I Am (Am I?) In Control: Managing Our Uncertainty

I Am (Am I?) In Control: Managing Our Uncertainty

My colleague and mentor, Dr. Bill Hoy, and I have been doing several virtual grief workshops over the past few months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve talked with funeral directors, hospice clinicians and healthcare professionals, educators, faith leaders, and the community at large. One thing that has struck us are the familiar questions, concerns and fears that are almost universal amongst these diverse groups of individuals. Some common themes include how to provide support and care with new regulations and restrictions, how to be present for others while managing our own fears, how to keep ourselves healthy and safe, concern about what the future will hold, wonder about how long things will “be this way”, and a general sense of uneasiness about the uncertainty of our world.

Much like the grief we experience when someone we love and care about dies, the loss- stacking we have experienced both individually and collectively as a community has left many people feeling uncertain and anxious. Yet fear, uncertainty and discomfort can be our compass for growth.

The truth is... we were never guaranteed certainty; not now and not before COVID-19, protests and riots. I talk with grieving people whose lives have changed in an instant. None of us are promised tomorrow.

We tend to grieve like we live. Dr. Ken Doka, a leading expert and author on death and bereavement, examines styles of grief. Intuitive grievers experience grief in waves of feeling while instrumental grievers are more likely to talk calmly and describe more physical symptoms of their grief. There is no right or wrong, no better way to grieve. Most of us fall somewhere on this spectrum of intuitive and instrumental grievers. Dr. Doka goes on to state that there are differences not deficiencies. There is no best way to grieve. We all approach it differently, and that is okay.

Just like everyone grieves differently, we all react to stress and uncertainty differently. Have compassion for others who may be at a different point in coping from where you are right now. The level of anxiety each of us feels now and how we are able to cope with it, mirrors our ability to cope with anxiety prior to the unrest we’ve felt in our world and communities over many recent weeks. Internalizing the uncertainty is what creates our anxiety.

So, what CAN we do to manage the uncertainty we feel?

Make a mindset shift: expect change. As Greek philosopher, Heraclitus wrote “Change is the only constant in life.” Focus on what you can control, rather than what you cannot. Limit your news intake, move your body, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, build in time for relaxation, and practice being in the moment. Notice your emotions and reactions. Allow yourself to feel all emotions and try not to label them as “good” or “bad”, rather “I’m feeling overwhelmed” or “I’m feeling scared” or “I’m feeling like I’m moving forward”. Know the facts and challenge your self-talk. As Dr. Hoy states, “facts override fear”. The more information we have, the better we are able to manage and cope with our fears.

I leave you with this inspiring quote from Dr. Maya Angelou that is so perfectly apropos for the time in which we are living: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” What a beautiful thought...in the midst of uncertainty, go out into the world and sing your song.


IMG 0569IMG 0569O’Connor Mortuary
25301 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 581-4300
www.oconnormortuary.com

Latest News

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating?

Entertainment Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating?

Finding Happiness this Holiday Season How do we make space for our grief while also being present during the h...

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest Place in OC for the Holidays!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest  Place in OC for the Holidays!

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous...

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating? Finding Happiness this Holiday Season

Education Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating? Finding Happiness  this Holiday Season

There are few periods that are as difficult for those who are grieving than the holidays, starting with Thanksg...

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest Place in HB for the Holidays!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest  Place in HB for the Holidays!

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous...

Be in The Know: Home Sellers Have Options

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Be in The Know:  Home Sellers Have Options

As the real estate industry continues to adapt to changes in the market, alternative methods of buying and sell...

The Perfect Workout: 20 Minutes to Reverse the Effects of Aging

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

The Perfect Workout: 20 Minutes to Reverse the Effects of Aging

Recently, I, much like many Americans headed into their mid-50’s, realized that it was going to take much mor...

Holidays and Grief

Home Life Sorbet Mag

Holidays and Grief

By Becky Lomaka, MA, CTDirector of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary There are few periods that ...

Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy and Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery!

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy and Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery!

Infinity Medical and Wellness offers a tremendously successful treatment option - FDA Cleared and Covered by Me...

Glorietta Bay Inn a family favorite for a fun and sun “stay-cation” on Coronado Island

Travel Jody Robinson

Glorietta Bay Inn a family favorite for a fun and sun “stay-cation”  on Coronado Island

Travel for our family has always been an exciting opportunity to explore both far-flung destinations and closer...

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest Place in HB for the Holidays!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest  Place in HB for the Holidays!

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous...

Everyday California Adventures

Travel Jody Robinson

Everyday California Adventures

There is perhaps no more educational and entertaining way to experience the La Jolla Ecological Reserve (the pr...

Be in The Know: Home Sellers Have Options

Law: Estate Planning Sorbet Mag

Be in The Know:  Home Sellers Have Options

As the real estate industry continues to adapt to changes in the market, alternative methods of buying and sell...

What We Do with our Grief

Education Sorbet Mag

What We Do with our Grief

By Becky Lomaka, MA, CTDirector of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary It’s been a rough few wee...

A Century of Luxury at The Newport Beach Hotel

Travel Jody Robinson

A Century of Luxury at The Newport Beach Hotel

I’ve lived in Orange County a long time. Without completely dating myself, I moved here for college and never...

How Can I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer?

Health & Wellness Kristy Fleming, MD

How Can I Tell If I Have  Skin Cancer?

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Because...

Laid Back Luxury at Estancia La Jolla

Travel Jody Robinson

Laid Back Luxury at Estancia La Jolla

Southern California is well known for its gorgeous year-round weather. Truly though, there are few places with ...

How City of Hope’s World-Class Care Transformed a Grateful Patient’s Breast Cancer Journey

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

How City of Hope’s World-Class Care Transformed a Grateful Patient’s Breast Cancer Journey

Sarah Sanders wasn’t shocked when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41 in September 2015. In fact, ...

Home Safety Advisors: Helping Seniors Live Safely in Their Own Home Longer!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Home Safety Advisors: Helping Seniors Live Safely in Their Own Home Longer!

By the time my friend’s grandmother passed away at 92, she had fallen six times. Two of those falls resulted ...

Terranea Resort

Travel Jody Robinson

Terranea Resort

Complete Coastal Comfort at a Hidden Gem on the Los Angeles Coast Just last summer, my husband and I had plans...

Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy and Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery!

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy and Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery!

Infinity Medical and Wellness offers a tremendously successful treatment option - FDA Cleared and Covered by Me...