Managing Stress and Anxiety in a Time of Uncertainty

Written Friday, August 7, 2020 by Dr. Traci Cipriano, Co-chair of the Lawyer Well-Being Committee

Just when you thought you were settling into your new pandemic work habits, Mother Nature stepped in. Last week, Tropical Storm Isaias damaged homes, took down power and cable internet lines, and left many of us scrambling for necessities.

For those of you with children returning to school in the fall, you are likely being bombarded with information, and may still have many unanswered questions as some school districts have not announced details yet.

Pause, and take a deep breath. While you do not have control over the pandemic, you can prepare yourself.

A better approach would be to acknowledge how well you have managed so far in 2020 and remind yourself that you can handle this latest challenge as well.

· Continue to get outdoors and get exercise, even if that means an early morning walk around your neighborhood, to avoid the heat.

· Plan for each of the possible back-to-school scenarios, make decisions about what level of participation is comfortable for your family, and what safety precautions you will take as a family.

· Plan for how you will get your work done under the possible back-to-school scenarios, including any modifications that will need to be made to when, where and how you do your work.

· Take stock of the supports and resources available and think about how to make the most of them.

· If you have a history of substance use or a mental health diagnosis, be sure to reach out to your supports during this difficult time.