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Managing Day-to-Day Uncertainty

We are all in the midst of surviving the global COVID-19 crisis, everyday life as we knew it has changed (at least for now). We are all living through very uncertain times. Anxiety has become our overarching emotion felt far and wide in the collective, it’s practically contagious. Whether we like it or not, there are times in our life when we have to face uncertainty.

There have been times in my past when I had to deal with uncertainty.

For example: When I first left to travel overseas, I had no firm plans beyond my first year. After exploring Europe for some time, I came back to London and decided to stay. I was unemployed. I knew a handful of people that I met along the way, but no family or close friends that I could rely upon. I had no income since I was unemployed. I had no fixed accommodation and was sharing a bed-sit with 8 other random peeps, at that moment. I had enough savings to get me through the next month. My life was in flux and everything was up in the air.

What did I do? In the face of such great uncertainty, I focused on stabilising the most important areas of my life.

For me, it was my financial security and getting a half decent roof over my head.

  • For financial security, I did some temp work to begin with so I could get a feel for the different areas throughout London, familiarise myself with how to get from A to B and earn enough money to tide me over for the short term while I figured out what I wanted to do in the long term. That allowed me the luxury of taking my time to look for a job that matched my aspirations, skills and experience after I had addressed my short-term financial security.

  • With my finances in place, I started to look for suitable accommodation. I talked to nearly everyone I met, to get a sense of what was safe, affordable and central. I checked the local newspapers and approached hostel owners for help. I then met a fellow antipodean at Heathrow Airport and we decided to share a place and so we dedicated a couple of weeks for apartment hunting and didn’t stop until we found a place that met our needs. During this period, we didn’t have the headspace to worry about other things.

My whole travel experience was filled with uncertainty at every point on my journey.

How did I manage such day-to-day uncertainty?

I did it by focusing on the most vital thing(s) at that moment, and only that. This meant that if my key concern at that moment was getting accommodation, I would focus my energy on finding decent accommodation that met my needs. If my key concern was getting to the next location safely, I would figure out how to do that and not worry about anything else. As for the other things, I would not concern myself with them until my immediate concerns were addressed.

I found that once I had made up my mind to stay and committed to taking small steps to move forward, my new life seems to magically unfold better than I could have imagined. The key was acknowledging my fears and focusing on what was in my control. I learnt that I needed to adapt to my new surroundings, accepting what is and be open to receive.


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