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Dealing with the psychological impact of uncertainty

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Published: November 8, 2023

While a lot of focus can go on putting together a physical emergency kit, having plans and practices in place to support us to manage the mental impacts of uncertainty can also be useful during extreme events.

People respond differently to uncertainty. Whether you’re directly or indirectly impacted by events, having an awareness of your own wellbeing needs, and those around you, can be helpful.

Generally, this means thinking about the principles of connection to others; maintaining rhythms and routines; having the right amount of the right information; and focusing on what we can control.

  • Who are the people in your world that are important for you to connect with?

This might be about your wellbeing or theirs, but who do you want to make sure you link in with, and how frequently?

  • Are there rhythms and routines to your day or week that help to ground you in the familiar?

This might be as simple as starting each day with a coffee or walking the dog. There may also be activities you can do which help to move your mind away from rumination or unhelpful concern, such as puzzles or gardening.

  • What are your trusted sources of news?

Deciding your trusted sources means you can be aware of what is happening and make good decisions for yourself. Also consider setting some boundaries around how much time you spend watching the same information. Is the repeated news track actually helping you?

  • Where are you focusing your thoughts?

While it’s normal to have worries or concerns in the face of extreme events occurring, it can be helpful to gently bring your focus back to what you can control.

Check out our digital wellbeing resources for more resources.

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