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The Things We Can Control

The world is reminding us right now that there is much we cannot control. That has always been the case - we have never been in control of illness, a downturn in economy or world events. However, the magnitude and uncertainty of our present time might make the lack of control more difficult to tolerate and the feeling of helplessness more prominent. True, there is much we cannot control but that does not mean we are powerless. Here are some strategies that can help us reclaim our power in uncertain times.

  1. Know your Resilience- Much of our fears come from what if’s. What if someone we know becomes ill. What if we lose income or we cannot return to the same level of work when quarantine is over. Our fears of what we can or cannot manage often do not match reality. Studies show that when we are faced with challenges, we are much more capable than we think. We are more resilient that we imagine ourselves to be. Don’t underestimate that!


  1. Create Meaning. It is easy to feel hopeless or fearful when we are worried about our health. But we can restore our sense of agency by reconnecting with a greater sense of purpose - aligning with meaningful work, an important cause, a relationship or finding a spiritual connection. We can restore a sense of control by creating meaning out of a difficult situation. Create meaning in how you chose to spend your time, how you treat others and how you treat yourself. By creating meaning out of a challenging situation you will be stronger and more resilient for it.


  1. Take care of yourself. This is something we certainly can control. Nourish your body with the right food. Get exercise and move your body every day. Allow yourself down-time by getting adequate sleep, time for leisure and play and limit your time in front of screens. Last, take care of yourself by taking time to connect with friends and loved ones. How we care for ourselves is the first step to implementing structure to our lives and reclaiming our power over that which we can control.


We may feel helpless during these uncertain times, but following these strategies will enable us to move through them with a greater sense of ease and agency.


In good health,

Dr. Adrienne


Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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