A Therapist Shares How to Plan for the Future During a Pandemic

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Ah, yes, the future — something that looks uncertain for many of us following the pandemic. In fact, it might be a common thought taking up space in your mind at the moment. When will things return to the normal we know? When will we feel comfortable again? Will schools return in September? What is the future of work?  — and many, many more questions. Luckily, Mollie Busino of Mindful Power is here to shed some light on how we can all go about tackling those thoughts and hopefully put our mind at ease, even just a little bit.

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The Fact of the Matter

The above list of questions could go on and on. Due to the pandemic, we all have had to face having some of the most predictable pieces of our lives shifting into the unpredictable.

Back in February, we were able to plan vacations, travel to work, send our kids to school, go to the gym {indoors}, and see friends and family when we felt like it — there was an ease about everything.

Then, the pandemic arrived and so much changed so quickly. Due to that major event, it makes sense that our minds would now be making tireless efforts to try to find some predictability in our future again, but unfortunately, there is still so much that we cannot see clearly in regard to the future, even if things are slowly reopening again.

See More: Tips to Managing Anxiety + Regulating Emotions, According to a Therapist

Handling the Future

We know more than we did when before the pandemic started and there are so many “new normals” we have made for ourselves and our families — when times got tough, so did we, and we adapted. Of course, adapting doesn’t necessarily mean our racing minds are taking a break and those uncertain thoughts about the future haven’t necessarily gone anywhere. Thanks to Mollie, here are some suggestions for how not to become consumed with all the questioning of the long-term future and strike more of a balance with what you can control:

List some short term plans you can make with what you know. Ask yourself, are there any wide-open places you would like to go to as the weather gets warmer? Do you have plans for the next of couple weeks to do a Zoom game night or happy hour? Are there any online courses you want to look into? Making some short-term plans with the knowledge you do have can help add some normalcy back into everyday life.

Try not to go beyond July when planning. Mollie suggests that a 60-day timeline is a fair timeline to decide if you are renting home, planning for work projects etc. Beyond that timeframe is when we will likely start spinning mental our wheels with the unknown.

Read More: 10 Tips for Reducing Anxious Thoughts + Fear During COVID-19

Designate certain periods of the week when you allow yourself to chat about and think about your plans for the future.This will allow you to be more present and mindful during the other points of your week.

Try to soak in some of the positive moments you are experiencing. Take a minute to enjoy not having to rush anywhere, being able to have dinner together as a family every night, wearing comfortable clothing 24/7, and more simple pleasures.

Be resilient. We are all flexing our “resilient” minds and will have that strength as we move into the predictable and unpredictable futures

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Written by:

Mollie Busino, LCSW is Founder and Director of Mindful Power LLC, a group psychotherapy practice in Hoboken, NJ. Mindful Power LLC specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness. They utilize a collaborative approach to focus on challenges with anxiety, depression, postpartum and pregnancy, fertility, career shifts, insomnia, anger management, and entrepreneurial struggles. They serve ages children to adult.