Healthy Food Story  >  How to Create Calm Even When Things Feel Uncertain

How to Create Calm Even When Things Feel Uncertain

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling for many people (myself included!) Learn how to create calm even when things feel uncertain

You know that feeling when you’re waiting for news to come in? Checking your phone… Peeking at your inbox… Refreshing your screen… Wondering. Worrying. Will it be good news—or something not so good? What’s happening next?

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling for many people (myself included!) Most of us like to feel like we’re “in charge” of how things are going.

But there are moments when we are reminded:

“I don’t get to decide everything.” “I don’t know what happens next.” “Not everything is entirely up to me.”

This year, I’ve experienced a lot of uncertainty.

Accompanying my dad to doctor’s appointments, anxiously awaiting test results, not knowing what they’d say next.

Pitching my book proposal to publishers, waiting for a few nibbles of interest, not knowing if anyone would actually say “yes.”

Rolling out new podcast episodes, pouring my whole heart into each one, not knowing if the show would resonate with listeners. (Would anyone even listen?)

For someone like me—someone who loves peace, simplicity, comfort, and calm—uncertainty is especially challenging. But it’s also a fact of life – for all of us.

So, how can we manage uncertainty? How can we learn to cope with it, live with it – and still keep our nervous systems steady in the midst of all the not-knowing-ness?

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling for many people (myself included!) Learn how to create calm even when things feel uncertain

Here’s what works for me:

* Walking outside with my pups. Dogs and nature are like medicine for me; a 20-minute stroll in the fresh air never fails to soothe my frazzled nerves.

* Playing in my kitchen. Washing vegetables, chopping, dicing; simple, repetitive tasks lead to something beautiful like a finished meal. I love the instant gratification, the creativity, and the nourishment that cooking can provide.

* Breathing deeply. When’s the last time you paused to take a big, full breath deep into your belly? Do it now; it’s incredible how quickly this shifts your entire physiology. (To tap into the true power of your breath, listen to this.)

* Moving my body. Walking, yoga, any type of physical movement helps to flush the anxiety and overwhelm out of my cells.

* Simply doing my best. Dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” makes me feel confident that “I’ve done absolutely everything I can with this situation—and now, it’s no longer up to me.

* And of course, using food to shift my mood. For instance…

- A lavender-infused latte is pure bliss in a cup, because lavender contains compounds that are proven to alleviate stress.

- Foods rich in tryptophan (such as spinach, eggs, and seeds) help the body produce more serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter.

- Comfort foods (like dark chocolate, healing soups, or a grown-up PB&J) always help, too.

- A warm skillet chia pudding (full of omega fatty acids – that good, healthy fat!) is amazing for clearing that frantic, brain-scramble feeling and promoting mental clarity.

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling for many people (myself included!) Learn how to create calm even when things feel uncertain

When I’m caught in uncertainty, I try to remember to ask myself, “How do I want to feel today?” (“More calm!”) Then, choose meals (and simple self-care rituals) to create the mood that I desire. This puts me “back in the driver’s seat” – powerful and active, instead of powerless and reactive.

If life feels uncertain right now, know that you’re not alone.

And even when things feel completely crazy and out of control, you are not helpless. I’m here to remind you that you always have the strength to shift your mood AND shift your day—even if it’s doing something incredibly small, like petting your dog or taking three deep breaths. These little actions add up, and together, they really do make a difference.

In uncertain times, remember that only one thing is certain: you always have more power than you think you do.

You can’t control anyone else’s behavior.

You can’t control global events (like a stock market collapse or a hurricane).

But you’re always in charge of how you respond to whatever happens.

And when you respond by taking action, you transform uncertainty into calm, even in the midst of an uncertain world.

2 Comments

  • Mary says:

    I agree one hundred percent! I once read a book, One Bowl, by Don Gerrard. He advocates using a beautiful bowl for each meal and eating slowly. It is a lot like the reminders you give. Remaining present. Thank you!

    • Elise says:

      Hi Mary!

      That book sounds so interesting!! I love that you already have a practice of remaining present, and beautiful food (and bowls) always help! Thanks so much for sharing.

      xx
      Elise

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