Coping with uncertainty can be unsettling and taxing on yourself. Dr. Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist, and Owner, of Shift Healing, provides some advice that not only resonated with herself but also with her patients. Read the article below for more information and click here to visit Shift Healing!.
As you might have noticed, there appears to be a symphony of suggestions and ideas for how best to cope with the recent and profound changes in our lives due to COVID-19. It can be difficult to navigate gracefully through all of the new ideas while managing the stressors that continue or have grown in our lives. In my work as a Psychologist working with individuals facing cancer, caregiver stress, and/or other medical conditions, I observed my patients demonstrating amazing resilience. Some have even commented that they feel uniquely well-prepared to face the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and social isolation due to the fact that they experienced similar limitations and fears during their cancer experience. In fact, many of my patients have observed that they feel better now due to the fact that they have developed such resilience and are now
feeling less alone than they were during their cancer treatments. What a hopeful message. We can tap our well of resilience utilized for previous challenges and apply it now. Coping with uncertainty is by definition uncomfortable and unsettling and emotionally taxing. Be graceful and kind to yourself and others as we all cope with uncertainty differently.
Below are a few articles that have resonated with my patients and myself. Hopefully, you will find them interesting and thought-provoking. If you have more questions about how to improve your resilience, please contact our office: 303-800-3458 or visit Shift Healing!
- New York Times Interview with Cancer Survivor and Author, Kate Bowler
- The Greater Good Science Center offers a guide for well-being during COVID
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Morhaf Al Achkar’s OpEd for NPR:
Yet people with cancer are perhaps better prepared than many to face an existential threat. We’ve developed resilience and learned to live in the here and now. When you confront your mortality, you realize that life is finite — there [is] no time but to become your true, authentic self. You start to judge what you do by your own standards and express yourself truthfully.
You also become empowered to claim a voice to advocate for yourself and the community. Because if you don’t speak up, perhaps no one will.
This epidemic is isolating people who were already isolated, and we need to find ways to stay connected with them. Reach out virtually to your friends, especially the ones who are struggling or those who have serious illnesses. Say hi and tell them you are thinking of them.
We can try to make room for everyone to express their raw emotions, their honest feelings. Let’s find creative ways to do that. Art and writing can help some, and so does humor. Listening to the person who is suffering is also good. Do not jump to volunteer solutions. Just be there and listen.