Steps You Can Take If You Are Feeling Helpless
While uncertain times have always come and gone, it's not so common for such a large group of us to simultaneously carry this sentiment at once. The current COVID-19 crisis has heightened uncertainty, leading stress over the economy, finances, employment, relationships and mental health (of all things). As humans, we crave security. The feeling of uncertainty can lead towards a downward spiral of endless what ifs and what's to come tomorrow.
Many of us have different tolerance when it comes to dealing with uncertainty. Others are ok with risk and actually are just fine with it while others find the randomness of life quite depressing. Ultimately, we all have a limit. What's important to remember is that you are not alone, as many of us are on the same boat. No matter how helpless you feel, there are steps you can take to help you get out of those feelings to alleviate your anxieties and help build your confidence.
Here are some tips that are important to remember:
- Focus on controlling those things that are under your control
- Challenge your need for certainty.
- Learn to better tolerate, even embrace, the inevitable uncertainty of life.
- Reduce your anxiety and stress levels.
And more recommendations from Yale Health on coping during the COVID crisis.
- Information is useful—but too much information can be unhelpful. Limit news intake to what is actually providing new information, and stick to reliable news sources. There’s no benefit to watching the same news over and over.
- Keep up daily routines, and make changes only when necessary. Maintaining regular schedules and routines is a good way to keep anxiety at bay and feel normal. Even if some changes need to be made, maintaining the overall routine is helpful.
- Don’t completely isolate yourself from other people. Fear of spreading the disease can cause some people to withdraw socially, but maintaining relationships and social support are good ways to combat anxiety. Even if you are in self-quarantine or mandatory quarantine, keep up social interaction using FaceTime/Skype, phone calls, or text messages.
Limit screen time. Too much time on the phone or computer, on social media or websites, can lead to less activity and more anxiety.
Should you need IMMEDIATE help, please use hotlines below provided by the CDC:
- Call 911
- Disaster Distress Helplineexternal icon: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746. Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico can text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chatexternal icon.
- National Domestic Violence Hotlineexternal icon: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotlineexternal icon: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotlineexternal icon: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat external icon
- The Eldercare Locatorexternal icon: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instructionsexternal icon
- Veteran’s Crisis Lineexternal icon: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chatexternal iconor text: 8388255