How Americans are coping with prolonged uncertainty
Most of us don’t like it.
You know, that uneasy feeling of uncertainty.
It would be so much better to feel in control wouldn’t it?
Did you think the pandemic would last this long? We are all different and each find ways of
coping with long-term stress in both healthy and unhealthy ways.
According to Stress in America™ One Year Later, A New Wave of Pandemic Health Concerns a
report by the American Psychological Association ¹, the uncertainty has taken its toll. It’s about
how this past year has seriously affected people’s mental and physical health with changes to
sleep, alcohol use, weight, mental health issues, worry about the economy and personal
finance and worry around the future are noted. There are things you can do to improve your
Others have taken a healthy approach to coping with prolonged uncertainty. You can adopt
some of these tips for yourself to help build your health, resiliency and hopefully increase your
sense of well-being.
- Take breaks from the news, it can be disturbing²
- Practice self-care with exercise, yoga, deep breathing and meditation²
- Eat less, eat healthier and hydrate²
- Get plenty of sleep if you can²
- Avoid anything in excess, eating, drinking and use of tobacco or other substances²
- Connect to community, friends and family ²
- Power down, less screen time more outdoors
- Take time to unwind, be kind to yourself
- Start a gratitude journal, wake up and write down everything in your life that is good
- Control is an illusion. Control what you can, let the rest go
- Focus on building a comforting routine and stick to it
- Look for the good – accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can
- If you or someone you love is having a hard time coping you can find support:
Resources to help with the uncertainty:National Alliance on Mental Illness Covid Support³
¹ American Psychological Association, Stress in America™ One Year Later, A New Wave of Pandemic Health Concerns, October 2020, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2021/one-year-pandemic-st..., the report, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october, last accessed March 16, 2021
² Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, Healthy ways to cope with stress, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-str..., last accessed March 16, 2021
³National Alliance of Mental Illness Covid-19 Information and Resources Guide, https://www.nami.org/Support-Education/NAMI-HelpLine/COVID-19-Informatio..., last accessed March 16, 2021