Advice Column, Parenting

Help your family navigate uncertainty

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It has been said that we need to learn to become like a river which quite happily meanders through and over obstacles despite it never knowing what it may encounter on its way to the ocean. A river flows powerfully at times, more gently at others ‘knowing’ that its journey is rooted in uncertainty and that adjustments need to be made along the way, if it is to reach its destination.

Cindy Glass, Owner and Co-Founder of Step Up Education Centres explains that our human lives are similar in that we walk an ever-changing path, often not knowing what challenges and joys await us in the next hour, day, week, month or year! “The difference between a flowing river and how many of us navigate this journey, is that we most often find ourselves stressed and anxious in moments of uncertainty and difficulty.”  She adds that the coronavirus is a great example of an obstacle that is fraught with uncertainty and challenge and many of us find it incredibly difficult to navigate the new normal that have become our lives.

The good news, according to Cindy, is that there are ways in which you and your family can face the uncertainties of Coronavirus and keep ‘flowing’ in the direction you wish to go.

She offers 5 ways to combat uncertainties and restore your flow:

1. Be gentle with yourself and others: Teach by example, that it is during uncertain times that it becomes extra-important to support one another. Kindness and respect for self and others does not cost a cent and it yields incredibly positive results. Use ‘Please’, ‘Thank-you’ and ‘How can I help?” in your daily interactions with others, these minor changes can make a major difference!

2. Eliminate the guilt: Don’t focus on the ‘should be’, ‘could be’, ‘what if’ pressures that we often place on ourselves and others. Know that you are doing the very best that you can with the knowledge and opportunities that you have in this moment.  

3. You can only control that which is in your control: You have no control over the virus or the behavioural choices of others. Teach your family that they do have control over washing their hands, wearing a mask in public and being patient and respectful when out and about. Focus on the things that are in your control!

4. Slow down: Know that uncertainties do not last forever. The challenges and obstacles that you face at present will pass! Stay focused on making positive choices for yourself and your family as you ‘flow’ more gently through and around the uncertainties. This is not the time to pile on the pressure! Slow down, breathe and just be!

5. Support your community: Find ways that you can be involved with your community. Giving of your time, skills and love to others in need, this will lift your spirits and it will give you a wonderful sense of fulfilment!

“Happiness is not a quest – it is a choice. Don’t allow uncertainties and challenges to determine your joy! Focus on having an attitude of gratitude every day. When you recognise and acknowledge the good things in your life, challenges are more manageable!” concludes Cindy.

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