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Strategies for Staying Present & Coping with Uncertainty

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By: Amira Posner, BSW, MSW, RSW

If you’re struggling with infertility, you’re no stranger to uncertainty, and now with the COVID-19 pandemic, we meet with it again. My suggestion is to try to become friends with uncertainty.

The first thing that can help is acceptance: Bringing acceptance to the difficult situation and to the fact that it is beyond our control softens the experience. Normally when something negative occurs, there is a natural inclination to push against it. Bringing acceptance allows room to process the uncertainty more peacefully.

Creating a new routine in this time of restriction: Now that we have more time on our hands, how can you make your time constructively. It is really important to be mindful of where you look up information. Perhaps have a few selective resources that you can check regularly as opposed to the breaking news flashing at you that comes hourly.

Try to get outside if you can do so safely: If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, or are not in isolation because you’ve travelled in the past 14 days, try to go for walks and get the blood flowing. If you can get into nature even better. But, even if you just open your window or go onto your porch or yard, getting outside to get fresh air is important.

Mindfulness is my ‘go-to’: This is somewhat connected to acceptance. Mindfulness brings us back to the present moment. Much of our worries are situated in the past and things that have already occurred. Or we try to take control by planning for the future. Mindfulness is just here ‘in the now’. It’s a modality that calms the mind and soothes the body. It sure works for me.

When we are more grounded, we have more control over our self-dialogue, that is, the things we say to ourselves. It’s easy to be critical, harsh and negative towards ourselves, but self-compassion and love can really go a long way.

Use this time to rest and restore your system. Daily naps can be very effective in your attempt to achieve that feeling of calm.

Gratitude is essential: We can use this time to balance our neural circuitry. The goal is to do those things that help us to feel good and to calm our systems.  When we tap into gratitude, there are physiological and emotional changes that seem to flow into our body.

None of us can predict the future, but we can deal with the present, and these techniques are very helpful in addressing the here and now.

Learn more about fertility counselling and Amira Posner, BSW, MSW, RSW