How to Cope When Everything Keeps Changing

How to Cope(kōp) When Everything Keeps Changing

Making plans is basically(ˈbāsik(ə)lē) a thing of the past, but there are ways to deal.

By Cindy Lamothe

How do you make plans when it’s impossible to make plans?

The ground beneath(bəˈnēTH) our feet is constantly shifting. Planning for anything more than a week out can feel futile(ˈfyo͞odl) — almost silly(ˈsilē) — since no one knows what the next week, much less the next month, will bring. A surge(sərj) in coronavirus cases in your area(ˈerēə)? More lockdowns? Worrying about natural(ˈnaCH(ə)rəl) disasters? And concerns about health and financial(fəˈnan(t)SHəl, fīˈnan(t)SHəl) well-being make matters even worse.

“The questions are endless. And the answers are always changing,” said Nick Tasler(ā), an organizational(ˈˌôrɡənəˈzāSHənl) psychologist(sīˈkäləjəst) and the author of “Ricochet(ˈrikəˌSHā): What To Do When Change Happens To You.”

“One day the W.H.O. recommends this, and the next day the C.D.C. recommends something else,” Mr. Tasler said. “One day the economy(əˈkänəmē) is opening back up. A week later it’s closing back down.

“And all of this changes not just day-by-day, but country-by-country, state-by-state.”

It’s enough to frazzle(ˈfrazəl) anyone.

Knowing how to react when our plans fail, according to experts, is essential for recalibrating(ˌrēˈkalibrāt). Fortunately, there are strategies we can take that can help us cope when life resembles(rəˈzembəl) an endless stream of curveballs(ˈkərvbôl).

Overcome mental barriers(ˈberēər)

Don’t underestimate(ˌəndərˈestəˌmāt) your ability to adapt(əˈdapt)

Take action, no matter how small

Reframe(rēˈfrām) your situation