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Thriving in Uncertainty

Here’s a post for all my type A, planner mamas who prefer to be in control & immediately feel flustered in the midst of uncertainty.

You are my people! Today, I want to talk about how we can thrive in uncertainty when we’d much rather curl up in a ball & wait until things feel safe, predictable, and secure again. 

We are in uncertain times. If you’re anything like me, maybe back in March you optimistically thought, “oh, we’ll be back to normal after a few weeks of this quarantine stuff.” And then somewhere around mid-April, you had a good cry & acknowledged the fact that “back to normal” is going to take a while. Now we’re in June, and it seems like the only thing that is certain is that uncertainty is the new normal.

Not only are we experiencing a worldwide pandemic, but we’re parenting in the midst of it. We don’t have the option to Netflix binge our way through this. We can’t curl up in a ball every time we feel anxious. We must find a way to thrive in the midst of uncertainty because little humans depend on us right now. 

Before I go any further, allow me to clarify what I mean by “thrive.” I do not mean killing it at life. I do not mean winning mom of the year award. I do not mean picking up 4 new hobbies, or deep cleaning your entire house. All of those things are awesome, but mama, when faced with uncertainty, surviving is thriving. Keeping little humans alive, happy & safe is thriving. Not curling into a ball every time you’re hit with a wave of anxiety is thriving. Let’s set our expectations straight because the last thing we need right now is to feel bad about ourselves because we’re not doing “enough.” Whatever that means!

So now, how is it that we thrive in uncertainty? How is it that we adapt when everything in us craves stability, a plan, predictability? Here are some things that have been helping me:

1) Stay present. In uncertainty, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild with “what if” scenarios. Our mind wants to fill in the blanks, but sometimes the scenarios we make up in our head stress us out more than the actual situation we find ourselves in. We get 5 steps ahead of ourselves, and we don’t even know if those 5 steps will actually happen. So stay present; focus on today even if you have no idea what tomorrow will look like.

2) Plant joy in your day. What makes you happy? What makes you feel good? For me, laying out in my backyard is an incredibly relaxing experience. Something about looking up at the sky, feeling gravity pull me down, & soaking up the warmth from the Arizona sun calms my mind and helps me stay grounded. No matter how crazy my day feels, pushing pause to go lay in my backyard resets my mind & my mood. Intentionally putting activities in my day that bring me joy helps me feel less bogged down by uncertainty. 

3) Look for the lesson. Let’s face it, life is full of uncertainty, isn’t it? Even things that feel certain can change at any moment. Jobs can be lost. Relationships can change. Plans can be canceled. Expectations can fall through. Uncertainty is a part of life, and sometimes it takes something beyond our control to help us loosen our grip on things & learn to go with the flow. That has certainly been the case for me! With this Coronavirus pandemic, and with things in the past. So when things feel uncertain and I’m dying for some stability, I try my best to look for the lesson. The lesson that I can take with me into the future to continue to thrive when uncertainty inevitably hits again. 

What is helping you thrive in the midst of uncertainty? I’d genuinely love to hear your thoughts!

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