Managing Uncertainty And Stress In The Time of COVID-19

Managing Uncertainty And Stress In The Time of COVID-19


April 16, 2020: Emily Segal PhD, CPsych


We are facing unprecedented times of uncertainty, loss, and stress. It is easy to lose sight of our center. And yet there remains within us a central choice: a focus on pain, or a focus on promise. Beyond the difficult horizon of right now, can you set your sights on a new tomorrow and take the steps necessary now to be ready for when that new day arrives.


Some suggestions, in addition to connecting with loved ones:


  1. Exercise daily (20 mins of cardio minimum)


  1. Eat for nutrition and health; what is good for the body is good for the brain, what is good for the brain is good for the mind, and what is good for the mind is good for the mood.


  1. Learn something new every day – learn a new word, discover something new about your favorite species, a new skill set, a new figure from history; find new scenic lookouts;


  1. Stay in touch with inspired others – seek therapy, mentorship;


  1. Validate the valid – difficult emotions have a right to be felt, acknowledged, and embraced. Self-care and self-compassion (and their distinction from self-indulgence) are essential.


  1. Write – put it all out there on a page, we are living through history in the making;


  1. Clarify and cultivate your core values (courage, humanity, wisdom, temperance, justice, and transcendence) and engage in specific activities that affirm them;


  1. Above all else, find and stay true to your purpose…we have all silently wished for more down time to reflect on what truly matters. The world has just presented it to many of us in the form of a giant pause button. What do you want it all to look like when you eventually hit play?



Dr. Emily Segal is ExecHealth’s resident psychologist. Dr. Segal completed her doctoral studies at McGill University in clinical psychology, and her post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University in clinical neuropsychology.