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

Latest News

What to Expect at Your Next Visit to City of Hope Newport Beach

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

What to Expect at Your Next Visit to City of Hope Newport Beach

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, what kinds of precautions is City of Hope Newport Beach taking to keep patien...

When the Whole World Grieves

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

When  the Whole  World  Grieves

First, if you are grieving the death of someone you love, let me offer my heartfelt condolences to you. These a...

Navigating Medicare During The Pandemic

Health & Wellness Stephanie Frisch

Navigating Medicare During The Pandemic

It’s disconcerting enough to be living in these uncertain times.  Trying to understand Medicare if you...

COVID-19: How Seniors Can Cope

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

COVID-19: How Seniors Can Cope

How the Young Can Help “Mary,” a City of Hope patient and a 70-something grandmother from Beverly Hills, w...

Isolate Pure CBD

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Isolate  Pure CBD

Bringing a Different Kind of CBD Company to Consumers An exciting new CBD company has emerged, capturing marke...

Staying on Trac with Body Flex Sports

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Staying on Trac with  Body Flex Sports

It isn’t often that a series of decisions made over a cup of coffee end up working out for the best: or becom...

Bare Bunny Aesthetics

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Bare Bunny Aesthetics

Baring Your Best Self with Surf City’s Newest Wellness Spa There is much to be said for feeling divine. The ...

What to Do When You Hear the Life-Changing Words, “You Have Cancer”

Health & Wellness Wade Smith, M.D.

What to Do When You Hear the Life-Changing Words, “You Have Cancer”

As a medical oncologist, I understand the toll a cancer diagnosis takes on patients and their families and I kn...

Hide and Seek

Finance Donald A. Hunsberger

Hide and Seek

Observations on How People Store Their Planning Papers Every estate attorney has heard the story recited in he...

Why older adults should review their medications

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Why older adults should review their medications

St Joseph Hoag Health is here to help You know the routine: Step 1: Get your prescription from your physician...

Away at College Redux

Education Donald A. Hunsberger

Away at College  Redux

Decades ago we published a piece warning parents sending their kids to college for the first time to provide th...

Loaded Inheritance: Safe Gun Storage, Ownership and Disposal with California Gun Services

Business Showcase Ann Laurence

Loaded Inheritance: Safe Gun Storage, Ownership and Disposal with California  Gun Services

My grandparents owned a beautiful three bedroom casita in Solana Beach. Just up the road from the train station...

Greetings from Family-Friendly Fun Island-Style

Travel Jody Robinson

Greetings from Family-Friendly Fun Island-Style

Each year in Hawaii as the winter temperatures drop to a lovely 81 degrees, the groundswell charges the shores ...

Visiting (like) Royalty in the Queen City Charlotte North Carolina

Travel Jody Robinson

Visiting (like) Royalty  in the Queen City Charlotte  North Carolina

My entire experience with North Carolina up until a few months ago consisted of a vague knowledge of the sports...

Travel Can Be Tough on Your Legs

Health & Wellness Livia De Los Rios

Travel Can Be Tough on Your Legs

Medical compression stockings and socks are a travel essential Many people travel long distances and have to r...

Sorbet Magazine Celebrates Its September Issue!

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Sorbet Magazine Celebrates  Its September Issue!

It’s impossible to say what we love most about our issue release parties, especially the most recent one at V...

The Escher String Quartet Opens Segerstrom Center’s 2018-2019 Chamber Music Series

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

The Escher  String Quartet  Opens  Segerstrom Center’s 2018-2019  Chamber Music Series

Thursday, November 1, 2018 in Samueli Theater Segerstrom Center for the Arts launches its 2018-2019 Chamber Se...

Segerstrom Center Kicks Off Its 2018-2019 Jazz Season With Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center Kicks Off Its  2018-2019  Jazz Season  With Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal

Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents Grammy® Award Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Ahmad Jamal for one pe...

Beyond the Books Nadia Milner delivers "Top Notch Services"

Entertainment Jody Robinson

Beyond the Books  Nadia Milner delivers "Top Notch Services"

I remember when one of my college friends was appointed Payroll Specialist for a large company in Pasadena. Whe...

Ready for Open Enrollment?

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Ready for  Open Enrollment?

In a few weeks, you’ll be making important choices about next year’s health plan. As you consider your opti...